Schreyer, who penned the design of models including the first generation Audi TT and Volkswagen’s ‘new’ Beetle, joined Kia back in 2006 – later becoming the firm’s chief design officer.
Since then, he’s been credited for turning the Kia brand around – restyling almost its entire model lineup, and introducing the ‘tiger nose’ look across the range.
Aged 59 and born in Germany, Schreyer studied design at the Royal College of Art – and marks the first non-Korean president of the firm in its entire history.
‘The promotion shows Kia’s key focus areas shifting from production and cost efficiency, which were traditionally considered more important, to design and research and development,’ Shin Chung Kwan, an analyst at Seoul-based KB Investment & Securities told Bloomberg.
‘It also symbolises Kia’s urge to advance as a global company – showing a foreigner could make it to one of the top positions.’
Schreyer’s new position, says Kia, won’t mean the end of his design input however – with a handful of new models penned by him still yet to come to market.
The new Carens, and sporty new Pro_Cee’d three-door will be arriving soon, according to Kia – both making appearances in 2013.