[THE INVESTOR] Kia Motors on Sept. 14 said it has hired Pierre Leclercq, a former designer at BMW’s M brand and Great Wall Motor, to head styling at Korea’s second largest carmaker.
The 45-year-old will start his new job by the month-end as executive director overseeing styling in Korea, alongside Peter Schreyer, Hyundai and Kia’s chief design officer, and Youn Seon-ho, head of Kia Design Center.
Leclercq, the designer of the original BMW X5 and X6, will be responsible to set up mid- and long-term design strategy for the carmaker, as well as lead overarching design innovation, including exteriors, interiors, color and textile. He will also expand cooperation between its design networks in the US, Europe, China and Korea.
“Leclercq is one of few global star designers who has experience in major auto markets, including Europe, the US and China,” Kia said in a statement. “We expect he will move Kia’s design competitiveness to another level based on his balanced perspective.”
“I have been always very interested in Kia Motors’ design,” said Leclercq. “I am excited to be part of Kia’s design innovation process.”
The Belgian-born designer studied at the Art Center College of Design in California and worked at Zagato and Ford before joining BMW in 2000. From 2011 to 2013 he was the head designer of BMW’s performance M Brand. In 2013, he moved to China’s Great Wall Motors as the vice president of design.
The announcement arrives just three months after Hyundai hired Simon Loasby as its China design head, away from Volkswagen Group China.
The carmaker, which has suffered sales slump in its major markets, China and the US, hopes Leclercq’s appointment will beef up Kia’s design quality and appeal to customers.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)