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      09-06-2019, 10:47 AM   #1
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Former BMW Design Boss Karim Habib Will Now Head Kia Design

Karim Habib, former head of design at BMW, has landed at Kia where he will head up design. He joins former BMW M boss Albert Biermann at Hyundai Motor Group (which owns Kia).



Kia Motors Appoints Karim Habib as Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Design Center

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors Corporation has appointed Karim Habib as Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Design Center. Habib's appointment will enable Kia to continue enhancing the design competitiveness of its brand and products. He will take up his new post at the start of October and will be based at Kia's global design headquarters in Namyang, Korea.

Responsible for the design of Kia vehicles, Habib will oversee the work of Kia's exterior, interior, color, and material teams, and help determine the future design strategy and direction of the Kia brand, reporting to Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.

Renowned for his exceptional ability to reflect brand identity in his designs, Habib brings with him more than twenty years' experience leading major design projects at premium brands. His most recent role was as Executive Design Director at INFINITI Motor Company, overseeing the design of brand's latest concept vehicles. He worked previously with both BMW Group and Daimler Group. Born in Lebanon, Habib studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Canada, as well as Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design in California. He is fluent in English, French, German, and Italian.

"Kia is a growing, ambitious brand on a determined path toward electrification and mobility innovation," said Habib. "I am thrilled to be a part of this transformation to strengthen the Kia brand further into the future of the automotive industry, which promises to be full of challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working with CDO Donkerwolke whose work I have admired for many years, as well as the Kia design team that has created some truly remarkable designs."

"SVP Habib will be an asset for the Kia brand with his international background and global experience," said Donckerwolke. "We highly appreciate Karim's talent and experience. He is joining Kia at a crucial moment to project the brand into the future of mobility and to reinforce the young-spirited and motivated design team which has won numerous international design awards."

The Kia Design Center is the birthplace of Kia's global models, responsible for overseeing all aspects of vehicle design – from conceptualization and modelling to styling and development of color and materials. Based in Namyang, Korea, Kia's Design Center operates as part of the brand's global design network, with regional design centers in the U.S. and Europe.

Karim Habib career highlights:
2017 ~ 2019: Executive Design Director INFINITI, Nissan Motor Company
2012 ~ 2017: Head of Design BMW Automobiles, BMW Group
2011 ~ 2012: Head of Exterior Design BMW Automobiles, BMW Group
2009 ~ 2011: Senior Manager Advanced Design Germany, Daimler
2007 ~ 2009: Chief Designer Advanced Design, BMW Group
2004 ~ 2007: Senior Designer (Exterior Production Design), BMW Group
2002 ~ 2003: Exterior/Interior Designer - Advanced Design, BMW Group
1998 ~ 2001: Exterior/Interior Production Designer, BMW Group
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      09-06-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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Now this explains everything
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      09-06-2019, 11:12 AM   #3
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He left BMW in 2017 for Infiniti and got booted from there recently due to reorg after the Carlos Ghosn scandal.

Now he is in Kia

I like the guy but he doesn't strike me as the most brilliant designer after his failed tenure to turn around Infiniti as he pledged to do 2 years ago.
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      09-06-2019, 11:14 AM   #4
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Stinger will now compete within the ranks on the luxury coupe sedans?
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      09-06-2019, 11:16 AM   #5
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Damn, the Koreans are really good at poaching these German engineers and designers!
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      09-06-2019, 11:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by am3r1ka View Post
Stinger will now compete within the ranks on the luxury coupe sedans?
They have a long way to go. May be his first assignment should be to get rid of that aweful and cheap looking Kia logo..
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      09-06-2019, 11:16 AM   #7
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We should see much BIGGER grill now
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      09-06-2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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We should see much BIGGER grill now
Nah he was not a big grille man. He was for soft lines and conservative designs. He designed my G30!
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      09-06-2019, 11:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 530iDriver View Post
They have a long way to go. May be his first assignment should be to get rid of that aweful and cheap looking Kia logo..
They actually have a different one in their Asian markets but I believe it looks very similar to the Lexus logo so thats probably why they aren't bringing it here
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      09-06-2019, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iDriver View Post
They have a long way to go. May be his first assignment should be to get rid of that aweful and cheap looking Kia logo..
Agreed. Plus deletion of fake hood vents.
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      09-06-2019, 11:20 AM   #11
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They actually have a different one in their Asian markets but I believe it looks very similar to the Lexus logo so thats probably why they aren't bringing it here
Here it is..
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      09-06-2019, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iDriver View Post
He left BMW in 2017 for Infiniti and got booted from there recently due to reorg after the Carlos Ghosn scandal.

Now he is in Kia

I like the guy but he doesn't strike me as the most brilliant designer after his failed tenure to turn around Infiniti as he pledged to do 2 years ago.
After he presented the Infiniti Electric Car, that never showed up on stage, if I was him I would have left as well.

Not only is Infiniti going down like a sinking ship, but Nissan is completely f'd as well.

He should have never left BMW, but was really smart to have left Infiniti.
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      09-06-2019, 11:22 AM   #13
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It's time to go, there needs to be a new or I should say better, cooler more badass direction.

Adrian Van Hooydonk needs to go as well because he okays all the crap, meaning kidney grills debacle, yellow and metallic gold concept cars. Initially when he was working under Chris Bangle who was arrogant yet trying to bring the company into the future, which is not easy if not done correctly and looking back he did do that well and does not get enough credit for it. Initially Van Hooydonk was coming up with cool stuff. But there has been a creative stalemate and BMW Group needs to get someone that get what BMW M Style & Design is all about.

Because exterior wise, Porsche, Mercedes and even Audi is coming up at some cool more aggressive stuff.
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      09-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #14
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BMW needs Bangle back again to revamp the design
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      09-06-2019, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCG View Post
It's time to go, there needs to be a new or I should say better, cooler more badass direction.

Adrian Van Hooydonk needs to go as well because he okays all the crap, meaning kidney grills debacle, yellow and metallic gold concept cars. Initially when he was working under Chris Bangle who was arrogant yet trying to bring the company into the future, which is not easy if not done correctly and looking back he did do that well and does not get enough credit for it. Initially Van Hooydonk was coming up with cool stuff. But there has been a creative stalemate and BMW Group needs to get someone that get what BMW M Style & Design is all about.
The BMW board is responsible not AVH.

Nice try.
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      09-06-2019, 11:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werdn View Post
BMW needs Bangle back again to revamp the design
Chris Bangle is making way more money then BMW could ever afford to pay him.
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      09-06-2019, 11:30 AM   #17
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BMW needs Bangle back again to revamp the design
Bring back Paul Bracq

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      09-06-2019, 11:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werdn View Post
BMW needs Bangle back again to revamp the design
Agreed!

Chris Bangle was arrogant but he was able to take the brand into the future seamlessly. That is not easy and he did a good job of it and still to this day does not get enough credit for it regardless of how you feel about him.
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      09-06-2019, 11:33 AM   #19
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The BMW board is responsible not AVH.

Nice try.
They're ALL responsible and ALL need to be held ACCOUNTABLE including the corporate morons!

As a Creative Director I could never put my name to poor Concepts and Designs. Some just want to get a paycheck and never speak up. You have to have the balls to walk simply on principle. BMW has made a lot of money $$$ off my Concepts and quality Ideas, hence the kick-ass BMW R nineT Motorcycle, the satin Frozen Paints now offered and the new rear bias M xDrive for all the M vehicles! I'm still waiting for that paycheck BMW, but I won't hold my breath.
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      09-06-2019, 11:43 AM   #20
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Not surprised at this or any of the other defections. Hyundai/Kia have been a company whose history has been derivative of more established car companies in every way.

That's not fully meant as an insult, btw - they've really advanced the Korean auto industry really fast in part with this strategy, but they've not been too subtle about ripping off others' original designs, ideas, and now talent
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      09-06-2019, 11:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
Not surprised at this or any of the other defections. Hyundai/Kia have been a company whose history has been derivative of more established car companies in every way.

That's not fully meant as an insult, btw - they've really advanced the Korean auto industry really fast in part with this strategy, but they've not been too subtle about ripping off others' original designs, ideas, and now talent
Professional copycats.

Without the "evil" ze Germans, they would still be making exquisite vehicles like this:
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      09-06-2019, 11:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Damn, the Koreans are
really good at poaching these German engineers and designers!
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