When we started working at Butler Automotive, we had a very specific image of what a Kia looks like in mind: any of the entry-level sedans and SUVs Kia sold in the 90s. They weren’t flashy, or necessarily a kick in the pants to drive, but they were safe, inoffensive, and above all else, they were affordable. When we stepped onto the lot for the first time, however, we were greeted by sleek, fast, devilishly handsome cars. So what happened to Kia and its sister company Hyundai?
Simply put, Peter Schreyer happened. The man who designed the TT Roadster for Audi and the New Beetle for Volkswagen has revolutionized the design of Kias, Hyundais, and is now working on perfecting Hyundai’s Genesis line of luxury vehicles. But just because Schreyer is at the helm of three different companies doesn’t mean all three will adopt the same aesthetic. As a recent Bloomberg Business article outlines, Schreyer is committed to ensuring that each brand he oversees maintains the identity that makes it unique.
So how do the three companies Schreyer designs for differ in style?
Kia vehicles all share the distinctive “tiger nose” grille that Schreyer introduced a few years ago, and tend to go for a sportier, more youthful and energetic look, whereas Hyundai is moving toward a more traditional, European style of elegance. As for Genesis, one only needs to see the recently-unveiled New York concept to see the athletic, aggressive, sculptural style that will set Hyundai’s luxury line apart.
Kia and Hyundai are lucky to have someone like Peter Schreyer on board, and as we learned when we started working here, so are car lovers everywhere.