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Hyundai-Kia Motors Announce Key Leadership Appointments

2018.11.01 00:00:00 No. 16061

• Leadership appointments enhance capabilities in product strategy, design, and R&D

• New dedicated divisions will increase competitive edge in AI and FCEV technology

• Establishment of Russia & CIS Headquarters will lead to active engagement with local market and customers

SEOUL, Nov. 1, 2018 — Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have announced key leadership appointments to drive global product strategy, design and R&D innovation as well as sales in the Russia and CIS region, effective today.


Executive Vice President and current Head of Hyundai Design Center Luc Donckerwolke has been appointed as the Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. Since becoming the Head of Hyundai Design Center in 2016, he has made great contributions to the Hyundai and Genesis brand’s innovative and differentiated design development. In his new role, he will be responsible for establishing and developing design strategies for next-generation Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles.

Vice President SangYup Lee has been promoted to Senior Vice President, and appointed as the new head of Hyundai and Genesis design, succeeding Mr. Donckerwolke as the Head of Hyundai Design Center.

Director Byungchul Juh will become the new Head of Kia Styling, with his promotion to Vice President.


Executive Vice President Thomas Schemera has been appointed as the new Head of Product Planning & Strategy Division at Hyundai Motor Group. In his new role, to cope with the rapid paradigm shift in automotive products, Mr. Schemera will lead the development of advanced technologies for autonomous and connected vehicles as well as vehicle electrification. 

Meanwhile, Hyundai and Kia have created an independent Fuel Cell Division, dedicated to research in the fuel cell sector, and appointed Vice President Saehoon Kim as the head of the organization. The Fuel Cell Division will expedite technical development and secure new business opportunities for promising fuel cell technologies.

Hyundai and Kia have also created an ‘AIR Lab (Artificial Intelligence Research Lab)’, a dedicated artificial intelligence research center, and have appointed Director Jeonghee Kim as its new head. This research center has been established to help identify and spearhead group-wide initiatives related to artificial intelligence while operating under oversight of the Strategy & Technology Division. AIR Lab’s areas of focus will be on Hyundai Motor Group’s key AI initiatives, including product optimization, customer experience innovation, development of future vehicles, mobility services, and other businesses. 


The change in Hyundai and Kia’s overseas operation reflects the company’s aim to grant greater autonomy to each region, spurring sustainable growth and enhancing innovation. It is in line with the reorganization of the global business, which was initiated earlier this year when the company launched its North America Headquarters, Europe Headquarters, and India Headquarters. More overseas markets will be transformed into regional headquarters as the company aims to complete its global reorganization by 2019.

As part of this global plan, Hyundai and Kia have both established new Russia & CIS Headquarters. Senior Vice President Youngtack Lee has been appointed as the Head of Hyundai Motor Russia & CIS Headquarters, while Director Wonjeong Jeong has been appointed as the Head of Kia Motors Russia & CIS Headquarters.


Hyundai Motor Group is a global corporation that has created a value chain based on automobiles, steel, and construction and includes logistics, finance, IT and service. With about 250,000 employees worldwide, the group’s automobile brands include Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. Armed with creative thinking, cooperative communication and the will to take on all challenges, we are working to create a better future for all.

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