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Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, has been promoted to president from his current executive vice president position. This makes the German the first non-Korean president in the Korean automaker. In addition to Schreyer, there are two other presidents in the company.
Schreyer jumped ship from Volkswagen AG to Kia in 2006 when Kia decided to focus on the European market, identifying design as its core growth engine. With Schreyer on board, Kia introduced a new corporate grille known as the 'Tiger Nose' to create a recognisable 'face' for the brand. The first Kia vehicle to bear Schreyer's styling direction is the first generation Kia Forte.
Since then, the new corporate grille has been featured from the humble Picanto to the top-of-the-range Quoris luxury saloon. The second generation Forte carries the 'Tiger nose' as well but in a more aggressive form. The 'Tiger nose' grille is now as recognisable to a Kia as the 'Double Kidney' grille is to a BMW.
"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," said Shin Chung Kwan, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul.
The second generation Kia Forte