May 17, 2016

    Hyundai raids Bentley for designer dash again


    AFTER poaching Bentley's design chief last year, Hyundai Motor said yesterday that it has also secured the services of the luxury marque's exterior designer.

    It issued a statement saying Lee Sang Yup will start work next month as its head of design, after Reuters reported the hiring of the Korean designer by the South Korean auto giant.

    He is being brought in to work with Luc Donckerwolke, a Peruvian-born Belgian, to lead Hyundai's development of its Genesis premium car brand - a project driven by Chung Eui Sun, heir-apparent to the Hyundai Group.

    "Lee will help... enhance the design competitiveness of both the Hyundai and Genesis brands with his abundant experience in... high-end luxury vehicles," Hyundai said.

    The firm, which sells eight million cars a year, sees limited growth unless it breaks into new markets, a person close to the automaker said.

    That means premium cars and maybe pick-up trucks and parts of South-east Asia.

    Mr Lee said he has joined as a vice-president in charge of Hyundai and Genesis design, reporting to Mr Donckerwolke.

    The latter will head the new Prestige Design Division, as well as being global head of Hyundai design.

    Mr Lee, 46, had run Bentley's exterior design since 2012, having worked at Volkswagen group's design centre in California, and General Motors previously.

    He played a lead role in designing the Chevrolet Corvette, Stingray and Camaro - which featured in the Transformers movies - and Bentley's Bentayga SUV.