Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Design VP for the Hyundai and Genesis brands, has been promoted to head the design operations of the entire Hyundai Motor Group — including Kia — the company announced today. Donckerwolke will replace longtime Hyundai/Kia Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer on November 1, 2018.
Donckerwolke’s appointment as Schreyer’s replacement has been mooted since he resigned from his role as design director at Bentley Motors in 2015. Though speculative at that time, there was little doubt that Donckerwolke was being groomed to eventually take over the Chief Design Officer role. And since Schreyer shifted his responsibilities to head Hyundai/Kia Design Management — on a consultancy basis — last month, the door was left wide open for Donckerwolke to assume his former position.
The appointment of Donckerwolke to the top role is not without merit. Since joining Hyundai as Executive Design VP in 2016, Donckerwolke was instrumental in building the team ultimately responsible for the recent Genesis brand concepts, including the Essentia concept car largely designed by former Bugatti designer Sasha Selipanov‘s team in Europe.
There’s no denying the impact Schreyer’s leadership — and the incredible strength of the design teams in Korea, Europe and the US — has had on Hyundai and Kia design. Recognizing the accomplishment of his design-led approach at Kia, top brass promoted him to the role of President in 2012 and assigned him to also lead Hyundai’s design efforts a month later. There have been many successful designs ushered in under both the Kia and Hyundai brands over the course of his tenure.
Prior to joining Hyundai Motor Company in 2016, Donckerwolke had a stellar career at VW Group. He worked at Bentley, Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini, SEAT and was appointed to lead VW Group’s advanced design in 2011. We fully expect Donckerwolke to follow in Schreyer’s footsteps and continue to build upon the design success of both brands as well as steer the design direction and forthcoming product launches from the Korean car giant’s fledgling Genesis luxury brand.