The new president of design at Hyundai, Peter Schreyer, is planning to evolve the Korean giant’s design rather than revolutionise it, in the same way he did with Kia.

Having been in the job at Hyundai for just two weeks, Schreyer says he will need to spend time getting to know and understand Hyundai design before pushing for any change in design direction.

“Of course I need to spend a lot of time on Hyundai because Kia I know very well and have been with for several years now. I think I need to put quite a lot of focus on Hyundai in the near future.”

Peter Schreyer

The Korean sister brands, Kia and Hyundai, have many models that are based on the same platform and technology, but are distinguished by their design and execution, with Hyundai taking a generally more conservative approach than its smaller sibling. Will this change with Schreyer in charge?

“I think that Hyundai has made some bold moves in design and creating lot of attention and being successful. So I’m not planning to throw that away and do something completely different. I think it needs to be bold, and there are lots of cars in progress.”

Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept

It’s unlikely, though, that any change Schreyer makes will be seen in the near future. The design of the next-generation Hyundai Genesis for example, has already been locked in, as has a number of other products which are yet to come to fruition. It’s far more likely to be years before the Schreyer influence filters through to Hyundai cars.

“I think we need to focus on the direction and you need to give me a bit of time as well.”

Furthermore, Schreyer said he is likely to continue on with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy for the time being, which means any changes are likely to be evolutionary at best.

Kia Cross GT Concept CUV

It will certainly be a challenging task to have the same chief designer for two separate brands that already share so much in terms of engineering and technology, but Schreyer seems unfazed.

“I have a job now that concerns both [brands] and I look at both from a slightly different perspective.”

As Schreyer’s work with Kia has arguably set the benchmark for automotive design in the segment, there’s no doubt that the pressure to produce even more attractive cars for both Kia and Hyundai has never been so high. The expectation now from customers and the industry remains at unprecedented levels, particularly for two brands that less than a decade ago were simply not on the map for design direction.

  • $29896495

    ??? must be approved my moderator, what the??? Don’t like Hyundai criticism, maybe???

    • Mack

      Probably just some inadvertent curse word.

    • Hung Low

      I have noticed the same on my responses on Hyundai articles. You made the list too.

  • Blair Waldorf

    I find their current range to be all a big, swoopy, tacky, mess. They resort to cheap tricks and over style to create visual interest. This ages very quickly, hence why the 2008 IX35 and i45 look very dated, give it a few years and the elantra, i30 and i40 will be the same.

    Hyundai should learn from euro brands which go for a more restrained look that ages much better, from their sister brand Kia (current models). Or if they want something with a bit more flair, Mazda, who’s designs age very well.

    • Dave W

      Meh. There’s no mass market car from the late 90s or early 2000s that doesn’t look dated.

      • Blair Waldorf

        Obviously, but cars from 2008-2010 shouldnt look like theyre in desperate need of a facelift this early. Nobody expects cars from the late 90s or early 2000s to look fresh today

        • Dave W

          It’s subjective. I don’t find any car from around 2008-10 in desperate need of a face lift.

      • Jezza

         Dunno about that, I bought the missus an 03 Astra last week, and I reckon that apart from front on, its design doesn’t look out of place these days.

    • bd

      Hyundai has already evolved the “Fluidic Sculture” design language to a more toned down “Fluidic Precision” as evidenced by the new Santa Fe.

      • $29896495

        Fluidic up chuck, or is that projectile vomit why do you think Schreyer wants to tinker with it.

      • Jay

        It’s actually called Storm Edge.

  • Noddy_of_Toyland

    Why is there so much space in the news feed dedicated to Hyundai/Kia? I understand they have a lot of new product, but Caradvice has many articles interviewing Schreyer and his impact on the company. but I don’t see the same for other brands. Although the site gives no advice and has a direct news feed from Autoblog/Motor Trend, this bias towards these two companies ruins any credibility CA had left.

    • Alborz Fallah

      We are at the Chicago show with Kia, so we have access to Schreyer and Kia Australia management. Unfortunately, to the detriment of many other brands, access to key executives is far more challenging, hence the appearance of ‘bias’ coverage. We are not going to stop covering car companies that give us better access to their executives and high profile individuals, just because some don’t.

  • $29896495

    Hyundai DO NOT have a more conservative approach than its smaller sibling.

  • Dave W

    Aren’t they stretching him a bit thin?

  • Elantra

    Hyundai, I’m very proud of you for your originality. Keep up the extravagant styles and never do the Babushka fleet in the future as your current cars are unique in their own way.

    • $29896495

      uniquely ugly?

      • Elantra

        Beauty is in the eyes of beholder

      • Hung Low

        Your comment must be approved by a moderator.

  • F1orce

    I’ve seen the next generation Genesis spy shots and it looks absolutely nothing like the above..

    • bd

      The above is a concept hinting at future design language for Hyundai’s luxury offerings and Hyundai may end up doing a “4-door coupe” version of the Genesis. 

      • $29896495

        God I hope not.

  • Jacob

    Asian reliability + European designer = best of both worlds.

  • Jourien

    To me, the current American Sonata, your i45, is one of the worst looking cars in the world, anyway this guy make wonders for Kia, so could be a good thing for Hyundai, that will help with the “trying too hard” style of current Hyundais, not bad most of the times, but probably “what where they thinking?” ten years from now.