Infiniti design chief defects to Kia

Karim Habib, who quit as head of design at Infiniti last month, will soon begin the same job at Kia.
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Kia have appointed Karim Habib as senior vice president and the head of company's design centre.

In his role as the head of the Kia Design Center in Namyang, South Korea, Habib will oversee the exterior and interior designs for all of the brand's vehicles.

Habib will begin with the carmaker at the beginning of October, and will report to Luc Donckerwolke, chief design officer for the entire Hyundai Motor Group.

Kia's design team has been headed by Donckerwolke since late last year after an executive shakeup saw Peter Schreyer — the man who oversaw Kia's design renaissance and penned the "tiger nose grille" — moved out to an advisory role.

This will be Habib's first role at a non-premium brand. Late last month Habib left his role as head of design at Infiniti after just over two years in the job.

After obtaining a mechanical engineering degree at McGill University in Canada, and completing his transportation design studies at California's Art Center College of Design, Habib joined BMW in 1998.

He advanced up the ladder at BMW and after a short spell at Daimler rejoined the Bavarian firm in 2011 as its head of exterior design. A year later he was made design director for the entire BMW brand.