Kia appoints Audi TT designer to shake up new range

Kia has some grand designs ... both in terms of the tin it hopes to sell and its ambitions to be much higher up the motoring food chain.

Now, one of the world's leading designers, Peter Schreyer, has been hauled in too shake up the future shape and styling of Kia's regenerated range. Noted for his work on the Audi TT (and, unfortunately, the new Beetle), Schreyer will oversee the implementation of the company's new designs, which it is hoped will bring the Korean also-ran more into the hearts, minds, pants and wallets of the younger, more adventurous car buyer.

With the Picanto and Sedona doing fairly well and the new Sorento a massive improvement on the old one, Kia has seen a boost in its sales of late as it fights hard for the budget end of the market.

Euisun Chung, President and CEO of Kia Motors Corporation, said: "As we continue to develop the Kia brand across all key regional markets, we must continually enhance our range of vehicles through world class, innovative advances in product design. This appointment underlines our commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations by accurately reflecting modern aesthetics and regional and cultural sensibilities".

"We are focused on boosting our competitiveness on the world stage by dramatically enhancing the design element of our vehicle lineup while adding a strong emotional dimension to the brand."

Schreyer will control Kia's regional design centres in Korea, Germany, Japan and the US, and he is slated to make his first public address at the Paris Motor Show in September. Kia's first ever vehicle designed specifically for European customers - a five door family hatchback codenamed ED - also make its world premiere at the show.

A small word of warning, though. When legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro (of BMW M1, FiatPanda, VW Golf and Maseratti 3200GT fame) went to Daewoo, he gave us the Matiz, Kalos and Lacetti. So that worked out well, then...