Peter Schreyer: The man behind Kia’s design revolution August 12th, 2016




Since its humble beginnings, Kia Motors has surprised the world by growing steadfastly into the leading global automobile brand it is today. Perhaps one of the most significant turning points in the brand’s history was when Mr. Peter Schreyer, Kia’s Chief Design Officer (CDO) and President, joined the business in 2006 to lead to lead a full-out design revolution.

Celebrating our 10 years together, read on to learn more about what Peter Schreyer has to share about Kia’s design past and future direction!


A unified global identity

In the early year as Kia’s CDO, Peter Schreyer dedicated the bulk of his attention to establishing a distinct and unified signature brand identity and image.


“When I started at Kia, it was important that we established an identity and a consistent feeling across the brand. But the story of how our new vehicles came to life is about so much more than just aesthetics. It involves intricate choices in how complex ideas work together to create something that generates an emotional response.”




These efforts eventually led to the creation of the iconic Kia face that can be seen on the roads today. This new distinctive identity became a recognizable signature on Kia vehicles and a step towards Kia’s emergence as a well recognized an international brand.


From Korea to the world

Peter Schreyer has also mentioned that his principal design philosophy, ‘the simplicity of the straight line,’ was born from Korean influences. Taking inspiration from different elements of Korean culture such as architecture, art and music, Kia’s model range has undergone a dramatic transformation.




“For us designers, it’s important to not only look at cars, but to be interested in architecture, art, music, industrial design…all sorts of things. They are influencing us and we are influencing them.”


Sleek sophisticated lines have been utilized in every one of the designs that Peter Schreyer has overseen, and our design teams stationed within a global network of design centers have taken varying approaches to translating the essence of Korea onto our automobile creations.ave taken varying approaches to translate the essence of Korea onto our automobile creations.


“People know more about Korea, and about what’s going on there. On the one hand you have this ‘heartbeat’ when you go to Seoul, and on the other hand you have the silence, the concentration. Both of these things inspire me and our designers”




With each and every model, our CDO has explored all creative boundaries to expand Kia’s design capabilities. The range of Kia concept cars has foretold the future directions of our design language while production models have showcased different aspects of Kia’s concept designs to demonstrate the brand’s dedication towards innovation and all-encompassing versatility.


“You know when you have more than one kid, you can never say which your favorite is. You love them all. I also do, with all the cars I’ve designed, but there is one that stands out a little bit, I must admit.”


Peter Schreyer shared that the Kia GT concept was his favorite design of all. Some other favorites have included the ground-breaking box-shaped Kia Soul and the recently released Europe-exclusive Optima Sportswagon.




“It [GT concept] was a dream project for me and our designers because we got the chance to make a real GT, a car where you can travel in style.”


Going forward

“What really excites me is how fast this company is evolving. The brand as you knew it 10 or even five years ago is gone. You can see it in even the smallest detail. You can feel it in the sophisticated textures and materials. And you experience it in ways that are inter-related and connected.”




True to his words, Peter Schreyer has boosted the brilliant ascent of the Kia brand in recent years and he is far from finished. With many new launches and ongoing enhancements of the existing line-up, we are looking forward to more brilliance and innovation from our chief designer. Thank you and here’s to another 10 years!