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Hyundai Motor names executives to key jobs

Oct 30,2018
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From left: Kim Jeong-hee, Thomas Schemera, Luc Donckerwolke
Hyundai Motor Group has announced a number of executive promotions a month after group heir apparent Chung Eui-sun was named executive vice chairman.

The company explained that the moves are part of the carmaker’s “aggressive transition from automobile manufacturer to smart mobility solutions provider.”

The nation’s largest automaker by sales announced Monday that it has appointed Thomas Schemera, current head of the carmaker’s high-performance division, to lead the product planning and strategy division.

Schemera, who joined Hyundai Motor in March, has been recognized for achieving good results at the division, successfully launching the i30 N and Veloster N. Schemera was recruited from BMW’s M division for North and South America.

At the new product planning team, Schemera will set the direction for new models and technologies in response to the rapid changes in the auto industry in areas such autonomous and connected cars.

Luc Donckerwolke will replace Peter Schreyer as chief design officer at Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. Donckerwolke joined Hyundai Motor in 2016 as the head of Hyundai Design Center after handling design at Peugeot, Volkswagen, Audi and Lamborghini.

Donckerwolke will lead design identity at Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. Schreyer, who joined Kia Motors in 2006, moved to the group’s design management team last month.

Lee Sang-yup, a Korean designer who has had experience at luxury car brands such as Bentley, was promoted to head the Hyundai Design Center.

Under the carmaker’s strategy planning team, Hyundai Motor has established the Artificial Intelligence Research Lab, or AIR Lab. It recruited Kim Jeong-hee from Naver’s equivalent unit to head the lab.

According to the announcement, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will both establish headquarters in Russia to promote localized management.

The two brands have been pushing for regional headquarters to encourage more flexibility at the local level. Hyundai Motor has already established headquarters in North America, Europe and India. Lee Young-taek and Jeong Won-jeong have been appointed as the respective heads of the Russian headquarters of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

“The Russia headquarters will respond flexibly to local demand in Russia and Eastern Europe in areas like product planning, production and merchandise as well,” the carmaker said in a written statement.

Hyundai and Kia plan to open new headquarters in all global markets by next year.

Hyundai Motor posted dismal earnings on Thursday, recording a 67 percent year-on-year drop in net profit in the third quarter.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]