Hyundai and Kia designs have always been a ‘rojak’ patchwork of other car designs and they know it, and admit it. We have the new Sonata looking like an Accord, and the previous generation Sonata looking like a Jaguar, the new Kia Sportage looking like a Volvo XC90, just to name a few examples.

Hyundai Group Chairman Chung Mong Koo decided it’s time for Hyundai and Kia to develop it’s own proprietary brand identity and styling language and has invested USD$50 million for two design studios in Irvine, California.

To head these design studios, Chung pulled Joel Piaskowski and Tom Kearns from General Motors, and put them in charge of Hyundai America and Kia America’s design houses respectively.

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