Hyundai has announced that Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer at Kia, will now head the design centres of both Korean companies in an attempt to streamline resources, create synergy between the two sister brands and strengthen competitiveness through qualitative growth.

Schreyer is tasked with leading a long-term design strategy, overseeing Hyundai Motor Group’s design resources, and cementing Hyundai and Kia’s differentiation strategies according to their respective brand directions.

“Strengthening our fundamentals, especially in the area of design, is imperative to secure long-term competitiveness,” said VC of Hyundai Motor Group’s Korean R&D centre Woong-Chul Yang.

“Design is not just the most visible aspect of the car, but it’s an area customers have a strong emotional connection to. It is at the center of our efforts to enhance our brand value.”

Aged 60 this year, Schreyer was once head of design at Audi and Volkswagen where he was responsible for cars such as the original TT, Passat and New Beetle, but he is perhaps most well-known for his association with Kia, where he penned the distinctive ‘Tiger Nose,’ giving a face to the brand. Most, if not all, modern Kias owe their aesthetics to Schreyer and his team.

Recently the Bavarian-born designer was appointed a president at Kia, becoming the first non-Korean to hold the position in the company’s history.