Belgian designer Luc Donckerwolke is headed to Korea to replace Peter Schreyer, who is currently in charge of design at Hyundai and Kia. It was announced earlier this month that Donckerwolke would be leaving the top post at Bentley design after only joining the brand in 2012. No reason was given for his sudden departure, leading to speculation he may have found a job with a rival firm. He was replaced at Bentley by Volkswagen Group design veteran Stefan Sielaff.
It's since been confirmed that Peter Schreyer, a former Audi designer from Germany praised for his key role in raising the bar for design quality at Hyundai and Kia, is set to retire in two years when his current contract expires. He is currently 63.
Donckerwolke was brought in early to give him time to transition into the corporate culture of the Hyundai and Kia brands, as well as life in the Korean capital of Seoul where he will be based. His main task will be to spearhead the design at Hyundai's new luxury brand Genesis.
Donckerwolke is one of the most experienced designers in the industry. Prior to taking up the design reins at Bentley, the 49-year-old headed advanced design for Volkswagen and also handled design for Lamborghini, where he came up with the designs for the Murciélago and Gallardo supercars. Recently, he made headlines when he criticized the new Lincoln Continental concept for its similarities with Bentley’s own Flying Spur.
Hyundia-Kia is working hard to improve the quality of its vehicles, inside and out. Late last year, the company also snagged long-time BMW M engineer Albert Biermann to help develop cars that offer more rewarding driving dynamics.