Car Designer Peter Schreyer Awarded ‘Golden Steering Wheel’
Peter Schreyer, current President and Chief Design Officer of the Hyundai Group, has received the Honorary Golden Steering Wheel, awarded for outstanding achievement in the automotive industry.
It appears design in the automotive industry has never been as important as it is now – a statement substantiated by the decision of the jury of the 2013 Golden Steering Wheel awards.
Bavarian-born Schreyer has been Chief Design Officer at Kia Motors since 2006 and was appointed President of all Hyundai-Kia Design Centres at the beginning of 2013. With overall design responsibility for the world’s fifth largest car manufacturer, Schreyer is only the second designer in the 31-year history of the Golden Steering Wheel to receive the award. Giorgetto Giugiaro received it in 1995.
The most recent recipients of the award include Ferdinand Piëch, Chairman of the Volkswagen Supervisory Board (2012), Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company (2011) and Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW (2010). The competition is organised by Germany’s Bild am Sonntag and AutoBild, and the official presentation ceremony will take place on 12 November 2013 in Berlin.
Schreyer said: “I am exceedingly proud to receive this important award. It is a great honour for me personally, and at the same time it is recognition for our design teams all around the world who for years have been delivering such excellent work.”
The designer was responsible for creating Kia’s new winning design language, and his ‘Tiger Nose’ – the signature Kia radiator grille – has since become a key brand feature.
“Kia Motors Corporation gave me the unique opportunity to start from scratch and give an automobile brand a completely new, characteristic face. Overall design responsibility for the entire Hyundai Motor Group has added to this the exciting challenge of taking the Hyundai design forward and at the same time clearly differentiating the design strategies of the two brands,” explained the 60-year-old designer.
Peter Schreyer trained at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the London Royal College of Art, which presented him with an honorary doctorate in 2007. Prior to joining Kia, Schreyer was responsible for the design of cars such as the Audi TT, Volkswagen’s new-style Beetle and the Volkswagen Passat.
At Kia, Schreyer has developed a design philosophy that aims to communicate simplicity and clarity, which some analysts say has made a considerable contribution to the success of the brand – in the past five years, Kia has doubled its global sales and in 2012 sold more than 2.7 million cars. The Hyundai brand has also enjoyed strong growth in recent years, taking total sales to 7.1 million units last year. More than 155,000 of these cars went to Germany, where the group is presently the biggest car importer.
Under Schreyer’s leadership the Kia Design Studios in Korea, the United States and Frankfurt have created a number of new cars. These include the crossover Kia Soul, the compact SUV Kia Sportage, the Kia Optima and a succession of concept cars.
The Kia brand has already picked up a number of awards since Peter Schreyer joined the company’s ranks. In the red dot design awards, ten Kia models have been awarded the coveted red dot, with the mid-size saloon Kia Optima and the new Kia pro_cee’d even receiving the Best of the Best award. Experts have also praised the overall strategy of Kia’s brand design, and the jury of the Automotive Brand Contest awarded the manufacturer the Best of the Best prize in the 2011 Brand Design category.
The Golden Steering Wheel is considered to be one of the most important European automobile prizes. Founded in 1976, the award recognises the best new car models of the year, while the Honorary Golden Steering Wheel has been presented to leaders in the automotive industry since 1983.