Karim Habib Named Head of Kia’s Global Design HQ
Kia has announced that it has appointed Karim Habib as senior vice president and head of its global design headquarters in Namyang, Korea.
The latter location is home to the Kia Design Center, which is seen as the “birthplace” of the brand’s global models, being responsible for overseeing all aspects of vehicle design – from conceptualisation and modelling to styling and development of colour and materials.
Habib, who is expected to take up his new post at the start of October, will oversee the work of the company’s exterior, interior, colour, and material teams, reporting to Luc Donckerwolke, executive vice president and chief design officer at parent brand Hyundai.
Habib’s most recent role was as executive design director at Infiniti, overseeing the design of brand’s latest concept cars such as the Prototype 10 speedster. He worked previously with both BMW and Mercedes.
Born in Lebanon, Habib originally studied mechanical engineering at McGill University in Canada, and then transportation design at the Art Center College of Design in California. He is said to be fluent in English, French, German, and Italian.
“Kia is a growing, ambitious brand on a determined path toward electrification and mobility innovation,” says Habib. “I am thrilled to be a part of this transformation to strengthen the Kia brand further into the future of the automotive industry, which promises to be full of challenges and opportunities.”
“We highly appreciate Karim’s talent and experience. He is joining Kia at a crucial moment to project the brand into the future of mobility and to reinforce the young-spirited and motivated design team which has won numerous international design awards,” adds Donckerwolke.