June 1, 2023

Mechanic Escape

Built for the human race

Donckerwolke steps down as design chief at Hyundai Motor Group

TOKYO — Luc Donckerwolke, the cosmopolitan Belgian designer who overhauled styling at Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, is leaving the Hyundai Motor Team for particular reasons.

Donckerwolke’s resignation is successful April 29, according to an interior notice attained by Automotive Information.

His next vocation moves have been unclear.

Donckerwolke joined South Korea’s greatest automaker from Volkswagen Team in 2015 to guide design at the Hyundai and Genesis brands. He expanded that portfolio in 2018 to grow to be chief design officer of the whole Hyundai Motor Team, taking around the Kia marque as properly.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to add to the shaping of the long term of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis,” Donckerwolke, fifty four, reported in the assertion. “Their audacious and progressive attitude has authorized me to thrust the boundaries and problem the status quo.”

Hyundai Motor Team will not name a successor as chief design officer for the whole team. As an alternative, SangYup Lee will carry on in his part as head of design for the Hyundai and Genesis brands, although Karim Habib will remain at the helm of Kia right after becoming poached from Infiniti last calendar year.

Peter Schreyer, the German designer who was employed away from the Volkswagen Team and catapulted Hyundai design into world prominence, continues to be at the carmaker. He is president of design administration, although he has stepped back again from day-to-day involvement of studios.

Like Schreyer, Donckerwolke joined the Hyundai Motor Team from the VW Team, wherever he oversaw the Bentley, Lamborghini and Seat brands in addition to creating for Audi.

In South Korea, Donckerwolke still left his mark on a new era of models.

At the Hyundai brand, he moved away from a loved ones look that was extensive cultivated in prior generations of autos to make autos in various segments look like scaled-up or scaled-down variations of just about every other. As an alternative, Donckerwolke pushed for extra emotional, separately tailored styling that far better matched the character and aesthetic of just about every nameplate.

The new design language, dubbed Sensuous Sportiness, was developed with Lee and is becoming rolled out now in these types of autos as the redesigned Sonata sedan and the Palisade crossover.

At Genesis, Donckerwolke performed a pivotal part in giving the upstart top quality brand an impartial id and served it obtain a clear break from holdover Hyundai styling.

Genesis’ most current makeover aims for “athletic elegance” with an imposing crest grille, an arching parabolic character line that accentuates the sides and unique “two lines” signature quadlamps up entrance. The styling debuts in the new GV80 crossover and G80 sedan.

Donckerwolke presided around the opening of an expansive, condition-of-the art design studio for the Hyundai and Genesis brands at the group’s Namyang specialized centre south of Seoul. And he served usher in a new era of digital design perform that leverages virtual truth.

Albert Biermann, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D division, praised Donckerwolke’s contributions to lifting the graphic of the group’s brands.

“He has been a fantastic inspiration for all of us,” Biermann reported, “as a outstanding chief who effectively transformed the company’s design functions, taking it to the next level.”

Donckerwolke’s professional and principle models garnered many honors for the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, together with Pink Dot Style and design Awards, Concept Style and design Awards and iF Style and design Awards. In February, Donckerwolke was inducted into AutoBest’s DesignBest Corridor of Fame.