Kia Motors Corporation has appointed Karim Habib as Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Design Center. He will take up his new post at the start of October and will be based at Kia’s global design headquarters in Namyang, Korea.
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Responsible for the design of Kia vehicles, Habib will oversee the work of Kia’s exterior, interior, color, and material teams, and help determine the future design strategy and direction of the Kia brand, reporting to Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
Habib had been the Head of Design for BMW since 2012 and led the design of many great BMWs. He first started with the brand in 1998, working there for over a decade. He then left in 2009 to join a different rival brand in Mercedes-Benz. However, he left Mercedes to come back to BMW in 2011.
Born in Lebanon, Habib studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Canada, as well as Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design in California. He is fluent in English, French, German, and Italian.
“Kia is a growing, ambitious brand on a determined path toward electrification and mobility innovation,” said 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. I look forward to working with CDO Donkerwolke whose work I have admired for many years, as well as the Kia design team that has created some truly remarkable designs.”
“SVP Habib will be an asset for the Kia brand with his international background and global experience,” said Donckerwolke. “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.”
Karim Habib career highlights:
2017 ~ 2019: Executive Design Director INFINITI, Nissan Motor Company
2012 ~ 2017: Head of Design BMW Automobiles, BMW Group
2011 ~ 2012: Head of Exterior Design BMW Automobiles, BMW Group
2009 ~ 2011: Senior Manager Advanced Design Germany, Daimler
2007 ~ 2009: Chief Designer Advanced Design, BMW Group
2004 ~ 2007: Senior Designer (Exterior Production Design), BMW Group
2002 ~ 2003: Exterior/Interior Designer – Advanced Design, BMW Group
1998 ~ 2001: Exterior/Interior Production Designer, BMW Group