Hyundai grabs BMW designer Chris Chapman

2008 BMW 1 Series

On the heels of BMW and Audi, Hyundai continues to find ways to compete with the finer European brands; first they open a design center in California like BMW, and now they have just tapped Chris Chapman of BMW X Coupe fame.

Hyundai’s head of design, SukGeun Oh said of Chapman: “With over 22 years of experience in the industry working on esteemed automotive brands, Chris provides a level of talent that will help further our design portfolio…we are thrilled to have Christopher Chapman as chief designer for Hyundai and look forward to continuing the strong momentum of our vehicle designs.”

The change comes after a strong wave of Hyundais, which pulled prospective Lexus customers away from the Japanese marque and into the emerging premium South Korean offerings. As cars are the second largest investment the average person makes over a lifetime, the decision often is based on design and other right-brain variables: Hyundai is not resting on their laurels.

Chapman may have worked for BMW most recently (the 1er, X5 and X3), but he was also successful in the early nineties, winning best in show at the ‘93 Tokyo Motor Show for the Isuzu XU-1 concept.

– By: Sawyer Sutton