In a move reminiscent of Kia, Hyundai snagged a new design chief from a prestigious German automaker. Former BMW designer Christopher Chapman has been named chief designer of the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, California, and will be responsible for new vehicle and concept design for the Korean automaker.
“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,” said SukGeun Oh, Head of Design, Senior Executive Vice President Hyundai Design Center, in a press release. “We are thrilled to have Christopher Chapman as chief designer for Hyundai and look forward to continuing the strong momentum of our vehicle designs.”
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation Design from Art Center College of Design, Chapman began his career at the Isuzu Technical Center of America in California in 1989. He designed the Isuzu XU-1 concept car, which was named Best Concept of the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show. His career with BMW began in 1994, when he joined the company’s DesignworksUSA subsidiary. Chapman was appointed BMW’s director of Automotive Design in 2002, and the director of the Transportation Design department in 2008. Chapman has had a hand in shaping many notable concept and production models, including the X3, X5, Z4, the CS1 concept, and the first-generation 1 Series.
“Christopher Chapman is an outstanding addition to the design team,” said John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America, in a press release. “We are proud to add such a talented individual to lead the team of dedicated designers that will continue to develop innovative vehicles for both the United States and global auto markets.”