Hyundai Motor Group president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer has been named the recipient of the 2013 Honorary Golden Steering Wheel for his "outstanding achievement in the automotive industry."
Since 1976, the Golden Steering Wheel Award has been given to the best new-car models in Europe for the year, with the Honorary Golden Steering Wheel being given to the industry's leaders since 1983. Schreyer's award is significant since he is only the second designer to receive the award in its 31-year history after Giorgetto Giugiaro got it in 1995.
A product of the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the London Royal College of Art, Schreyer's foray into car design started with the Volkswagen Group where he was responsible for the design of its pioneering models like the Audi TT and Volkswagen's new-style Beetle and Passat.
Upon joining Kia as its chief design officer in 2006, Schreyer developed a design philosophy--capped by the Korean carmaker's signature Tiger Nose radiator grille--"that stands for simplicity and clarity." Kia's new design language contributed greatly to the brand's success within the past five years as Kia doubled its global sales. In 2012 alone, Kia reportedly sold more than 2.7 million cars.
Proof of Schreyer's successful influence in the flair and appeal of Kia's designs are the wealth of awards the carmaker has achieved since he joined its ranks. With the prestigious Red Dot design awards alone, 10 Kia models have received the coveted citation with the Optima and the Pro_Cee'd even receiving the "Best of the Best" award.
In the beginning of 2013, Schreyer was appointed president of all Hyundai-Kia design centers and tasked with the overall design responsibility of what is now the world's fifth largest carmaker.
"Kia Motors Corporation gave me the unique opportunity to start from scratch and give an automobile brand a completely new, characteristic face," said Schreyer upon accepting the award. "Overall design responsibility for the entire Hyundai Motor Group has added to this the exciting challenge of taking the Hyundai design forward and at the same time clearly differentiating the design strategies of the two brands."