Hyundai, Genesis and Kia design chief Luc Donckerwolke resigns

Luc Donckerwolke has left Hyundai Motor Group after two years of overseeing the company’s global designing efforts. According to an internal memo sighted by Automotive News, Donckerwolke cited personal reasons for his departure.

The Belgian designer joined the South Korean giant in 2015 as the head of design for Hyundai and Genesis, later stepping up as the group Chief Design Officer and taking Kia under his purview in 2018, replacing Peter Schreyer in that role.

Luc Donckerwolke discussing the design of the Prophecy

Donckerwolke is the man behind Hyundai’s new “Sensuous Sportiness” design language. He is credited for the design of the all-new Hyundai Sonata, Elantra, i20, as well as concept vehicles such as the Prophecy and Le Fil Rouge.

The new design language at Genesis, characterised by two lines joining the front headlights to the taillights – as seen on the all-new G80, is also the work of Donckerwolke.

Prior to his stint at Hyundai Motor Group, Donckerwolke had a 23-year history at the Volkswagen Group, most recently the Director of Design at Bentley. His work at the group includes the Audi A2, Lamborghini Mucierlago and Gallardo, as well as the Bentley Flying Spur, among others.

All-new Hyundai Elantra, penned by Luc Donckerwolke
Donckerwolke was behind many of Hyundai’s more controversial styling, such as the all-new Elantra.

“It’s been an honour and privilege to contribute to the shaping of the future of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis,” Donckerwolke said in a statement. “Their audacious and progressive attitude has allowed me to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo.”

It is understood that no successor has been named for the position currently. SangYup Lee will continue serving as head of design at Hyundai and Genesis, while Karim Habib, previously at Infiniti, will be overseeing design efforts at Kia.


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