Hyundai hires ex-BMW executive for newly launched performance car unit

By Kim Bo-gyung

Published : Mar 1, 2018 - 15:05
Updated : Mar 1, 2018 - 15:32

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s leading automobile manufacturer, has launched a new division for high performance cars and motorsports, and appointed a former BMW M executive as vice chief, the company said Thursday.

The new division will focus on expanding Hyundai’s presence in the global performance car arena by adding new performance models and releasing Veloster N, a high performance version of its hatchback, this year, the company said. 

Hyundai’s performance car lineup i30 N (Hyundai Motor)

Thomas Schemera, former executive of BMW M North America, was named vice president of the new division, it added.

Hyundai Motor has been investing in high performance vehicles and motorsports business in recent years to obtain an upper-hand in technical skills and restore its brand image.

In 2015, it recruited Albert Biermann, a former vice president of engineering at BMW M Automobiles. Biermann serves as president of the carmaker’s performance development division, a predecessor of the new unit. 

Thomas Schemera, former executive of BMW M North America, is to head Hyundai’s high performance vehicle and motorsports division. (Hyundai Motor)

Schemera, as the new vice president of the unit will map out the direction of Hyundai’s performance car business and inject innovation by building on 30 years of know-how and experience at German luxury carmaker BMW. The position of Biermann remains undecided, an official at the company said.

Since joining BMW as an engineer in 1987, Schemera has held various posts, including four years at BMW China between 2005 and 2008. Prior to joining Hyundai, he served as an executive of BMW M North America from 2015.

Hyundai said Schemera will collaborate with Biermann to develop performance cars equipped with driving dynamics and philosophy unique to Hyundai.

Hyundai’s rally car i20 R5 went on sale worldwide in September 2016, while its latest circuit race car i30 N TCR was rolled out last November. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (


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