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Ex-BMW official to head design for Hyundai cars

Dec. 23, 2011 - 14:31 By

A captured photo from SBS`s TV drama "Secret Garden" (SBS)

Hyundai Motor tops German quality report for second consecutive year

Hyundai Motor said Friday that former BMW designer Christopher Chapman will lead the carmaker’s global design initiative as chief designer at the Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. in the United States.

Chapman takes over from Philip Zak, who joined Hyundai Motor from General Motors in 2009 and recently returned to GM.

The company expects that Chapman will strengthen Hyundai’s new automobile design and support the ongoing regeneration of its model range.

“With the renowned designer, the HATCI, located in Irvine, California, will develop innovate designs aimed at global markets,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement.

Chapman’s career spans some 22 years, beginning with his hire by Isuzu in 1989. At Isuzu, he was responsible for the exterior styling of the XU-1 show car, which took the Best Concept award at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show.

In 1994, Chapman joined BMW’s Designworks USA, where he was tasked with exterior styling of the BMW X5 crossover and the X Coupe concept car. His work with the German automaker ultimately produced the new X5, X3, Z4 and initial 1-Series coupe.

In recent years, Chapman has directed the Transportation Design group at Designworks, which works on aviation, marine and public mobility design instead of automotive design.

Hyundai Motor America president and COE John Krafcik said “We are proud to add such a talented individual to lead the team of dedicated designers at the HATCI that will continue to develop innovative vehicles for both the United States and global auto markets.”

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor came out on top in a “quality” report compiled by the German auto publication Autobild, the company said Friday.

According to Hyundai, the company ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year among the 20 brands analyzed by the publication.

Hyundai Motor surpassed German players, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen, and Japanese competitors like Toyota Motor and Honda Motor.

This report is based on the analysis of several categories including the result of a survey of motorists, frequency of maintenance service campaigns and guarantee programs.

The company was ranked 11th in 2007 and at fifth in 2008. The survey was not conducted in 2009.

Hyundai has been showing an impressive sales increase in overseas markets, boosted by its upgraded brand image and recognition in recent years.

Company executives ascribe the latest briskness to the group’s management strategies in local markets on top to efforts to make quality products and fortify marketing activities.

By Kim Yon-se


현대차, 현빈의 BMW z4 디자이너영입

현대자동차는 미국디자인센터의 수석 디자이너로 BMW 출신인 크리스토퍼 채프먼을 영입했다고 23일 밝혔다.

이 자리는 현대차가 제너럴모터스(GM)에서 영입했던 필립 잭 전 수석 디자이너가 '친정'인 GM으로 돌아간 이후 1년 가까이 공석이었다.

채프먼은 1989년 이스즈의 미국기술센터에 입사해 자동차 디자이너로 첫발을 내디뎠고 1993년 도쿄모터쇼에서 XU-1 콘셉트카로 베스트 콘셉트카상을 받으면서 이름을 알렸다.

1994년 BMW그룹의 디자인웍스USA로 옮긴 이후에는 BMW의 다양한 콘셉트카와 양산차 디자인에 참여해 SAV(Sport Activity Vehicle) X5와 X 쿠페 콘셉트카 등의 대표작을 냈다.

이후 X5, X3, Z4 및 BMW 1 시리즈 E87 등 디자인에 참여하며 유명세를 떨쳤고 2008년부터는 자동차뿐 아니라 항공, 보트, 대중교통을 포괄하는 수송기기 실장을 겸임했다.

현대차 관계자는 "이번 영입을 계기로 앞으로도 미국시장은 물론 글로벌시장을 공략할 수 있는 혁신적인 디자인을 개발해 나갈 것"이라고 말했다.