South Koreans’ talents emerge in car design
In the car industry, car design is considered as one of the key factors conquering customers across the world. Korea is known for owning its global car designer teams.
Leading models such as Chevrolet Camaro, Bentley all represent the fame of Korean designers. Some experts also use the word "Italy of Asia" to talk about Korean designers’ influences on car design.
"Quality and technology among automakers are becoming more evenly matched, so that differences in design are emphasized," according to Reuters. "And South Korea is noted for its birth of many talented designers."
Famous designers such as Sangyup Lee, Jinwon Kim and Jay Jongwon Kim represent the generation of Korean car designers. They have worked in some US and European car brands, including Toyota, and their hometown’s two brands named Hyundai and Kia.
Sangyup Lee who directed the 2009 Camaro design.
Jay Jongwon Kim is next to the Opel Monza - the concept received a lot of praise from experts
Christine Park is now Cadillac's leading exterior designer.
Eight years ago, Sangyup Lee led a group of Korean, Russian and Brazilian designers redesigning the new Camaro for Genral Motors in 2009. He then moved to the Volkswagen, later to Bentley and moved to Hyundai. At Hyundai Design Center, he was assumed the position of Creative Vice President. Another member of the Camaro design team was former Korean designer Steve Kim, who is now the director of GM's design studio in Seoul. Sangyup Lee and Steve Kim worked in the basement of Sangyup Lee's house on the outskirts of Detroit. Every night, they came up with ideas with each other to design the new Camaro.
Another well-known car designer is Jay Jongwon Kim who moved to Mercedes-Benz in Yokohama and then moved to Opel, GM. At GM, he designed the Monza concept, which contributes to the success of the brand's new design.
GM Corporation, Detroit car maker which bought Daewoo Motors in 2002, has nearly 30 South Koreans among hundreds of experts working in the main design office in Michigan. The Korean designer group was also called the "K-Team".
Meanwhile, at Toyota, Jinwon Kim is the lead designer of the mid-size FJ-Cruiser SUV. Hubert Lee, a Korean designer working on Mercedes-Benz desinged the 2012 CLS. Jay Jongwon Kim, a star designer working at Opel designed the Monza concept, which received many praise from experts at the time of launch, at the Frankfurt show 2013.
Another example of the success of Korean car designers is Christine Park - the interior designer of the 2012 Cadillac XTS interior, a model that is responsible for restoring the brand image. She is currently Cadillac's leading exterior designer.
Christine Park said that the success of Korean car designers goes up with the development of fashion and architecture. Christine Park's parents wanted her to be a lawyer, a doctor or an engineer during her early childhood, but nowadays, art has been become familiar with people, which makes car design become an attractive sectors for many young individuals, she said.
By: Alan Smith