Car Industry

Hyundai Motor Group promotes Albert Biermann to head of R&D

Biermann is the first non-Korean to hold the position at the family-owned and operated group, which includes Hyundai and Kia.

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Albert Biermann is being promoted to head of research and development for Hyundai and Kia, and we hope this means we get more awesome Korean performance cars.

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Hyundai Motor Group is shaking things up by adding more non-Korean executives to its ranks. The most significant move yet is the installation of Albert Biermann -- aka the man behind the Kia Stinger and Veloster N -- as the head of research and development, according to a report Wednesday by Automotive News.

Biermann's promotion may reflect a new direction for the world's fifth largest car maker, which as a family-owned business has typically hired Koreans. Biermann joined Hyundai Motor Group, which includes Kia, back in in 2015 after serving as the vice president of engineering for BMW's M division. He was joined by fellow BMW expat Thomas Schemera earlier in 2018.

The policy of bringing in foreign executives has been spearheaded by Euisun Chung, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor and son of Mong-Koo Chung, group chairman and current octogenarian. Euisun Chung is thought by many to be next in line to run the Korean automaker.

Luc Donckerwolke, formerly of Bentley, has been appointed to oversee design for the brands while Schemera was promoted earlier this year to head of planning for autonomous, connected and electric cars.