Hyundai and its affiliate Kia seem to have serious performance plans as the South Korean automakers have secured the services of Albert Biermann, formerly the top engineer for BMW’s M performance cars and SUVs.

Biermann has been named as the South Korean automakers’ executive vice president, the second-biggest foreign top manager, behind only the Group’s design chief Peter Schreyer, which also came from one of the German premium automakers – namely Audi AG. “We will have him in charge of developing high-performing vehicles and leading performance, safety, durability, noise oscillation and system development,” reads a statement from the South Korean carmakers.

Hyundai-Kia, which managed to become one of the top global automakers by pushing mostly affordable cars, is currently trying to rebuild its brand image to a new level both at home and overseas. Biermann, 57, worked with BMW for more than three decades and according to Hyundai-Kia, he will lead testing and developing performance cars at a research center in Seoul starting in April, but he would also use his extensive experience to give pointers on product strategy and marketing for the European market. The companies now envision a strategy in which they start to threaten on the continent the premium brands, much in the way German luxury automakers have started snatching market share from the duo at home in South Korea.

Via Automotive News Europe


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