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Kia/Hyundai shared components boost design differences

By Byron Mathioudakis, 12 May 2014 News

Kia/Hyundai shared components boost design differences

Under-the-skin twins means there is much more scope for design variation between the Korean marques

Shared platform and drivetrain components are helping Kia and Hyundai achieve greater styling differentiation than they would if they featured unique mechanicals.

This is according to Hyundai and Kia’s global design president, Peter Schreyer, who added that it frees up funds that can be channelled into better design for both brands.

Speaking at the New York International Auto Show on the day of the world premiere of the third-generation Kia Carnival people mover, the former Audi designer said that this approach has resulted in a very clear brand identification benefits for both marques.

“This is for economics,” he said, “… and it is something that everybody is pursuing.

“It helps to put the costs down and it offers the possibilities for designers and engineers to create different types of cars – and even the possibility of even more different varieties of cars than we would be able to make if I had to develop a new platform all the time.

“So it is a very natural thing.”

Last year, Mr Schreyer described to Wheels that the current models that Kia and Hyundai offer respectively as being like the difference between a snowflake for the former and a raindrop for the latter.

“Kia is more youthful, more of the challenger, fresher and somehow still perceived as a new brand,” he said.

“Meanwhile Hyundai is more about elegance – and without the negative connotation – more on the classic side.”

While Mr Schreyer joined Kia Motors in 2006 and quickly helped to radicalise what were hitherto considered dull and derivative looking vehicle styles, his tenure as concurrent design boss at Hyundai has only been in effect for about 18 months.