Reinventions | “A face for a car”

As told to Rose Kim


When Peter Schreyer was appointed chief design officer at Kia Motors in 2006, one of his first challenges was creating a recognizable look for what had been a nondescript marque. The German-born designer aspired to something as iconic as the BMW grille, which has been around for 100 years. Here he describes how the Kia Tiger Nose came to be.

“Think about a tiger’s face. You know, it’s very three-dimensional — with the mouth and the nose coming out with the nostrils and the whiskers and the eyes being very alert.”

“I was just working on the car and just thinking about different possibilities, and suddenly I found it.”

“If you would have all those cars next to each other, you can now see it’s a family of cars. Maybe one is more rounder and another one is more edgy. But you can see they come from the same farmer.”

“I want to work with the designers hand in hand. And you know, look at their sketches with them and look at the work on models, on the clay models, and say, ‘Don’t you think we should go this or that direction?’ ”

“I think if a car is edgy and young, for me it is always good. ... It’s not only the age, it’s the mind-set that is important.”


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