Hyundai’s Genesis brand boosts its credibility by hiring Sangyup Lee, lead designer for Bentley since 2012, as design chief for the Korean automaker’s luxury-market entry.
Lee will work with Luc Donckerwolke, who joined Hyundai last year after leaving his post as Volkswagen Group’s design chief for Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi.
Lee joins Hyundai in June and will report to Donckerwolke, who is global chief of Hyundai design and heads Hyundai’s Prestige Design Div.
Hyundai says in a statement Monday that, together with Donckerwolke, Lee will “enhance the design competitiveness of both the Hyundai and Genesis brands with his abundant experience in designing premium luxury vehicles.
“His challenging and innovative design languages fit well with the DNA of Hyundai Motor.”
Lee joined VW’s California design studio in 2010 after 10 years as lead designer with General Motors. At GM he was noted for his work on the sixth-generation Corvette and new-generation Camaro.
The 46-year-old Lee is among the best-known Korean-born automotive designers.
He graduated from Hongik University in Seoul with a degree in fine arts, specializing in sculpture. While studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, he worked as a contract designer for Porsche.
When he graduated in 1999 Lee was hired by GM to head design for the Corvette.
The Genesis program at Hyundai is being developed under the personal supervision of Vice Chairman Euisun Chung, the son of Hyundai Motor Group founder and Chairman Mong-koo Chung.