Hyundai Absconds With Another BMW Employee

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Hyundai has snagged itself another high-profile BMW veteran. Last time it was Albert Biermann, dynamics wizard and former head of BMW’s M line. This time it’s Fayez Abdul Rahman, BMW’s former head of M Equipment, M sport packages, and M performance vehicles.

Whereas Biermann is currently serving as Hyundai Group’s vice president in charge of performance and high-performance vehicle development for the group, Rahman will focus specifically on Genesis vehicles. He previously led concept and platform development for numerous model lines at BMW — including the X Series, 7 Series sedan, and various M brand vehicles.

At Hyundai, he’ll be responsible for doubling the size of Genesis’ fleet by 2020, via the gradual inclusion of crossovers.

“I am very excited to be a part of this dynamic organization and am impressed by the remarkable progress made by Hyundai Motor Group over the past decade,” Rahman said in a statement. “We want to develop a flexible and future-oriented vehicle architecture that is unique to Hyundai Motor Group, to secure competitiveness, especially in the areas of vehicle performance and quality,”

That architecture is eventually supposed to spill over into other Hyundai Motor Group vehicles and make Genesis a terror for premium brands offering similar high-end autos at a higher price point.

“Mr. Rahman is a world-class automotive engineering expert who has developed and led platform and architecture planning for a variety of performance and luxury models,” said Biermann. “His experience and knowledge will help us accelerate the development of new Hyundai Motor Group models and play a crucial role in upgrading our technology to move further toward our goal of making the class leading vehicles.”

[Images: Hyundai]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Kendahl Kendahl on Oct 31, 2017

    Interesting choice of new hires. I've read that the Lotus Elan was the inspiration for Mazda's Miata. Has Hyundai set its sights on BMW's M cars?

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Oct 31, 2017

    Based on the reviews of the G70 and Stinger (not just here, but around the world), got much of the fundamentals when it comes to handling, ride and steering feel (altho still could be better, but even BMW misses on that these days) right. The biggest albatross has been weight - which is due largely to not yet having developed a light weight platform(s) a la BMW, Cadillac, Jaguar, etc., along with going with an all-steel body (the 1G Hyundai Genesis had an aluminum hood, but was discontinued for the 2G). Rahman was probably hired to cut weight in future platforms, but Hyundai has to be careful here. Developing a costly light-weight platform doesn't = to sales success (see Cadillac and Jaguar, and even Audi for its sedans here in the US) as such cost have caused automakers to skimp elsewhere (mainly the interior which has hurt Cadillac and Jaguar). MB is still using "old-school" platforms and in doing so, have been able to sink more $$ into their interiors. The trick is to lose some weight, but not where it would be cost-prohibitive in providing what luxury buyers want. Probably will go with largely a steel architecture (even Audi is planning to move away from aluminum) and saving weight by bringing back aluminum bits (if Hyundai can go with an aluminum hood on the Ioniq, then they can do the same on the Genesis models) and with continued advances in ultra-high tensile steel.

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  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
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