Hyundai, Genesis Design Boss Hits the Road

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hyundai genesis design boss hits the road

The man behind the expressive designs rolling out of Hyundai and the newly sporty elegance of the fledgling Genesis brand is leaving the company. As reported by Automotive News, Luc Donckerwolke, who joined the automaker in 2015 after a prestigious career at Volkswagen Group, is stepping down as chief designer.

The automaker cites “personal reasons” for the resignation.

Joining the company’s design studio in 2015 and taking on the role of chief designer in 2018, Donckerwolke guided the shapes of numerous products during the Hyundai brand’s rapid pivot into All Things Crossover. At the same time, he busied himself crafting an image for a new premium brand — Genesis. As the recent G80 and GV80 show, Donckerwolke’s eye for upscale style can’t be denied.

Certainly, the 54-year-old Belgian’s previous gig designing Bentleys and Lamborghinis for VW Group helped in that regard.

“The group’s audacious and progressive attitude has allowed me to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo,” Donkerwolke said in a statement. “I have enjoyed the trust given to me by the group to create a design ‘dream team’ that has defined a DNA for the future of these brands and digitalization of their design processes.”

Stepping up to fill the the void are Lee Sang-yup, vice president and head of the Hyundai Design Center, and Karim Habib, head of the Kia Design Center. The two will henceforth guide design at Hyundai Motor Group’s three automotive brands.

While the automaker said Donckerwolke resigned to spend more time with his family, one assumes he’ll pop up at another automaker before too long.

[Images: Hyundai, Genesis Motors]

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  • Jmo Jmo on Apr 29, 2020

    Some of you are a bit mistaken that this is all about safety regs. The reason you see amazing concept cars that don't end up in production has a lot to do with cost. Innovative designs can cost a lot more to manufacture and assemble. The question for the manufacturer is will people pay $1800 more for an innovate design? Or if we spend more on design but have to use cheaper interior materials and an 8" screen rather than an 10" screen, will consumers still buy? The answer in most cases is no. The designs you see are like they are because that's about as well as they can do with today's stamping and assembly technology.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on May 01, 2020

      Hyundai developed a process of stamping more complicated body panels w/o incurring a cost that would be prohibitive. That's why w/ the "fluidic sculpture" era of Hyundai design, many Hyundai models had "organic" body-lines (never really liked it, much preferred Kia's cleaner aesthetics). We can see that really being put into effect w/ the varying/multiple side character lines on the new Elantra which has been so polarizing. In the past, something like that would never have been attempted for a mainstream compact.

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    I have high enough IQ, even by Canadian standards, to recognize kitsch when I see one.

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