2007 Kia Kee concept The 2007 Kee concept, among the first Kias to be penned under Schreyer’s guidance and one which pointed to the brand’s current design language.

The Bavarian native was quoted in 2007 as saying, “In the past, the Kia cars were very neutral.” That changed at the 2007 Frankfurt show with the debut of the Kia Kee concept, which set the tone for the Kias of today. At the time, Schreyer said that the coupe “represents the ‘key’ which will open the door to success for our brand.

While it’s unusual for a design executive to move to business management, it isn’t unprecedented. Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s senior vice president of design, was named to head Dodge in 2009, a post he held until 2011 when he was put in charge of the SRT division while retaining his design responsibilities.

By John Lamm