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What do you guys think? Is Kia and Hyundai too alike? Should they do more to differentiate themselves from each other?



The design director now responsible for both South Korean sister brands Kia and Hyundai, says their vehicles must be differentiated by more than just styling.

Recently promoted from being solely responsible for design at Kia to also assuming control of the styling direction of Hyundai, Peter Schreyer is only two months into his dual role and says he does face a challenge to ensure the two brands have sufficient individuality.

“The challenging thing is to separate the two as much as we can,” said the former Volkswagen and Audi designer.

“That’s not the only thing; we need a strong direction for both.

“Kia and Hyundai are like two young plants that need to be watered and cut once in a while, so both can grow.”



Schreyer said there were already differences between the brands that could be further developed.

“Kia is more the youthful challenger, very fresh, a new brand. Hyundai is more on the elegant side, more on the classic side without the negative connotation. It is the mother company.

“I think it takes time [to establish clear identities]. The difficult thing is that both have a similar product range and both have a short history.

“Give us some time to work on that. I think you can see the difference now. A substance is there on both sides.

“I think it is [important to make them distinctive]… not only different by styling; it needs more than that.”



Kia and Hyundai achieve significant economies of scale by sharing vehicle platforms, components, engines and research and development costs. Schreyer, though, believes it’s important for the brands to each feature certain vehicles that aren’t replicated by the other. He pointed to the rear-wheel-drive Kia GT performance car concept (pictured top) as one example. Kia also showcased the Provo concept at this year’s Geneva motor show, a model that could become a challenger to the Mini.



Schreyer said concept cars such as the GT, which he hopes will go into production, had also contributed to the progress of Kia’s brand image and establishing an identity that was publicly recognisable. Asked about his views on Hyundai’s current design language, Schreyer said he was impressed with the company’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ theme but said there was room to improve it.

“Hyundai has fluidic sculpture as a description of its design language and I think this is something that can be further developed,” he said.

“What I really like and respect is that Hyundai has been quite daring. It has created its own direction and form language that does not look like it copied someone else.

“The way it has been exaggerated has sometimes been a little over the top.”
http://www.caradvice.com.au/218783/kia-hyundai-must-be-separate-beyond-styling-says-new-design-boss/
 

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Their luxury division needs to branch out like what Toyota did with Lexus.

The sooner this happens the better. At least this way it will force them to produce even better luxury vehicles.
 

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I see Kia as having a more well developed brand than Hyundai. Kia has a fun, youthful and playful vibe. It has bright colored cars that are marketed towards younger people. Hyundai on the other hand has a less specific brand identity. This is partially because it is playing to a wider audience. nevertheless, it is exciting to hear this executive talking about further development of both brands.
 

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Are they not already different? I can recognize a KIA when I see one. The design language is not related in my eyes.
They obviously are different in some ways. As they say in SE Asia they are "same same but different."

I think that the two brands are different but look quite similar. They could definitely have more distinct brand identities. The new Kia concept car is on the right track to distinguishing Kia more from Hyundai.
 

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Look they cant be too different or else they throw away their scale advantage in manufacturing. Hyundais and KIAs will still be produce modular vehicles but its the experience they are attempting to change. I see this similar to what Pontiac was to Chevrolet in the 60s and 70s. Chevrolet was mainstream and a little more luxurious while Pontiac was no frills and go fast. The Chevelle and the GTO were identical mechanically but the GTO has a certain mean streak to it that the Chevelle just doesnt, and thats purely psychological.
 

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Look they cant be too different or else they throw away their scale advantage in manufacturing. Hyundais and KIAs will still be produce modular vehicles but its the experience they are attempting to change. I see this similar to what Pontiac was to Chevrolet in the 60s and 70s. Chevrolet was mainstream and a little more luxurious while Pontiac was no frills and go fast. The Chevelle and the GTO were identical mechanically but the GTO has a certain mean streak to it that the Chevelle just doesnt, and thats purely psychological.
So you see Hyundai as being a bit more luxurious and mainstream, whereas KIA will end up being fun and slightly more outside the box, also younger?
 

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i think it's tough to say at this time which brand will be the true luxury brand, they seem to offer almost the same stuff. So far Kia seems to be more focused on luxury with cars like the Cadenza and Quoris.
 

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So you see Hyundai as being a bit more luxurious and mainstream, whereas KIA will end up being fun and slightly more outside the box, also younger?
Essentially, the vehicles they produce are identical and the two brands have not made much effort price wise to distinguish from one another. Theres nothing about a KIA thats outside of the box, at least when compared to Hyundai. One of the two will have to move upmarket in order to make room for the other to grow.

Look at the Japanese brands, they all have their mainstream brand and then a second luxury brand. The cars are essentially identical but the price gap is significant.

You cant have a model lineup that includes a $15k tin box and a $70k luxury saloon, brand perception just doesnt work in that way
 
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