SEOUL: There's no dearth of jobs waiting for Karim Habib. The ex-Infiniti design chief landed on his feet with Kia offering him the same post.
As Kia senior vice president and head of its design centre, he will be responsible for the design of vehicles. He will oversee the work of Kia’s exterior, interior, colour, and material teams, and help determine the future design strategy and direction of the Kia brand, reporting to Luc Donckerwolke, executive vice president and chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
He reports for duty in October and will be based at Kia’s global design headquarters in Namyang, South Korea.
He left Infiniti after only just two years in the posting. Before that, he had worked as design head for BMW.
Born in Lebanon, Habib studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Canada, as well as Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design in California. He is fluent in English, French, German, and Italian.
The Kia Design Centre in Namyang is the hub of Kia’s global models, responsible for overseeing all aspects of vehicle design – from conceptualisation and modelling to styling and development of colour and materials.
The design centre operates as part of the brand’s global design network, with regional design centres in the US and Europe.
Karim Habib career highlights:
2017 ~ 2019: Executive Design Director Infiniti, Nissan Motor Company
2012 ~ 2017: Head of Design BMW Automobiles, BMW Group
2011 ~ 2012: Head of Exterior Design BMW Automobiles, BMW Group
2009 ~ 2011: Senior Manager Advanced Design Germany, Daimler
2007 ~ 2009: Chief Designer Advanced Design, BMW Group
2004 ~ 2007: Senior Designer (Exterior Production Design), BMW Group
2002 ~ 2003: Exterior/Interior Designer - Advanced Design, BMW Group
1998 ~ 2001: Exterior/Interior Production Designer, BMW Group