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Hyundai is definitely making a lot of noise lately in the industry, and this might be their biggest boast yet. Today, they announced that Christopher Chapman has been named chief designer of the Hyundai Design Center located in Irvine, California. Chapman, who was BMW’s Design Director will be responsible for new vehicle and concept designs for Hyundai.
Chapman began his career in 1989, joining Isuzu Technical Center of America and was the designer for the exterior of the XU-1 show car which won Best Concept back in 1993 at the Tokyo Motor Show. From there, he joined the BMW Group at DesignworksUSA in 1994 where he worked on a variety of projects and vehicles including the X5 Sport Activity Vehicle and X Coupe concept car. Chapman and his family also spent two years in Munich, Germany in order to soak in the BMW culture and subsequently, the European one as well. From there he designed the CS1 concept and the 1-Series production Coupe and its variants.
“Christopher Chapman is an outstanding addition to the design team at HATCI,” said John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer, Hyundai Motor America. “We are proud to add such a talented individual to lead the team of dedicated designers at HATCI that will continue to develop innovative vehicles for both the United States and global auto markets.”
Culturally diverse and clearly well-rounded, Chapman has worked for both a Japanese and German automotive manufacturer and now joins the ranks of a headlining Korean one. It will definitely be interesting to see his designs infused with Hyundai’s DNA.
It’s been years since George Bush was in office, but a trade bill from his presidency finally made it past the House and Senate.
The deal includes Columbia, Panama and South Korea to open trade between those countries and the U.S. with changes aimed to aid U.S. auto manufacturers.
“I’ve fought to make sure that these trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama deliver the best possible deal for our country, and I’ve insisted that we do more to help American workers who have been affected by global competition,” said President Obama, when asked about the deal.
Despite support from President Obama and many Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid disagreed. “I don’t favor these bills, but the majority of this Senate does, so it was important that we move forward,” he said.
Public Citizen, a watchdog group, also opposed the deal saying that it would make importing easier for foreign manufacturers but that the same balance wouldn’t be maintained for domestic companies.
While the deal is meant to open business traffic for both countries, the fact remains that South Korea is traditionally a very closed market, meaning U.S. manufacturers are likely to see less of an increase in exports out of the deal.
This could potentially help Hyundai-Kia, whose vehicles are already established in North American markets.
[Source: Left Lane News]