Chinese carmakers Chery, Geely and Great Wall continue to improve engineering and design and cut into the market share lead held by foreign brands. And they are doing it in part by hiring talent from established global automakers.
Geely design is headed by former Ford and Volvo stalwart Peter Horbury, and ex-BMW designer Pierre Leclercq is Great Wall's chief style-maker.
The latest big hire: General Motors veteran Steve Eum, who left the SAIC-GM-Wuling Auto joint venture in China last year as design director, will join Chery as design chief.
Eum will replace James Hope, a former Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler designer who was named corporate design director at Chery in January 2012. Hope will continue to work for Chery, sources told Reuters.
Eum, a 50-year-old Korean-American, was an assistant chief designer at GM's advanced design studio in Southern California from 2000 to 2012 before moving to China as design chief for SAIC-GM-Wuling, the GM joint venture with SAIC Motor. He was responsible, among other things, for making the joint venture's Baojun cars, launched in 2011, sleeker. He also worked for Ford and Hyundai.