Hyundai hire another ex-BMW exec to handle their performance cars
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Few cars on the market have a greater ambition that Hyundai's upcoming i30 N hot hatch. And you can toss the Veloster N into that mix, too.
Not only is it a pursuit of the best and most established from Europe — it puts itself in this position with almost no prior entries into the fierce performance game.
And yet, by pretty much all accounts thus far Hyundai have done it. We're yet to get our hands on the Bathurst and Nürburgring Nordschleife–tested i30 N, but we have driven a prototype — and it's very good.
Much of this is credited to the signing of Albert Biermann, but he's one of several former Beemer-heads to sign on with Hyundai and buddy company Kia. These include Pierre Leclerq and Fayez Abdul Rahman. Add to that too designers Luc Donckerwolke and Alexander Selipanov from Volkswagen Group as well as Peter Schreyer formerly of Audi.
Now they've announced that 55-year-old Thomas Schemera will be the executive vice president of Hyundai's newly formed High Performance Vehicle & Motorsport Division.
“Thomas Schemera is one of the most renowned experts in the high performance vehicle business with experience in all of the world’s major markets. I am excited he is joining us and I’m confident that his participation will help put Hyundai’s high performance vehicle business onto the fast track," says Albert Biermann.
Schemera (pictured above) worked with BMW for more than 30 years. He comes with an initial background in mechanical engineering, and has bolstered that with expertise in marketing and planning.
“I am thrilled to join Hyundai Motor, which is presenting incredible prowess in its high performance technologies through models like the i30 N, despite being relatively new to this competitive scene.” Mr. Schemera said.
“I will dedicate my expertise and knowledge obtained over my three-decade career to making a significant contribution to Hyundai’s development in this field and to provide pure driving pleasure to our customers.”
Hyundai have clearly approached this challenge with a mindset of beating the best by hiring the best, which shows a level of maturity and seriousness.
It's already been rumoured that an even harder, faster i30 N is on the horizon. One with all-wheel drive that will aim to take down the Volkswagen Golf GTI's big brother — the R — as well as the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS.
Those lofty targets, coupled with the manufacturer's desire to win the World Rally Championship, will need the right personnel to be steering the ship. And in this regard, Hyundai are preparing themselves for a grand transformation from underdog to contender.