Hyundai and Kia have both been known to poach some of the biggest hitters in the automotive world, with a significant chunk of them coming from BMW. Past recruits have included Bavarian employees such as BMW M chief engineer Albert Biermann and designers Jochen Paesen, Won Kyu Kang, and Karim Habib.

Now, Kia is adding another name to that list with the announcement that John Buckingham, former BMW Group exterior designer and Creative Director of BMW Designworks USA, will join the automaker’s exterior design division.

British designer Buckingham spent the majority of his professional career at BMW, with 13 years at the German marque. He was in charge of the 2017 BMW 8-Series Concept, which later saw production. In 2018 Buckingham moved to Bentley Motors before heading to Faraday Future in 2022, and is credited with the final development of the FF91, which eventually entered production in March 2023.

Related: Kia Continues To Raid The BMW Employee Roster, Latest Is Designer Jochen Paesen

 Kia Adds Another Ex-BMW Designer To Its Payroll
BMW Concept 8-Series

Reporting to VP Teck Koun Kim — former Mercedes-Benz lead designer and now recently appointed as VP Head of Kia Next Design Group — Buckingham will be responsible for the outer design of Kia’s “new generation” models as Head of Kia Next Design Exterior Group. This will include drawing on his experience as a designer in the EV realm, with Kia’s next crop of vehicles heading in the electrified direction.

“It is with great honor and excitement that I join the Kia Next Design Exterior Group. I look forward to working with the hugely talented design team to help further define the brand’s Opposites United progressive design philosophy and apply this approach to the next generation of Kia vehicle exteriors. Together, we will build on the hugely impressive current products and work towards the next generation of design expression,” said John Buckingham.

advertisement scroll to continue

 Kia Adds Another Ex-BMW Designer To Its Payroll
Faraday Future FF91