Hyundai's Genesis hires away top Bentley designer

Hyundai is getting serious about its Genesis luxury brand.

Hyundai's newly-minted Genesis luxury brand has lured away Bentley's chief exterior designer.

Hyundai is hoping to make a big splash in the market with its new Genesis brand, and the luxury division is already making waves with some notable high-end talent acquisitions. After landing Bentley design head Luc Donckerwolke, Hyundai has lured away Bentley exterior design lead Sangyup Lee.

Hyundai has yet to confirm Lee's appointment, and Bentley has only said that he "has resigned from Bentley to take a position at another brand.” However, Lee confirmed to Reuters that he's accepted a position with the Korean automaker as vice president in charge of Hyundai and Genesis design.

Lee, 46, has a few notable designs under his belt, including the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro and Bentley's Bentayga SUV. Lee had been with the Volkswagen Group, parent company of Bentley, since 2012.

Lee is planning a "clean sheet” design for futures Genesis models, with a heavy emphasis on autonomous mobility.

"For decades, luxury brands such as Bentley, Aston Martin and Maserati have been about possession," he said. "In the future, as disruptive technologies kick in, luxury is going to be about experience. People are going to look for a special experience rather than something special to own.”

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