A Southern California native, Christopher Chapman started out with Isuzu after graduating from the Art Center College of Design. But since 1994 he's been at BMW, working his way up the ladder until he was named its director of automotive design (in 2002) and all of the group's transportation design (in 2008). Along the way he's been credited with designing the X5, X3, Z4 and 1 Series, to say nothing of several concept cars.
In his new capacity at Hyundai, Chapman will serve as the Korean automaker's chief designer in America, overseeing and directing the styling of Hyundai's new production and concept vehicles from its facility in Irvine, California. Details in the press release after the jump.
COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) announced that Christopher Chapman has been named chief designer of the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif. Chapman will be responsible for new vehicle and concept design for Hyundai.
"With over 22 years of experience in the industry working on esteemed automotive brands, Chris provides a level of talent that will help further our design portfolio," said SukGeun Oh, Head of Design, Senior Executive Vice President Hyundai Design Center. "We are thrilled to have Christopher Chapman as chief designer for Hyundai and look forward to continuing the strong momentum of our vehicle designs."
Chris joined Isuzu Technical Center of America in Cerritos, Calif. in 1989 and was the designer selected for the exterior of the XU-1 show car, which won Best Concept at its 1993 Tokyo Motor Show debut. In 1994, Chris joined the BMW Group at DesignworksUSA in Newbury Park, California. Among the variety of concept and production programs, Chris designed the exteriors of the X5 Sport Activity Vehicle and X Coupe concept car. Chris and his family relocated to Munich, Germany for a two year assignment to immerse in the BMW culture. There he also designed the CS1 concept shown at the Geneva Auto Salon in 2002, followed by the 1 Series production Coupe and its derivatives.
In 2002, Chris was appointed Director of Automotive Design and has been responsible for guiding several advanced and production vehicles including the new X5, X3, Z4 and the first BMW 1-series E87. Since 2008, Chris has additionally directed the Transportation Design department, which includes Designworks' external partners in aviation, marine, and public mobility.
"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."
A native of Pasadena, Calif., Christopher Chapman graduated from Art Center College of Design with a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation Design.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance and the Hyundai Trade-in Value Guarantee. Hyundai is a registered trademark of Hyundai Motor Company. All rights reserved. ©2011 Hyundai Motor America.