Hyundai hires BMW chief engineer

December 23, 2014
Albert Biermann

Albert Biermann

By Lee Hyo-sik

Hyundai Motor Group has hired BMW M’s chief engineer to head its premium, high-performance vehicle development unit, the company said Monday.

The move is part of Hyundai’s effort to compete with German and other European luxury carmakers.

Albert Biermann, 57, will start working from April 1 as vice president for Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Motors, leading their research and development of next-generation, high-performance vehicles, according to Korea’s largest automotive group.

He is also expected to head Hyundai Motor’s vehicle test division at its research facility in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, as well as play a part in drawing product and marketing strategies for Europe. Biermann is BMW M chief engineer.

“Global automakers these days have begun mobilizing substantial resources to develop and commercialize high-performance vehicles to showcase their technological prowess,” a Hyundai Motor Group spokesman said.

“Biermann, who possesses world-class engineering skills, will help us raise our product competitiveness to the level of European automakers, and emerge as a premium, high-powered automaker.”

Since joining BMW in 1983, Biermann has held various roles concerned developing and mass-producing high-performance vehicles. He was in charge of enhancing BMW vehicles’ driving performance, suspension ability, air-conditioning and other automobile systems.

He has been head of engineering for BMW M, the BMW subsidiary that develops and produces racing cars and other performance-enhanced vehicles.

“We have been trying to develop high-performing sports cars over the years. Biermann will help us achieve the goal,” the spokesman said. “We will first level up our technological knowhow and use it to develop and mass-produce a wide range of highly-efficient vehicles. When this happens, we will be able to further expand our global presence and join the ranks of the world’s elite automakers.”