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Thursday, February 9, 2017

BMW steals Skoda's design boss


BMW has confirmed that Jozef Kaba?, the man behind the bullish look of the Bugatti EB16.4 Veyron and current head of design at Skoda, will become its new head of design, replacing  Karim Habib.
 
The 44-year-old Slovak, who rose to prominence within the design operations of the Volkswagen Group, will lead a team of designers responsible for the BMW brand, working under overall BMW Group design director Adrian van Hooydonk.
Responding to the news, Skoda has thanked Kaba? for his contribution to the Czech based car maker's success, saying he has "significantly influenced the design and emotionality of the brand".
"We would like to thank Jozef Kaba? for his performance and wish him well in his future endeavours," a Skoda statement issued on Wednesday read.
ince joining Skoda in 2008, Kaba? has revolutionised its design ethos, earning many plaudits along the way. Kaba?'s credits feature the current range of Skoda models, including the recently introduced fourth-generation of the modern day Octavia, the new Kodiaq SUV and the upcoming second-generation Yeti due out in 2018.
 
A specialist in exterior design, Kaba? studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia, from 1991.
 
In 1997, as a student financially supported by Volkswagen, he received a Master of Art degree from London's Royal College of Art.
 
During his studies, he took part in a Skoda design competition, in which he came second, and was subsequently offered a job at parent company Volkswagen, initially as a junior assistant of design and later as an exterior designer.
After joining Volkswagen in 1999, Kaba? penned the design for the original Bugatti EB16.4 Veyron under the direction of Volkswagen's former head of design, Hartmut Warkuss. Kaba? also designed the Volkswagen Lupo and its sister car, the Seat Arosa.
Kaba? moved to Audi in 2003, where he was made of head of exterior design before heading up design operations at Volkswagen's Czech sister brand, Skoda, in 2008.

 
Kaba? will take up his new position at a time when BMW is showing a change in the direction of its styling. Recent concepts from the German car maker, such as the new Range Rover Evoque-rivalling BWW X2 concept, reveal a more dynamic lineage than earlier production models, with a focus on the lucrative lifestyle led compact SUV market.
 
The new head of design for BMW's i and M performance car sub-brands has also been announced: Domagoj Dukec, who has been with BMW since 2010.
 
A new head of design for the BMW-owned Mini brand is still being sought following the departure of Anders Warming to Borgward in August 2016.
 
Kaba?'s predecessor at BMW, 47-year-old Karim Habib, meanwhile, has been linked with Volkswagen. Sources suggest Lebanon-born Habib could become head of brand design at Volkswagen, headed by his former BMW colleague Herbert Diess. Diess was previously head of research and development at BMW.


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