Interview with Tom Kearns, Chief Designer of Kia Design Center America

The US online magazine Post-gazette had an interview with Chief Designer of Kia Design Center America, Mr. Tom Kearns, during the grand opening of the new state-of-the-art Kia Design Center America.

Prior to joining Kia, Tom worked for GM, where he oversaw the design and development of the Cadillac CTS. When he joined Kia, he was hired as a chief designer. Since then, he created some of the best looking Kia concept cars including the original Soul concept, award winning KUE crossover and the stunning Kia KOUP concept.


Here are some key points out of the interview:

Chiefs in Korea realize that design is one of the key components that Kia needs to become one of the leading automotive brands.

At the moment, some Kia cars lack more personality.

The future design will be more emotional.

The Soul has a big fun factor to it and is something that’s different. Hopefully, it’s something that you look at and find desirable to own and drive.

The KOUP TWOO-DOOR is designed to be a very affordable front-wheel-drive sporty coupe that could get a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Proceed here to read the interview.

13 thoughts on “Interview with Tom Kearns, Chief Designer of Kia Design Center America

  1. Nice find! That eally says alot about how we can predict the look and feel of Kias vehicles. I have thought that from day 1 Hyundai and Kia needed separate brand images. Even though I often hear “Whoa, that’s a Kia???” from people I am selling cars to (Mostly the Optima, which with appearance pakage, rear spoiler, and tinted windows is the best looking Kia you can currently buy). The Kias that need redesign the most (look too much like Hyundais) Spectra (done), Sedona, and Sportage.

  2. Williams Kia. The biggest inventory of Kia vehicles at a dealership in North America. They have 400-500 cars on the lot at any given time. Yes, I have a website for my Kia sales and everything. I sell them for the salesman. I have the website on business cards all around town. I usually can sell 3+ per week. $200 apiece. Click on my name to check out my website.

  3. i had no idea that Tom came from designing Caddys to Kias. So they have Audi-man Peter and Caddy-man Tom. GREAT cars can come of this. HURRY THE F UP!!! lol.

  4. after we add our 3rd store we will probly have between 600-700 New Kia’s in our inventory. We will also own the Philadelphia market for Kia.

  5. Now where did himi go? I sent him hot news, but he hasn’t posted it yet. A little early for another vacation, don’t ya think?

  6. Hey Greg, thanks for the news, I’ll post it up right now I was out of town for two days (again) and just came back home.

  7. Tom and his design team should know that they have the respect of many architects.
    The ability to create design excellence, for every day use, at an affordable price is a very tough challenge and more so for automobiles where the final product is far from the original conception.

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