Exclusive interview: Karim Habib, EVP and head of Kia design

2023 Karim H presenting the Kia EV9

Kia is on an undoubted roll at present and head of design Karim Habib has been instrumental in its latest phase

The softly-spoken, Lebanese-born, Canadian-raised 53-year old made his name in the early 00s at BMW – including the 2007 CS concept which previewed the 7 Series Mk5 – and briefly joined Daimler in 2009, before rejoining BMW as head of exteriors and then becoming design director.

He moved to Infiniti design in January 2017, creating various acclaimed Q Inspiration concepts, before swiftly progressing to Kia in October 2019. In 2023 his first Kia production car – the EV9 – broke cover. Car Design News has caught up with him twice this year already, most recently at Milan Design Week and here are the highlights of those conversations, covering AI, digital assistants, Chinese rivals, art installations and designer sofas…

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