To cut a long story short: Ever since Schreyer has been in charge of the Korean company’s design, sales figures have almost tripled and the automotive group rose to become one of the world’s top five automotive companies – thanks in part to Schreyer’s work, as countless design awards attest. Today Schreyer is not only head of design at Kia, he is also president and head of design management at Hyundai Motor Group with its three brands Hyundai, Kia and Genesis. He is the first non-European on the board. His name is renowned even beyond the automotive world, and he has even established himself as an artist – though that is actually what he has always been.
Perhaps as early as June 15, 1958, when five-year-old Peter, sitting in his parents’ inn, grabs a pencil and a waiter’s pad and begins to draw. A tractor. A loader. A bulldozer. Vehicles with four wheels, the kind he sees in his immediate surroundings. Peter Schreyer grows up on a farm. He often spends Sundays with his grandparents. His grandfather is a carpenter, but also paints watercolors. The small workshop where he often takes his grandson is a source of inspiration for Peter Schreyer to this day. There, with the smell of wood, glue and oil paints, the boy learns how to give shape to his imagination. Toys and model airplanes are built, pictures are painted. “Your origins are a treasure that you can draw on for a lifetime,” says the now sixty-eight-year-old Schreyer, who has remained wonderfully modest throughout the years.