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Sr. Vehicle Development and Product Performance Engineer

Date: Oct 13, 2021

Location: Irvine, California, US, 92606

Company: Kia America, Inc.

At Kia, we’re creating award-winning products and redefining what value means in the automotive industry. It takes a special group of individuals to do what we do, and we do it together. Our culture is fast-paced, collaborative, and innovative. Our people thrive on thinking differently and challenging the status quo. We are creating something special here, a culture of learning and opportunity, where you can help Kia achieve big things and most importantly, feel passionate and connected to your work every day.

Kia provides team members with competitive benefits including premium paid medical, dental and vision coverage for you and your dependents, 401(k) plan matching of 100% up to 6% of the salary deferral, and time off starting at 14 days per year. Kia also offers company lease and purchase programs, company-wide holiday shutdown, paid volunteer hours, and premium lifestyle amenities at our corporate campus in Irvine, California.




The Forward Model Vehicle Development group works under collaboration with the Kia North America Ownership Experience Product Quality team to represent the voice of the North American customer in the development of new vehicle products through its integration with R&D, quality, planning, service, and marketing teams as vehicle concept materializes into reality.

Primary duties for this role will be to understand the definition and strategy of the new product to communicate and enforce these objectives to the respective development teams. This role shall also relay information from engineering teams back to the Regional HQ organization to ensure appropriate system and component quality is specified and adjust strategy as needed to ensure product success.

The engineer will be involved in each new vehicle program from initial product conception and definition through each development stage including clay model reviews, initial master prototype evaluations, prototype, and pilot stages. The position will be responsible for setting performance objectives based on product strategy and ensuring their adherence, therefore an engineer with strong vehicle evaluation ability, technical knowledge, and excellent communication skills is needed.

Since this role possesses the ability to strongly influence Kia NA’s future product offerings, competence and mastery of existing vehicle systems is required. This role will be heavily relied on as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for emerging vehicle technologies like ADAS, Advanced Powertrain, EV, Hybrid Systems, and alternative fuel systems. A strong foundation in conventional automotive disciplines related to vehicle dynamics (ride/steering/handling), NVH, powertrain systems, HVAC, and others must also be heavily relied upon to ensure success.

Major Responsibilities

Priority Major Responsibility %
1st Manage the product development Voice of Customer evaluation and verification process for all electrified vehicle platforms with KIA.   Ensure new product meets customer expectations, support assessment of new technologies, customer education strategies and ensure all new information exchange technologies do not negatively affect our customers (OTA updates, UVO app, etc) 30%
2nd Manage the evaluation and verification process of New Electronics and ADAS related features on new models and support service engineering team as required 25%
3rd Manages all media vehicle preparation requests, including tier 1 media, NPI events, BIS support with 3rd party testing, and other relevant projects wit PR and marketing teams 15%
4th Integrate with RHQ teams to ensure product vision is consistent to vehicle performance and attributes.  Relay information from development teams to ensure KMNA product expectations and documentation is accurate. 15%
5th Documentation Review 10%
6th Training / Administration responsibilities 5%



  • Minimum BS Mechanical/Electrical/Automotive Engineering degree from an accredited institution

Overall Experience

  • Minimum BS Mechanical Engineering degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in automotive development
  • Preferred 7+ years’ experience in engineering and product development
  • Strong working knowledge of automobiles with ability to perform hands-on diagnostic assessments along with automotive system mechanical and electrical work    
  • Must have deep understanding of vehicle development process from design stage all the way through manufacturing and start of production
  • Strong vehicle driving skills needed, involvement with auto racing preferred

Directly Related Experience

  • Desired experience in vehicle instrumentation and trouble shooting
  • EV product development or trouble shooting experience desired
  • Experience with vehicle computer systems calibration a plus (ECU/TCU/TCS/MDPS etc.)
  • Experience with ADAS and other newly emerging technologies a plus
  • Experience with vehicle dynamics and suspension tuning/evaluation desired


  • Must be willing to travel nationally and internationally as required to support testing and vehicle reviews.  Travel up to 50% of time.
  • Must have a current US Passport or equivalent valid documentation


Ability to work hands-on with mechanical and electrical systems, machining and fabrication skills a plus
Excellent communication skills required (written and oral)
Experience with ETAS INCA, Matlab, Vector products, Racelogic VBOX desired
Experience with NVH packages such as Siemens LMS Test.Lab, B&K, Head Acoustics Squadriga a plus
Knowledge of CAD packages such as Solidworks, Siemens NX, CATIA a plus
PC skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point
Strong technical report writing and oral communication skills


CHALLENGE - Solving Complex Problems
COLLABORATION - Building and Supporting Teams
CUSTOMER - Serving Customers
GLOBALITY - Showing Community and Social Responsibility
PEOPLE - Interacting with People at Different Levels


Equal Employment Opportunities

KUS provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, including pregnancy and childbirth and related medical conditions, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, legally protected physical disability or mental disability, legally protected medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, family care or medical leave status, protected veteran or military status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  KUS complies with applicable law governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which KUS has offices.  The KUS EEO policy applies to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, discipline, termination and all other privileges, terms and conditions of employment.


Disclaimer:  The above information on this job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification and for this position.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

Nearest Major Market: Irvine California
Nearest Secondary Market: Los Angeles

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