Hyundai Chief Wins U.K. Prize for Turning Carmaker Around

  • By Ryu Jung

    June 10, 2021 13:34

    Chung Eui-sun

    Hyundai chairman Chung Eui-sun has won the Issigonis Trophy from Autocar magazine of the U.K.

    Autocar is the world's oldest automobile magazine and annually presents the accolade named for designer and engineer Alec Issigonis, who designed the early Mini.

    Previous winners include Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda in 2018, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in 2019, and Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson in 2020.

    "In the last decade [Hyundai] has grown into one of the world's leading car firms, and chairman Chung has been key to that transformation," Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said in a press release. "The transformation made by the company is unmatched in the industry in recent years."

    "While Hyundai and Kia were considered unexciting budget brands with limited market share just a decade ago, under [Chung's] leadership they have made incredible progress, winning market share and customers with cars that are the match of any mainstream rival," he added.

    Cropley said Hyundai has "become a true industry leader in both electric and hydrogen-powered cars. It is no longer trying to catch up to rivals: now other car firms are chasing it."

    "This is a result of a collective effort by all staff and executives," Chung said. "We will continue to contribute to human progress and generate more opportunities for our customers."

    Chung officially became chairman of the group in October last year but had been running it for some time on his elderly father Chung Mong-koo's behalf.

    As president of affiliate Kia from 2005 to 2009, Chung junior turned the company around, and as vice chairman of Hyundai he successfully launched the premium Genesis brand and high-performing N series of cars. Since 2018, when he became senior vice chairman, he has aggressively invested in future mobility projects such as eco-friendly self-driving cars and urban air mobility.

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