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Automobiles

Hyundai Honorary Chairman Chung inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame

He was the first Korean to receive the industry’s top honor, for guiding the group to place as No.5 carmaker

By Jul 23, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun receives his father's AHF induction award in Detroit July 22; at the ceremony he gave a speech on behalf of his father, Honorary Chairman Chung Mong-koo.
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun receives his father's AHF induction award in Detroit July 22; at the ceremony he gave a speech on behalf of his father, Honorary Chairman Chung Mong-koo.

Hyundai Motor Group Honorary Chairman Chung Mong-koo was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame (AHF) on Thursday, acknowledging his work in developing the group into the world’s fifth-largest automaker. He is first Korean to receive the accolade.

The AHF on July 22 held the 2020/2021 Induction and Awards Ceremony at the ICON Convention Center in Detroit. Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, along with other family members, attended the ceremony on behalf of the Honorary Chairman. The chairman and junior Chung accepted the award on behalf of his father. 

“Honorary Chairman Chung grew Hyundai Motor group into the world’s fifth-largest automaker from humble beginnings. If my father were here, he would say he owes this honor to our employees, dealers and fantastic customers,” said Chung Euisun in a speech.

“My father continued the legacy of my grandfather Chung Ju-yung, who founded Hyundai. He expanded the group’s presence globally and continued to pursue excellence in quality. He made the group something that employees and customers can all be proud of,” the Chairman said.

The AHF was established in 1939 to honor notable business leaders who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the automotive industry and mobility. Inductees include Ford Motor Co.’s founder Henry Ford, Karl Benz, who established Mercedes-Benz, and Thomas Edison, an American inventor.

The day before the induction ceremony, an engraving of Honorary Chairman Chung’s signature, along with the signatures of the other inductees, was placed on permanent display at the AHF.

The AHF noted Chung’s accomplishments, including the successful revitalization of Kia Corp. and the expansion of the group's global production bases.

'WE WILL BE THE NO.5 AUTOMAKER IN THE WORLD'
Honorary Chairman Chung checks a production line
Honorary Chairman Chung checks a production line

Chung started his career in the auto industry in 1970 as a manager at Hyundai Motor Co. He also worked at Hyundai Motor Company Service and Hyundai Precision Industry Co. During the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, he led the company's acquisition of Kia, turning it into a profitable company within the first year of acquisition.

In September 2000 when Chung became the first Hyundai Motor Group Chairman, he vowed to make the group the world’s fifth-largest automaker. The pledge became a reality in ten years.

Chung emphasized quality as a virtue that cannot be compromised. Thanks to his continued focus on quality, Hyundai and Kia vehicles now receive favorable reviews from global quality assessment agencies around the world.

Chung saw the potential in hydrogen energy and encouraged the development of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles ahead of competitors, allowing the company to introduce the world’s first mass-production hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle in 2013.

In recognition of these achievements, he was named Business Week’s Auto CEO of the Year in 2004, Automotive News’ Top Automotive CEO in Asia in 2005, and received the Van Fleet Award in 2009. He was also included on Harvard Business Review’s CEO 100 list in 2012.

Write to Byung-Uk Do at dodo@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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