Hyundai America CEO John Krafcik delivered a keynote address at the opening of the Chicago Auto Show media preview where he called on the industry to dramatically change the way it does business. According to Krafcik, for decades, extravagance has been the name of the game in the car biz – just as it has been in most of corporate America. In the past six months, however, things have started to change, with automakers cutting back on the overblown productions at auto show press conferences and in many cases eliminated such conferences altogether. But Krafcik doesn't think the swing has gone far enough.

That's just one small part of the problem, though. Krafcik acknowledged that the industry as a whole is seen as slow and unresponsive as well as wasteful. He called on voluntary limits to executive compensation that are tied to some multiple of what the average worker gets paid. "What if our industry was the first to exercise a more inclusive form of capitalism that voluntarily restrained executive compensation to a reasonable multiple of average employee salary? And what if our industry adopted a uniform code of conduct regarding gifts, meals and business entertainment?"

Krakcik wants his industry to be more modest and humble. Instead of fighting everything that needs to be done, he believes the auto industry must take the lead in re-shaping corporate America.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]