Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik is this year's Automotive Executive of the Year. DNV Business Assurance presents the award each year, and this year, Robert Djurovic, executive director of the award program, said Krafcik won the nod because he "reshaped the way Hyundai approaches the market with consumer focus, compelling design and enduring value." While speaking at the award ceremony, Krafcik said that he was humbled by the recognition and that he accepted the accolade on behalf of Hyundai team members, dealers and suppliers.

Krafcik joined Hyundai in 2004 as the vice president of product development and took on duties as chief executive in 2008. Since then, the automaker has seen a flurry of new products and a substantial jump in market share. His efforts have also helmed Hyundai to two North American Car of the Year awards in 2009 and 2012 for the Genesis and Elantra, respectively. Krafcik also helped Hyundai navigate through the company's fuel economy debacle that began late last year, in which the automaker admitted it overstated the efficiency ratings of many of its automobiles.

The Automotive Executive of the Year Award has been recognizing industry leaders since 1964. You can read the full press release below for more information.
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HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA'S JOHN KRAFCIK ACCEPTS 2013 AUTOMOTIVE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR AWARD

DETROIT, Mich. June 21, 2013 – The prestigious 2013 Automotive Executive of the Year Award was presented today to John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. Krafcik received the recognition surrounded by 175 automotive executives and suppliers, as well as Hyundai guests, dealers, customers, and enthusiasts at an invitation-only luncheon held at the historic Detroit Athletic Club.

Noting the unique culture and energy of the automotive industry in southeast Michigan and adding that he expects much of the innovative technology moving forward to come from suppliers, Krafcik said he was "humbled" to accept the award. "I'm just doing what I love," he said. "I accept this award on behalf of the Hyundai team members, dealers, and suppliers, many of whom are in the room today. Congratulations, everyone!"

Krafcik shared a few personal stories about his industry start working at NUMMI and Ford, saying that the first time he ever saw the Toyota Production System in action, he knew it was a game-changer for the industry. Krafcik worked on the International Motor Vehicle program at MIT and helped coin the term "lean manufacturing."

Krafcik took questions from the guests - which ranged from what cars he owns and the future of hybrids and electrics, to the secrets of a successful model launch and how he maintains a strong, high-quality supply chain. Following the presentation of the Automotive Executive of the Year Award by sponsor DNV's Richard Stolk, Krafick headed outside to meet members of the media and others for interviews and photo opportunities at an impressive, onsite display of 2013 and 2014 Hyundai vehicles.

"It the confluence of leadership, teamwork, and great product that consistently gives Hyundai accolade after accolade," said Robert Djurovic, DNV Business Assurance's director of automotive services - North America and executive director of the 2013 Automotive Executive of the Year Award program. "As John puts it so well, when the industry is busy moving to the left, he takes a look there, but will more intently look at the opportunities on the right.

"His leadership created a dream team whose corporate mantra is defy, design, and delight," Djurovic continued. "How often do you hear carmakers use the word 'delight' in describing how they want to affect their customers?"

Since 1964, the Automotive Executive of the Year Award - the longest-standing and most historically relevant award in the industry - has recognized excellence in industry leadership. Past recipients include Alan Mulally, James O'Sullivan, Jim Press, Carroll Shelby (Lifetime Achievement Award), Bill Ford, Jr., Dieter Zetsche, Henry Ford II, Rick Wagoner, Bob Lutz, Carlos Ghosn, and Lee Iacocca, among others.

The award's history and more information is available at www.autoexecoftheyear.com.


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  • 50 Comments
      zoomy
      • 1 Year Ago
      OMG, he does have the same face as the Sonata.
      Keen
      • 1 Year Ago
      WOW, He should run for POTUS. Lie to the American People about EPA estimates and get rewarded.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Keen
        Did he do any of the testing? Did he make it right after they found out they made a MISTAKE? I would like you to try to understand even the summary calculations that go into stating mileage figures, let alone the full blown calculations. The EPA makes it almost impossible; they are after all a government agency here to help.
          WHO
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          You're right, HE has NO KNOWLEDGE of what's going on at Hyundai. Yippe, Give him an award. Mary, you are right, just like Obama has NO KNOWLEDGE of all the scandals currently going on in Washington, Obama get's bogus awards like the Nobel Peace Prize. Thankfully many in other countries are trying to revoke Obama's award.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          @ church SO you would be able to keep track of what 57,000 employees are doing every minute of every day? Thought not.
          WHO
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          Oh look, Michael Sparado is here. Has your mom not booted you off the computer yet and make you get a job. Don't you think at 26 years old you should be working instead of playing video games all day in your mom's basement?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          [blocked]
        knightrider_6
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Keen
        If John Krafcik lied, he is eligible to run on Republican ticket. If only he had secret offshore accounts and was stupid, he would make a perfect GOP candidate.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Keen
        [blocked]
      WHO
      • 1 Year Ago
      BTW, did Hyundai ever replace the defective seatbelt buckles in the Sonata, or are they still fighting the NHTSA?
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is one of the good guys, despite comments above and to follow.
      kkohlstr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well done, John. Congratulations.
      Fenix Baby
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hyundai haters gonna hate no matter the article is about.
        Erik
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Fenix Baby
        Can't wait 'till that obnoxious terminology is put to rest.
      Paula
      • 1 Year Ago
      All I know about Hyundai is my 2004 Santa Fe has only been in the shop for routine maintenance and gets great gas mileage. I love it.
      jamiescale
      • 1 Year Ago
      John is one of the few auto execs on the planet that "gets it". He's on our side. Kudos!
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another case of CEO's that look like their cars.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of my neighbors tells me that the new Hyundai's are still crap. I don't really trust the guy because he seems like a slimeball salesman, but I did some searching on my own. What I found were reports of Hyundai's having their steering wheel's lock up while the vehicle was in motion. Is that problem fixed yet? I couldn't find anything to verify that it's fixed. I want to like Hyundai again.
        freddie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        one of my neighbors tells me he sees fairies....research the cars yourself as for quality issues I have a 2012 mercedes and a 2012 sonata guess which has been to the dealer twice in 18 months for issues....the mercedes....Hyundais are great cars the only thing i dont like about the sonata is the steering but then thats only after i drive the benz....people wake up
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @freddie
          I see you stopped reading after the first paragraph... :-\
      mylz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Congrats for doing nothing more than copying others. Wake me up when someone in that company actually mans up and decides to build something that is not a knock off when a broke college student like myself was approved for a gensis just to amuse myself.
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