John Krafcik

Hyundai Motor America has announced that its affable president and CEO, John Krafcik, will be stepping down from his post on January 1, at the completion of his contract. He'll be replaced by the current executive vice president of sales, David Zuchowski.

Krafcik has helmed Hyundai through a product renaissance that's seen the Korean automaker go from budget afterthought to household name in less than a decade, launching stylish new models and expanding into new markets. "On behalf of Hyundai Motor Company, we sincerely thank John for his visionary leadership and relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, which has driven Hyundai's record growth over the past five years," said Im Tak Uk, the COO and executive vice president of HMA's parent company, Hyundai Motor Company.

"It's been a sincere privilege and honor to lead Hyundai Motor America over the past five years, and I am confident that with Dave's succession, our brand will continue to expand and thrive for years to come," said Krafcik in a Hyundai press release, available below. "We have many of the best and brightest employees in the business coupled with a committed and talented dealer network that will continue to pay dividends."

Zuchowski takes over for Krafcik after joining the company in 2007 as VP of sales. He's spent 33 years in the industry, starting with Ford in 1980 and serving time at Mazda. "I am both humbled and excited to lead Hyundai Motor America into the next chapter by continuing to build on John's great legacy, and focusing on what matters most – building the highest quality, safest and most diverse fleet of models that customers love," said Zuchowski.

It remains unclear whether this was a voluntary move on Krafcik's part, as he hasn't been linked to any other positions within the industry. Of course, if we hear anything else on this story, we'll update you as soon as possible. Scroll down for the full press release from Hyundai.
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DAVE ZUCHOWSKI NAMED PRESIDENT/CEO OF HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

COSTA MESA, Calif., December 27, 2013 - Hyundai Motor America today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik will step down upon the successful completion of his contract on December 31, 2013. David Zuchowski, executive vice president of Sales, will assume the position of President and CEO effective January 1, 2014.

"On behalf of Hyundai Motor Company, we sincerely thank John for his visionary leadership and relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, which has driven Hyundai's record growth over the past five years," said Im Tak Uk, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor Company. "John's forward-looking perspective, commitment to quality and design, and pursuit of innovative new product offerings have elevated the Hyundai brand and introduced our vehicles to a new generation of satisfied and loyal customers."

Under Krafcik's tenure with the automaker, Hyundai Motor America experienced dramatic increases in sales volume and market share, while garnering numerous prestigious industry awards. During the same time period, the model year 2009 Genesis and 2012 Elantra took top honors as North American Car of the Year, while numerous Hyundai models received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick designation.

"It's been a sincere privilege and honor to lead Hyundai Motor America over the past five years, and I am confident that with Dave's succession, our brand will continue to expand and thrive for years to come," said Krafcik. "We have many of the best and brightest employees in the business coupled with a committed and talented dealer network that will continue to pay dividends."

Incoming President and CEO David Zuchowski joined Hyundai Motor America in February 2007 as vice president of Sales with responsibility for all sales, sales operations, market representation, field operations and overall dealer relations. A proven 33-year veteran of the automotive industry, Zuchowski was previously with Mazda North America, where he served as vice president of Sales and Field Operations. Zuchowski began his career in 1980 at Ford Motor Company, where he progressed through various executive-level positions including regional manager, product marketing manager, national merchandising manager and field operations manager for the Ford and Lincoln Mercury divisions. Zuchowski earned his Bachelors of Arts in Communications from the University of Washington.

"I am both humbled and excited to lead Hyundai Motor America into the next chapter by continuing to build on John's great legacy, and focusing on what matters most – building the highest quality, safest and most diverse fleet of models that customers love," said Zuchowski.

"Dave has consistently distinguished himself as a results-oriented and motivational leader in our industry," said Im. "During his time at Hyundai, Dave has been instrumental in our growth, especially among our dealers. He exhibits a rare combination of passion, intelligence, creativity and diligence, and we are confident that he is the right choice to build on John's momentum and take Hyundai to new and greater heights."

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services, complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.