Lee will, of course, receive a great deal of kudos for his role in bringing Hyundai to prominence while at the same time vastly improving the company's quality image. But the man's impact on the company reaches far further back. Lee oversaw the development of Hyundai's first in-house engine, the Alpha, in 1991. Prior to that time the automaker depended on Mitsubishi to supply its engines. Later in his career, Lee guided Hyundai towards new technologies ranging from fuel injection to the hybrid powertrain under the hood of the Sonata Hybrid.
Lee will be replaced at Hyundai by Yang Woong-chul. Yang was previously the President of the company's R&D center in Korea.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Stan Honda/Getty]