Chung Mong-koo, then-chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, take a look at the under chassis of a Sonata sedan being assembled during his visit to the Korean automaker’s U.S. plant in Alabama in this 2014 photo. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group
Chung Mong-koo, third from left in the back row, then-chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, watches his son Chung Euisun, left in the front row, shaking hands with then-Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue during a signing of Kia Motors’ $1 billion investment into Georgia in this photo taken in March 2006. Chung at that time was serving as the president of Kia Motors, a Hyundai Motor Group affiliate which was renamed to Kia this year. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group
“My father continued the legacy of my grandfather … He expanded the group’s presence globally and continued to pursue excellence in quality. He made the group something that the employees and customers can all be proud of,” the incumbent chairman said.
He also took note of his father’s innovative mindset and business foresight, as seen from the group advancing into electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen energy, which are keys to next-generation technologies in accordance with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and sustainable growth.
“As Hyundai embraces the challenges and the opportunities of the 21st century, we will continue to strive for excellence, challenge convention and lead the evolution of smart mobility. We will realize progress for humanity,” he said.
The Automotive Hall of Fame honored inductees for both 2020 and 2021.
The recipients include Thomas Gallagher, former CEO of Genuine Parts Company, Jay Leno, the host of American TV CNBC’s garage series named after him and Helene Rother, the first female automotive designer for General Motors and Nash Motors.
The Automotive Hall of Fame previously honored Chung Mong-koo with the Distinguished Service Citation Award in 2001.
Chung has been recognized and celebrated through various awards over the years, including Korea Management Association’s CEO of the Year Award (1996), Business Week’s Auto CEO of the Year (2004), Automotive News’ Top Automotive CEO in Asia (2005), Van Fleet Award (2009) and Harvard Business Review’s “The CEO 100.”
Established in 1939, the Automotive Hall of Fame honored nearly 800 business leaders such as Ford Motor founder Henry Ford, American inventor Thomas Edison, Mercedes-Benz founder Karl Benz, Honda Motor founder Soichiro Honda and Toyota Motor founder Kiichiro Toyoda.