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Hyundai's VP of Design & Chief Creative Officer Named 2022 ‘World Car Person of the Year'

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【Summary】Automaker Hyundai has released some of the most bold and radically designed vehicles over the past year, including the electric Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 SUV. The design of these new vehicles offers a look at what the future holds for the South Korea-based automaker. Now the person responsible for much of the futuristic design of these vehicles was named 2022 “World Car Person of the Year” by the World Car Awards jury panel.

FutureCar Staff    Feb 23, 2022 2:45 PM PT
Hyundai's VP of Design & Chief Creative Officer Named 2022 ‘World Car Person of the Year'
The 2022 Kia EV6 electric SUV.

Automaker Hyundai Motor Co along with its subsidiary Kia, has released some of the most bold and radically designed vehicles over the past year, including the electric IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 SUV. The design of these new vehicles offers a look at what the future holds for the South Korea-based automaker and its brands Kia, Genesis and IONIQ.

The person responsible for much of the futuristic design of these vehicles, along with Hyundai's other mainstream sedans and SUVs, is Luc Donckerwolker, Hyundai Group's Executive Vice President for Design and Chief Creative Officer (CCO). Now Donckerwolker has been recognized by the industry and was named 2022 "World Car Person of the Year" by the World Car Awards jury panel for his radical design work on new Hyundai Group models.

The World Car Person of the Year award is part of the annual World Car Awards, which launched in Jan 2004. The award recognizes individuals working to promote excellence, leadership and innovation in the automotive industry and have made a significant impact with their contributions in the year leading up to the award.  

Past winners have included Toyota President Akio Toyoda in 2021, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares in 2020, the late CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Sergio Marchionne in 2019 and Volvo Cars Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson in 2018.

The World Car Awards jury members, which represent 102 journalists from 33 countries, cited Donckerwolke's role overseeing the design of innovative new models, including Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60, as the principal reason for honoring him this year. 

"I am deeply honored to receive the Person of the Year award and would like to thank all of the jury members and the valued team at Hyundai Motor Group, without whom this would not have been possible," Donckerwolke said in a statement.

"I have worked for many companies and brands over my career and I'm delighted at the recognition the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands have received. They are a true reflection of the effort of all of the Group employees, retailers and partners who have worked steadfastly to develop a strong lineup of compelling and relevant vehicles on sale in over 200 countries worldwide," he added.

Hyundai introduced its futuristic looking IONIQ 5 electric crossover in May 2021. IONIQ is Hyundai's new electric-only sub brand. The vehicle went on sale last fall. 

With a driving range of 300 miles, the electric SUV is a more budget-friendly alternative to Tesla's Model Y. The battery-powered IONIQ 5 also placed in the top five in the 2022 World EV of the Year. 

The IONIQ 5 is the first vehicle from Hyundai built on its new Electric-Global Modular Platform ("E-GMP"). 

"IONIQ 5 introduces the Hyundai brand to a whole new set of buyers," said José Muñoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America, when the company revealed the IONIQ 5 last year. "Once behind the steering wheel, they are going to be shocked by the range, power, comfort, interior space and advanced technology. Owning one is going to be a new experience and lifestyle that only the IONIQ brand can provide."

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The IONIQ 5 from Hyundai's new electric sub-brand IONIQ.

The World Car jury also recognized other Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models in various other award categories. IONIQ 5 and EV6 made the top five in 2022 World Car Design, while the flagship GV70 made the top five list in 2022 World Luxury Car. The GV70 was also named as Motor Trend's 2022 SUV of the Year.

In total, Hyundai had the most vehicles in the top 10 in 2022 World Car of the Year, giving the Group more recognition than any other automaker on the list. The vehicle includes the IONIQ 5, EV6, Genesis G70 SUV and Hyundai Tucson SUV. With its sleek styling, the new electric Genesis GV60 SUV from Hyundai's luxury brand Genesis was also well received.

"Since joining the Group as CCO in 2016, we have not only continued the upward trajectory of both the Hyundai and Kia brands but also introduced a new luxury brand, Genesis. Since its introduction, the Genesis brand has grown to receive many accolades, and I am privileged to be part of the creation, launch and development of the brand alongside many of my esteemed colleagues," Donckerwolke said. "Thank you again for this fantastic honor."

Before joining Hyundai in 2016, Donckerwolke's 30-year career as an automotive designer included working for prestigious brands, such as Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi. 

Donckerwolke succeeded Peter Schreyer as CCO in 2017. Schreyer is best known for his design work on the Audi TT coupe when he worked for Volkswagen AG.

Despite the challenging year for automakers with the ongoing semiconductor shortages last year, the Hyundai Group said it still managed to move forward its global electrification plans. 

There are plenty of new EVs coming from Hyundai as part of its electrification push, and most will sport a similar design as the Kia EV6 and IONIQ 5.


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