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    Hyundai Motor America CEO David Zuchowski Is Shown the Door

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      Good-bye David Zuchowski


    Hyundai Motor America is on the hunt for a new CEO as David Zuchowski has been fired today. Automotive News broke the story this morning after learning from sources about the change. Hyundai has confirmed Zuchowski's departure this afternoon and said W. Gerald Flannery will take over as interim CEO. Dealers were told about the decision last night and employees were notified earlier this afternoon.

    Zuchowski joined Hyundai back in 2007 as the U.S. sales chief and would become CEO at the beginning of 2014. Sources tell Automotive News that Zuchowski was fired because he was unable to meet internal sales objectives. Hyundai was one of the few manufacturers that saw success during the 2008 recession. But in the past few years, Hyundai's growth has been dwindling. 

    • 2010: 24 percent
    • 2011: 20 percent
    • 2012: 9 percent
    • 2013: 3 percent
    • 2014: 1 percent
    • 2015: 5 percent
    • 2016 (so far): 1.3 percent

    The reason for the shrink in growth comes down to Hyundai being weak or not having crossovers in certain segments. As we reported last month, Hyundai will be adding a new subcompact crossover in 2018, followed by an even smaller one. Also, the Santa Fe lineup would see some changes. However, it wasn't enough to keep Zuchowski as CEO.

    “We appreciate Dave’s decade of service to Hyundai, especially his leadership as president and CEO, which has made us a stronger organization. I look forward to working closely with our dealers, affiliates, senior management and our talented and hard-working employees across the country to realize Hyundai’s full potential,” said Flannery in a statement.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Truth About Cars, Hyundai
    Press Release is on Page 2


    W. GERALD FLANNERY NAMED INTERIM PRESIDENT AND CEO OF HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 21, 2016 – Hyundai Motor America today announced a continuation of a reorganization that began late this year by appointing W. Gerald (Jerry) Flannery as interim president and CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Dave Zuchowski who will be leaving the company.

    Flannery, who has been with Hyundai since 1987 and is responsible for all legal matters in the U.S., will retain his duties as Chief Legal and Safety Officer. He is widely recognized as an authority on automotive product liability, regulatory and safety matters. His immediate focus will be enhancing the company’s brands, accelerating change for growth and customer satisfaction opportunities in the U.S. market.

    “We appreciate Dave’s decade of service to Hyundai, especially his leadership as president and CEO, which has made us a stronger organization,” Flannery said. “I look forward to working closely with our dealers, affiliates, senior management and our talented and hard-working employees across the country to realize Hyundai’s full potential.”

    Since joining Hyundai during its infancy in 1987, Flannery has been instrumental in leading the company through periods of rapid change and positioning it for steady growth. Recently, he created Hyundai’s first safety office in North America. Previously, Flannery was a senior attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at Ford Motor Co.

    A search for Zuchowski’s replacement will begin immediately.

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    • By William Maley
      Jim Hackett's tenure as Ford CEO will be coming to a close on October 1st as he will retire from the position. His replacement is Jim Farley, currently Ford's Chief Operating Officer, a role he took on at the beginning of this year. In a press release, Ford said the two will be working together over the next two months on the transition. Hackett will stay on as "special advisor" for some time after.
      “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future. Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic,” said Ford executive chairman, Bill Ford.
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      Hackett admitted that his tenure did cause a fair amount of friction, but said his efforts are starting to show.
      "I aimed for moving ahead versus just moving fast. Could we aim for a longer-arc kind of reward. In this case, for the three years it takes to get products to market, you're starting to see the fruits of our labor."
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      Press Release is on Page 2


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      “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.
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      Woah, This Crossover Handles
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      Possibly the Best Subcompact Crossover At the Moment
      Hyundai has a very compelling package in the Kona. There is an excellent performance from the turbocharged engine, impressive driving dynamics, easy to use infotainment system, and a long list of standard equipment. There are some drawbacks with the small cargo area and rear legroom topping the list. If you need the space, a Honda HR-V would be my first pick. The dual-clutch transmission still needs a bit more work to iron out the hesitation issues I experienced. 
      That first impression I had still stands and moves the Kona not only being the best in the class at the moment, but also onto a very rarefied list; a vehicle I would considering buying.
      How I Would Configure A Kona: The only reason I see buying the Ultimate is for the adaptive cruise control as most of the other safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance are available on other models. So if I wanted the Turbo engine, then I would step down to the Limited at $26,100. For those who think that is a tad expensive still should consider the SEL Plus as it comes very well equipped for $23,950. You do sacrifice the turbo engine for the 2.0L four-cylinder which is fine if your planning to drive mostly around town. Add an additional $1,400 for all-wheel drive.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Kona, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Kona
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC 16-Valve GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27
      Curb Weight: 3,276 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $29,150
      As Tested Price: $ 30,380 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
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