Hyundai design head SangYup Lee is 2023 World Car Person of the Year

SangYup Lee chosen by the jury panel for being the creative mind behind some of the most stunning and innovative concept and production cars unveiled in 2022, including the Hyundai Ioniq 6, the new Kona and N Vision 74.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 22 Feb 2023 Views icon4080 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The World Car Awards jury panel representing 100 journalists from 32 countries, which includes Autocar India’s Hormazd Sorabjee and Renuka Kirpalani, has voted SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center, Hyundai Motor Company (HMC), as the 2023 World Car Person of the Year.

This is the second consecutive World Car Person of the Year win for Hyundai Motor Group. Luc Donckerwolke, President for Design and Chief Creative Officer, Hyundai Motor Group was last year’s winner.

To be eligible for this award, candidates must have made a significant contribution to the global automotive industry with global repercussions during the period January 1 to December 31, 2022 (not limited to one market or region). That contribution could include a significant impact to their brand or company, for example, or a significant safety, engineering, design or technical advancement or other significant benefit for the consumer.

SangYup Lee, Head of Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center, was chosen by the jury panel on the basis that he is the creative mind behind some of the most stunning and innovative concept and production cars unveiled in 2022, including the Hyundai Ioniq 6, the all-new Hyundai Kona and Hyundai N Vision 74.

Lee’s strong design philosophy, vision and leadership have been instrumental in shaping Hyundai’s new design language, as demonstrated by the brand’s recent successes. He continues to be a driving force behind the brand’s commitment in creating iconic and emotional designs.

"This honour is not the recognition of an individual but a testament to a shared collective passion for creativity encouraged by the dedication of Hyundai top management who set us high standards to achieve. It is the unwavering diligence of the many talented people who contribute to making Hyundai Design what it is today. Exceptional leadership presents us with thought-provoking challenges, and each design team member provides invaluable support to deliver successful results. Hyundai is taking on many challenges, but this is just the beginning. We believe our greatest achievements lie ahead of us,” said Lee.

The Top 5 Finalists

The top five finalists for this year’s award represent some of the best and most accomplished men and women in the industry, in very personal and different ways. The top five finalists are, in alphabetical order:

- Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD Co
- Dr. Stella Clarke, Research Engineer Open Innovations, BMW Group
- SangYup Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center, Hyundai Motor Company (HMC)
- Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors
- Naoyuki Sakamoto, Chief Engineer, GR Corolla, GAZOO Racing Company, Toyota Motor Corporation

Previous World Car Person of the Year recipients were Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President for Design and Chief Creative Officer, Hyundai Motor Group (2022), Akio Toyoda, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Corporation (2021), Carlos Tavares, CEO of PSA Group (2020), the late Sergio Marchionne, CEO, FCA; Chairman, CNH Industrial; and Chairman and CEO, Ferrari (2019) and Hakan Samuelsson, President and CEO, Volvo Car Group (2018).

The World Car Person of the Year award is just one of seven awards handed out annually by the World Car Awards. The awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognise, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in a rapidly changing automotive industry.

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