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Hyundai’s José Muñoz on Leading in a Time of Crisis

Published April 13, 2022


Sheryll Poe, Profile Picture, 175x175

Sheryll Poe


Hyundai started in 1986 with the Excel, selling 168,882 units in the United States its’ first year. In 2021, Hyundai sold 738,081 total vehicles, a 19% increase compared with 2020 and the third best year in company history.

To say the company has come a long way is an understatement and a sign of what’s ahead for both Hyundai and its’ luxury car line, Genesis, according to José Muñoz, Hyundai Motor Company Global COO and Hyundai North America president and CEO.

Muñoz gave the keynote address as the 12th annual New York Auto Forum, hosted by NADA, J.D. Power and the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) on April 12 at the Javits Center.

Not even a global pandemic could slow down the company, which is intent on being a leader innovation and not a fast follower in the auto industry, Muñoz said. Hyundai “was tested when we went through COVID. But we decided to take a leap,” he said while noting all the initiatives and product launches the auto manufacturer pursued over the two years. “It was also a great opportunity for us to do better. We didn’t wait. We acted upon everything that we could.”

That includes the launch of Hyundai’s Tucson, Santa Fe, Kona, Santa Cruz SUVs, Genesis G80 and G90 sedans, and electric vehicles including the GV60, G70EV and Hyundai’s Ioniq.

None of Hyundai or Genesis’ success would have happened without the manufacturer’s dealer network, Muñoz said. And the manufacturers will rely heavily on its’ dealers to help scale and sell the expanded EV fleet. “In our vision, electrification comes together with our dealers. We’ve seen that consumers want product expertise from our dealers,” Muñoz said.

Following his remarks, Muñoz sat down with Jason Stein, Host of SiriusXM weekly “Cars & Culture,” for a fireside chat to further explore the future of electrification and resulting challenges.

Watch the video to hear Muñoz’s thoughts on investing in production in the United States, how the retail system is adapting to new consumer preferences, and Genesis’ “secret sauce.”