Hyundai’s new U.S. chief confident of Genesis sales

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 3, 2014 - 19:45
  • Updated : Feb 3, 2014 - 20:23
Hyundai Motor America’s new CEO Dave Zuchowski (center) looks around the Hyundai Steel plant in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province, on Monday. (Hyundai Motor)

Hyundai Motor America’s new CEO Dave Zuchowski showed confidence in promoting and selling the revamped Hyundai Genesis sedan in the all-important U.S. market in his recent visit to Korea, Seoul officials said Monday.

Zuchowski, the former sales chief of the carmaker’s U.S. unit who succeeded John Krafcik as CEO on Jan. 1, arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a three-day visit with newly appointed executive vice president of sales Robert Pradzinski.

According to the company, the U.S. management members on Monday visited the carmaker’s Namyang research center in Gyeonggi Province and then the Dangjin plant of its steel-making affiliate Hyundai Steel in South Chungcheong Province that supplies strengthened steel plates for Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

“The U.S. media reacted positively to the new Genesis when it was unveiled during the Detroit motor show,” the U.S. chief was quoted as saying by Hyundai officials. “After looking around the Korean facilities, I feel more confidence in the planned launches of other Hyundai cars.”

He also reaffirmed his commitment to achieving this year’s sales goal of 745,000 vehicles in the U.S. market, pledging to continue efforts to elevate Hyundai’s brand values, including maintaining its incentive levels at the lowest among rival carmakers there.

The two U.S. executives also met Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo at the Seoul headquarters on Monday. Chung is said to have promised strong support for the U.S. success of the Genesis sedan.

Hyundai sold 720,783 vehicles last year in the U.S. market, a 2.5 percent increase from the same period the previous year. The Avante compact sold more than 200,000 units, becoming the best-selling model.

A 33-year veteran of the auto industry, Zuchowski took the helm of Hyundai Motor America at a crucial time as U.S. car sales are recently picking up after years of slowing sales. Fiercer competition is expected among carmakers this year.

He worked for Ford and Mazda before joining Hyundai in 2007. He is the sixth CEO of Hyundai Motor America since 2003.

By Lee Ji-yoon (