Automotive Hall of Fame: Hyundai's Honorary Chairman

Hyundai’s Honorary Chairman, Mong-Koo Chung, has been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame for his impact on the industry.
Written by Jane Lu
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Sep 29, 2021
A key figure in the success of
Hyundai
has been immortalized in the Automotive Hall of Fame. Mong-Koo Chung, Honorary Chairman and former CEO of Hyundai Motor Group, has been an important leader in the company for decades. His ambitions and visions for the future have led to
innovative new vehicles
and a long history of success.
According to
Hyundai
, Chung was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame as part of their 2020/2021 class. This marks an important moment, as he was the first Korean to receive the honor.
Hyundai’s Honorary Chairman has helped South Korea prosper in the auto industry.

Mong-Koo Chung's history of success

The story of Mong-Koo Chung is not simply the story of one man becoming rich. Instead, it’s a story about the rise of an entire country's automotive industry, which has helped South Korea become an economically prosperous nation.
Mong-Koo Chung first joined Hyundai more than five decades ago in 1970. He worked his way through the ranks, becoming chairman of different departments within Hyundai. When the country faced the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Chung is widely credited with helping Hyundai stay afloat.
One of Chung's biggest and most impactful moves was acquiring
Kia
Motors in 1998. At the time, Kia was bankrupt. Following Hyundai's acquisition, they became profitable within a year. Moves like this are the reason why Hyundai has risen to be the fifth-largest auto manufacturer in the world.

Hyundai vehicles are now known for their quality

Quality has been at the center of Mong-Koo Chung's vision for Hyundai, and a major contributor to their success.
In the late 1990s, there were concerns regarding the quality of Hyundai vehicles. Under Chung's leadership, the manufacturer completely changed its quality practices. This has resulted in Hyundai earning a positive reputation among drivers for their vehicle quality.
Vehicles with the Kia or Hyundai name are now known for long-lasting quality. Hyundai has also been recognized in recent years for its
luxury vehicles
. Their Genesis division, responsible for many of the luxury vehicles under Hyundai, frequently wins major awards.

What does it mean to be included in the Hall of Fame?

Mong-Koo Chung was announced as an inductee into the
Automotive Hall of Fame
in February 2020. However, due to the pandemic, the induction ceremony was delayed until July 22 this year.
With his induction into the Hall of Fame, Chung joins a long list of prominent figures in the industry. The Automotive Hall of Fame was created in 1939 to recognize early pioneers of automobiles. It celebrates important innovations and figures who have driven positive change in the industry.
Under the leadership of Mong-Koo Chung, Hyundai has taken major leaps forward. If you drive a Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis, you can thank Chung for the vehicle's quality and innovative design.
Mong-Koo Chung wasn’t present at the ceremony, but his son Euisun Chung made a speech in his honor. Mong-Koo Chung's signature was then added to the Hall of Fame where it will now permanently remain.
Just as Mong-Koo Chung revolutionized the South Korean car industry,
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Nationwide
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Safeco
Travelers
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