Hyundai Motor Group announced that the World Car Awards jury panel has named Luc Donckerwolke, the Group’s Executive Vice President for Design and Chief Creative Officer (CCO), its 2022 World Car Person of the Year.
The accolade recognizes automotive industry professionals who have made a significant impact with their contributions in the year leading up to the award. The World Car Awards jury members representing 102 journalists from 33 countries cited Donckerwolke’s role overseeing innovative new models, including Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60, as the principal reason for honoring him this year. They also heralded the resto-mod Pony and Grandeur models that paid homage to Korea’s often overlooked automotive heritage.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Person of the Year award and would like to thank all of the jury members and the valued team at Hyundai Motor Group, without whom this would not have been possible,” Donckerwolke said.
“I have worked for many companies and brands over my career and I’m delighted at the recognition the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands have received. They are a true reflection of the effort of all of the Group employees, retailers and partners who have worked steadfastly to develop a strong lineup of compelling and relevant vehicles on sale in over 200 countries worldwide,” he added.
The World Car jury also recognized Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models in various award categories. IONIQ 5 and EV6 made the top five in 2022 World Car Design. GV70 made the top five in 2022 World Luxury Car. IONIQ 5 also made the top five in 2022 World EV of the Year. IONIQ 5, EV6, Genesis G70 and Hyundai Tucson all made the top 10 in 2022 World Car of the Year, giving the Group more recognition than any other automaker on the list.
“Since joining the Group as CCO in 2016, we have not only continued the upward trajectory of both the Hyundai and Kia brands but also introduced a new luxury brand, Genesis. Since its introduction, the Genesis brand has grown to receive many accolades, and I am privileged to be part of the creation, launch and development of the brand alongside many of my esteemed colleagues,” Donckerwolke said. “Thank you again for this fantastic honor.”
Donckerwolke’s 30-year career as an automotive designer has enabled him to gain worldwide experience working for many prestigious brands, including Bentley, Lamborghini, Skoda, Seat and Audi. He joined the Group in 2016 and succeeded Peter Schreyer as CCO in 2017. A passionate automotive aficionado and collector, Donckerwolke also takes great pride in his multi-cultural background and speaks eight languages.
The Group pushed forward its global electrification plans in 2021 despite a challenging year for the global automotive industry. Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 have both received a number of accolades despite their debuts late in the year, and Genesis GV60 — the brand’s first dedicated electric vehicle — has also been very well received.
The World Car Person of the Year award is part of the annual World Car Awards, which officially launched in January 2004. The award aims to recognize, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in the automotive industry. Past winners have included Akio Toyoda (2021), Carlos Tavares (2020), Sergio Marchionne (2019) and Håkan Samuelsson (2018).