SangYup Lee: 2023 World Car Person of the Year

Two-Time Award Winner: Hyundai CEO

The World Car Awards body bestowed Hyundai’s SangYup Lee with the 2023 World Car Person of the Year accolade.

Leading the Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center, the mastermind has manifested some jaw-dropping vehicles, such as the one-of-a-kind Ioniq 6 electric car, the contemporary Kona, and the extraordinary N Vision 74 concept motor, offering a modern take on traditional style.

It is the second successive victory for Hyundai Motor Group as their head of creative designs, Luc Donckerwolke, earned the honor in 2019.

“Hyundai is taking on many challenges and this is just the start,” said Lee. “We believe our most noteworthy accomplishments are yet to come. This accolade is not an acknowledgement of a single person, but rather a reflection of the passionate collective creativity that has been nurtured by Hyundai’s leadership, who have set a high bar for us to reach.”

2023 World Car Awards: Person of the Year

The Executive Vice President encountered hard battle, yet in the end emerged triumphant with the esteemed award. Contenders included Peter Rawlinson from Lucid Motors, Naoyuki Sakamoto (the main engineer behind the breathtaking GR Corolla), and Dr. Stella Clarke from BMW, she being the mastermind behind the astute color-transforming technology observed on the i Vision Dee concept vehicle.

This honor is part of the global World Car of the Year competition, with contenders such as Alfa Romeo Tonale, Nissan Z, and Hyundai Ioniq 6 mentioned among others.

Lee signed up with the Korean vehicle producer back in 2016 however racked up a considerable amount of proficiency from his past opportunities. The South Korean-born architect has had occupations at the VW Group and General Motors (designing the fifth-generation Camaro) plus even took an internship at Porsche and Pininfarina.

Design has constantly been a major part of Lee’s life and pushed him to take up automotive design at the ArtCenter College located in California following obtaining his diploma in fine arts.

Lee once stated to The Korea Times that growing up, he had no exposure to sports cars on the roads. Instead, he was surrounded by mundane vehicles – yet he declared that this ended up being beneficial for him. “I was raised in Korea with cars like Sephia and Elantra. I had very little experience with the realm of sports cars, yet this actually worked to my advantage. I had a modern outlook on the traditional classic.”

The N Vision 74 absolutely demonstrates that Lee hasn’t abandoned his determination to create cars of remarkable style. Formerly a Ferrari mastermind, Frank Stephenson was so taken back with the notion that he exclaimed he’d take one right away if possible.

Beneath the direction of Lee and Donckerwolke, Hyundai and Genesis have been crafting an array of aesthetically pleasing vehicles. Rumors rage of the impending launch of their captivating Genesis X Concept; this will surely put to rest any previous preconception that Hyundais aren’t attractive cars.


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