The 2021 Autocar Awards top accolade, the Issigonis Trophy, is awarded to Hyundai Motor Group chairman Euisun Chung, in recognition of the incredible contribution that he and the firm have made to the global automotive industry.
Named after the legendary engineer and inventor of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, the Trophy is awarded by Autocar to an individual who has played a significant role in helping to shape the future of one of the world’s largest industries. Chung has overseen the Hyundai Motor Group, whose brands include Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, transform into one of the world’s largest and most innovative car manufacturers, at the forefront of developing new technology including electric and hydrogen powertrains, connectivity and digital systems.
Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: “In the last decade the Hyundai Motor Group has grown into one of the world’s leading car firms, and chairman Euisun Chung has been key to that transformation. We’re proud to award him this year’s Issigonis Trophy to recognise his achievements. The transformation made by the company is unmatched in the industry in recent years.
“While Hyundai and Kia were considered unexciting budget brands with limited market share just a decade ago, under Euisun Chung’s leadership they have made incredible progress, winning market share and customers with cars that are the match of any mainstream rival. The Hyundai Motor Group has expanded into performance cars with Hyundai’s N division and the premium market with the new Genesis brand, and become a true industry leader in both electric and hydrogen-powered cars. It is no longer trying to catch up to rivals: now other car firms are chasing it.”
The Autocar Awards takes a different approach from many in the industry, not just celebrating the greatest cars of the past twelve months, but highlighting the people who made them, and who are responsible for driving us forward.
Sponsored by electric car battery producer Britishvolt, this year’s event shone a spotlight on the technical achievements and inspiring leaders that helped see the motoring industry through an unprecedented year of change and upheaval.
Autocar Awards 2021: the winners
The Editor’s Award recognises seven-time Formula 1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton for his achievements both on and off the race track. Hamilton has become an advocate for causes such as environmentalism and the Black Lives Matter movement, using his high profile to help promote positive change in society.