President and CEO, Hyundai Motor America
John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the company’s operations in the United States. Krafcik joined Hyundai in 2004 as vice president of Product Development and Strategic Planning after tenures at Ford Motor Company and the GM/Toyota joint-venture, New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI). With his guidance, Hyundai has reshaped its American lineup with strengths in design, innovation, and value. Since moving to his current role in late 2008 as president and chief executive officer, Krafcik and his team have increased Hyundai’s U.S. market share over 50% under challenging market conditions on the strength of growing accolades, breakthrough products and innovative marketing programs such as Hyundai Assurance. North American Car of the Year awards for Genesis in 2009 and Elantra in 2012 have further bolstered Hyundai’s reputation for providing quality, safety and value across its lineup. Prior to joining Hyundai, Krafcik began his career in the auto industry in 1984 as the first American engineer at the GM/Toyota joint-venture, NUMMI, with the quality and manufacturing engineering group. His experience inside the production process at NUMMI led to his move to the International Motor Vehicle Program at MIT, where he focused on identifying the key elements of manufacturing efficiency and coined the phrase “lean manufacturing.” It was here Krafcik became an expert on production operations and assembly plants. In 1988 he earned a Master of Science degree in Management from MIT Sloan School of Management. He later consulted for various companies, industries and governments before joining Ford in 1990. Krafcik also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.