Reuters announced earlier today (Dec 27,2013) that current President and CEO of Hyundai North America was technically fired by Hyundai as his contract has not been renewed for 2014. John Krafcik will be replaced by U.S. sales chief David Zuchowski.
News of John Krafcik being fired comes on the heels of Hyundai reaching a $395 million settlement to resolve mpg lawsuits that embroiled Hyundai in controversy earlier last year. Effectively Hyundai had been caught by consumers and the EPA overstating mileage figures in order to gain a competitive edge with other cars in its class.
John Krafcik joined Hyundai in 2004 as Vice President of Prodect development and strategic planning after working for Ford Motor Company and the GM/Toyota partnership with NUMMI. Coined the comeback kid for Hyundai, under his guidance, Hyundai saw record sales and growth due to its aggressive overhaul of Hyundai’s entire lineup to add value, safety and worldclass leading design.
John Kracfcik further first coined the term “Lean manufacturing” in his 1988 article “Triumph of the Lean Production System”. Simply put, Lean Manufacturing emphasized eliminating any resource or work that did not add value to an end product. It was a concept that companies implement today and was something that John Krafcik brought into Hyundai.
David Zuchowski joined Hyundai in 2007 and formerly worked for Mazda and for Ford before that as a sales associate. With keen eye for the North American market, Hyundai looks to Zuchowski to further the work that Krafcik laid out.