Announcing: The 2020 Inductees

February 6, 2020

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The Automotive Hall of Fame will induct four new members this year and announce the inaugural Mobility Innovator Award at its Induction & Awards Gala Ceremony in Detroit. The event was originally scheduled for July 23, 2020, but will be postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Automotive Hall of Fame’s 2020 Inductees include: Mong-Koo Chung, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company; Thomas Gallagher, former CEO of Genuine Parts Company; Jay Leno, automotive heritage leadership through his Jay Leno’s Garage series on CNBC; and Helene Rother, one of the first women to sustain a career in automotive design (interiors) for General Motors, Nash Motors, and others.

“Since 1939, the Automotive Hall of Fame has honored individuals who have significantly impacted the automotive industry and the world of mobility. We are excited to announce our 2020 Inductee Class,” said Ramzi Hermiz, Chairman of the Automotive Hall of Fame and President and CEO of Shiloh Industries.

“We believe that these four individuals are incredibly worthy of this honor thanks to their outstanding achievements and innovations.” Induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame is reserved for noteworthy individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry. It is considered the single greatest honor in the automotive industry.

Mong-Koo Chung Chairman Mong-Koo Chung is the industry leader credited with the success of Hyundai Motor Group. Through Chung’s leadership, Hyundai Motor became Korea’s largest automaker and Hyundai Motor Group became the world’s fifth largest automotive group. Chung is noted for many remarkable accomplishments, including: Acquiring KIA Motors for Hyundai Motor Group; spearheading the group’s growth with new plants in key regions, including United States, Europe, China, India, Brazil and Russia; and creating a highly efficient vertically integrated business structure that produces everything from steel to vehicles. Chung’s legacy is on par with other legends of the industry who have launched and guided an automotive firm to global growth and renown.

Thomas GallagherThomas Gallagher is the visionary leader who led Genuine Parts Company (GPC) for more than 25 years, guiding the organization through a period of robust growth and long-term value creation for the company’s customers, independent stores and repair shops, suppliers, shareholders, employees and communities. Gallagher served GPC as a relentless innovator who initiated and expanded programs to increase the competitiveness of independent, locally-owned parts stores, train and enhance the image of automotive technicians, and advance the interests of millions of auto owners.

Jay Leno – Jay Leno is the passion behind every automotive enthusiast. On his CNBC prime time series “Jay Leno’s Garage,” Jay takes fast and furious car fans for a high-octane spin across the country with a mix of stunts, reviews, celebrity interviews and challenges. There’s no wheel Jay won’t get behind to tell the story of our love affair with the automobile.  The CNBC show is an outgrowth of the Emmy Award winning “Jay Leno’s Garage” digital series.  Leno has dedicated a lifetime to sharing the stories of all things automotive from classic cars to super cars and everything in-between.  He has showcased technology, innovation and colorful history of the automobile inspiring viewers to enjoy automobiles, from the most prosaic to the most exotic. There’s something in every machine that draws his interest, he knows the stories of the people who built them as well. Leno truly is America’s automotive ambassador. The legendary comedian and acclaimed TV late night host is also an Emmy Award winner for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” which was number one rated for over two straight decades.

Helene Rother – Helene Rother became one of the first female automotive designers when she joined the interior styling staff of General Motors in Detroit in late 1942. In 1947, she established her own design studio and was soon contracted by Nash-Kelvinator as a design consultant. Helene Rother helped shift the standard of automotive design, post WWII, from basic and simple to elegant and unique. This focus on design and quality features helped establish a new segment in the automobile market with her work on the Nash Rambler from 1948-1956. Rother’s accomplishments and natural talent for industrial design mirror the stories of the pioneers and are reflected in the existing list of Inductees in the category of Inventors, Engineers, and Designers.

The Mobility Innovator Award

The Automotive Hall of Fame is proud to introduce the Mobility Innovator Award. This award recognizes the outstanding work an individual has accomplished to introduce the new technologies and services that are redefining mobility. The inaugural 2020 Mobility Innovator awardee is Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom and a member of its Management Board. TomTom created the easy-to-use navigation device, one of the most influential inventions of all time.

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