Hyundai Motor Replaces CEO of U.S. Unit After Sales Growth Lags

Hyundai Motor Co. (005380), South Korea’s largest automaker, named a new chief executive officer for its U.S. unit after combined deliveries with its affiliate trailed the U.S. market’s sales pace the last 14 months.

David Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales, will replace John Krafcik as president and CEO effective Jan. 1, the Seoul-based company said today in a statement. Hyundai said its contract with Krafcik, 52, expires at the end of this year.

Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., which share engines, model platforms and a chairman, have trailed the industrywide U.S. sales pace in each month since September 2012 as the rebounding Detroit Three and Japanese automakers checked Hyundai and Kia’s growth in the U.S. market. The Korean affiliates agreed this week to spend as much as $395 million to settle lawsuits related to claims that they overstated the fuel-economy ratings of their vehicles.

“Dave has consistently distinguished himself as a results-oriented and motivational leader in our industry,” Chief Operating Officer Im Tak Uk said of Zuchowski, 55, in the statement. “We are confident that he is the right choice to build on John’s momentum.”

Chris Hosford, a Hyundai spokesman, declined to comment beyond the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan, at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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