Costa Mesa, Calif. — Hyundai Motor America’s President and CEO John Krafcik stepped down upon the successful completion of his contract on Dec. 31, 2013. David Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales, assumed his role as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

“On behalf of Hyundai Motor Co., we sincerely thank John for his visionary leadership and relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, which has driven Hyundai’s record growth over the past five years,” said Im Tak Uk, executive vice president and COO, Hyundai Motor Co. “John’s forward-looking perspective, commitment to quality and design and pursuit of innovative new product offerings have elevated the Hyundai brand and introduced our vehicles to a new generation of satisfied and loyal customers.”

Under Krafcik’s tenure, Hyundai Motor America experienced increases in sales volume and market share, while garnering numerous industry awards. During the same time period, the model-year 2009 Genesis and 2012 Elantra took top honors as North American Car of the Year, while numerous Hyundai models received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick designation.

“It’s been a sincere privilege and honor to lead Hyundai Motor America over the past five years, and I am confident that with Dave’s succession, our brand will continue to expand and thrive for years to come,” Krafcik said. “We have many of the best and brightest employees in the business coupled with a committed and talented dealer network that will continue to pay dividends.”

Zuchowski joined Hyundai Motor America in February 2007 as vice president of sales, responsible for all sales, sales operations, market representation, field operations and overall dealer relations. A proven 33-year veteran of the automotive industry, Zuchowski was previously with Mazda North America, where he served as vice president of sales and field operations.

Zuchowski began his career in 1980 at Ford Motor Co., where he progressed through various executive-level positions, including regional manager, product marketing manager, national merchandising manager and field operations manager for the Ford and Lincoln Mercury divisions.

“I am both humbled and excited to lead Hyundai Motor America into the next chapter by continuing to build on John’s great legacy, and focusing on what matters most — building the highest quality, safest and most diverse fleet of models that customers love,” Zuchowski said.

“Dave has consistently distinguished himself as a results-oriented and motivational leader in our industry,” Uk added. “During his time at Hyundai, Dave has been instrumental in our growth, especially among our dealers. He exhibits a rare combination of passion, intelligence, creativity and diligence, and we are confident that he is the right choice to build on John’s momentum and take Hyundai to new and greater heights.”