Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), consisting of Hyundai, Kia and luxury brand Genesis, is all in on awards season in 2023. The Korean brand grabbed wins at the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards (NACTOY), the Women’s World Car of the Year Awards (WWCOTY) and the World Car of the Year Awards (WCOTY).
The automaker also took home wins in Newsweek’s Automotive Disruptor awards including one for design going to executive vice president for design and Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke and one for marketing for the Genesis House and its campaign.
“Hyundai Motor Group continues to command attention from the industry and consumers alike. The group has made gains in market share for the last five years, and that rise should continue,” Paul Waatti, manager of industry analysis at AutoPacific told Newsweek.
It started with the NACTOY awards in January announced during a joint press conference with the Detroit Area Dealers Association (DADA) and Automotive Press Association (APA) at M1 Concourse in Pontiac.
After three rounds of voting stemming from test drives, research and evaluation jurors made the Genesis G80 EV a finalist in the car category and the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 as finalists in the utility category. The Kia EV6 took win over the Cadillac Lyriq and Genesis with jurors noting that the EV6 hits squarely in the heart of the market, is fun to drive and easy to charge. They also said it comes with amenities usually reserved for luxury brands.
In February, HMG received more good news from the Women’s World Car of the Year jurors, a team of 63 women motoring journalists from 45 countries on five continents and the only all-female jury in the automotive industry. It made the Kia Niro its Urban Car finalist, making it eligible for car of the year. It was joined by five other finalists including the Jeep Avenger (Family SUV), Citroen C5 X (Large Car), Nissan X-Trail (Large SUV), Audi RS 3 (Performance Car), and Ford Ranger (4×4).
On National Women’s Day, March 8, the Kia Niro was awarded as Supreme Winner and Women’s Car of the Year. Jurors said that the Niro was spacious, safe and practical, with several eco-friendly powertrains and very low fuel consumption.
For the World Car of the Year, another panel of jurors numbering 100, chose 10 finalists including the Nissan Z, Nissan Ariya, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Mazda CX-60, Honda HR-V, BMW 2 Series Coupe, Alfa Romeo Tonale. Of the top three finalists, BMW X1, Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Kia Niro, two are products of HMG.
To be eligible, vehicles must be produced in volumes of at least 10,000 units per year, must be priced below the luxury-car level in their primary markets, and must be on-sale in at least two major markets (China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Latin America, USA) on at least two separate continents within the period January 1, 2022 and March 30, 2023.
“Hyundai Motor Group has done a fantastic job aligning portfolios with U.S. consumer demands, offering right-sized products with a wide range of powertrain and trim level options. But the group stands out most in design. Each brand is well differentiated, with strong and emotional designs that are unique and refreshing in the market,” said Waatti.
Those World Car jurors were also all in on the Hyundai Motor Group as World Car Person of the Year went to SangYup Lee, designer for Hyundai Motor Company. Lee, along with his team, has created the stunning looks of the Hyundai N Vision 74 concept, among others.
But the Hyundai Motor Group didn’t stop there. The Kia EV6 GT was named World Performance Vehicle of the Year while its latest electric Ioniq 6 sedan took home World Car Design of the Year, World Electric Vehicle of the Year and the big one, World Car of the Year. It would be considered a total sweep if not for the Citroen C3 taking Urban Car of the Year.
The Hyundai Motor Group has been on a roll for at least five years with excellent vehicles from all three of its brands in gasoline, hybrid and electric vehicles. This recognition proves it’s been pointed in the right direction the whole time.