Other Key Personnel
David S. Kim joins the Washington, D.C. office as Vice President of Government Affairs. In this role, Kim will lead Hyundai’s U.S. government affairs program at the federal and state levels.
Kim officially began his role at Hyundai on February 21, 2017. Kim most recently served as Deputy Administrator at the Federal Highway Administration, where he had previously served as Associate Administrator of Policy and Governmental Affairs. Kim also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Governmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation and as Deputy Assistant for Congressional Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Kim previously served as the Head of the Government Relations Department for the Los Angeles County Metro Transportation Authority in Washington, DC as well. Earlier in his career, Kim spent time working in the offices of several lawmakers, including U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra and California State Senator David Roberti.
Kim holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s Degree of Political Science from Occidental College.
Mircea Gradu, Ph.D., joined Hyundai Motor America in May 2014 as director of engineering and quality. Gradu leads the development and implementation of product strategy to improve both the initial quality of Hyundai models and vehicle durability.
Gradu has more than 22 years of experience, most recently serving as vice president and head of transmission powertrain and driveline engineering for Chrysler Group LLC.
He started his automotive career at Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany and transitioned into other key executive roles within the automotive space including Schaeffler Group and The Timken Company.
Gradu’s distinguished career includes being the recipient of the 2008 Edward Cole Award for Automotive Innovation, the 2005 Forest McFarland Award and the SAE-Timken Howard Simpson Innovation Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Gradu was appointed SAE Fellow in 2011. He served as Vice President of SAE International - Automotive Sector from 2010 to 2012.
Gradu was listed among the 50 most influential automotive executives in 2012 by Motor Trend, and credited with the revival of the rear-wheel-drive automotive platforms through the introduction of the novel and fuel efficient transmission solutions.
He was awarded 56 patents on mechatronic automotive systems, published over 40 papers and held seminars or offered presentations at IEEE, SAE, TOPTEC, VDI and IFToMM events.
Gradu holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest.
He enjoys classic car driving and restoration, travel and outdoor recreation, including mountain biking, skiing and kiteboarding.
Scott Margason has served as Hyundai Motor America’s director of product planning since 2006. In this role, he is responsible for leading Hyundai’s product planning in the United States, as well as overseeing the product management and cross-carline planning teams. Margason works closely with Hyundai Motor America’s parent company, Hyundai Motor Company, to develop product plans. He also communicates product information and plans to other departments within Hyundai Motor America, Hyundai’s agencies and to the media. Margason has held the jobs of national manager of product planning and manager of product planning since joining Hyundai in 2000. Previously to Hyundai, he worked for Mazda Motor America in accessory development and product planning. Margason holds a Bachelor’s in political science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
Gilbert Castillo is the Senior Group Manager of Advanced Vehicle Strategy at Hyundai Motor America. He is responsible for the company’s exploration into new vehicle segments, including those with alternative powertrain technologies. He also is responsible for the strategic planning for the company’s future line of vehicles in the United States. Castillo led the successful introduction and launch of the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle, the first production fuel cell vehicle sold in the United States.
Castillo joined Hyundai in 2012 from Honda R&D Americas, where he worked in the areas of vehicle research and design and strategic vehicle development. Prior to joining Honda, he worked for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.
Castillo graduated from Stanford University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Product Design Engineering.
He is married and has two children. Castillo can often be found on weekends driving, both for work and pleasure, on the back roads of Southern California in a variety of vehicles, including his classic Alfa Romeo Spider.
John Shon is a manager of product planning for Hyundai Motor America. He has been in this role since 2010, and is responsible for the product planning and lifecycle management of the Sonata family of mid-size cars, including the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid, and full-size sedan Azera. He also manages and coordinates the product development process with Hyundai Motor America’s parent company, Hyundai Motor Company, where he develops product strategies, establishes target buyers, provides direction for exterior and interior design, determines vehicle specifications and trim levels, substantiates sales volume, and proposes vehicle pricing.
Since joining Hyundai in 2006, Shon has held the positions as assistant manager of product planning, and senior associate of corporate strategy and market insights. In these roles, he assisted in managing research projects, defined research objectives, managed supplier relationships, determined methodology, analyzed results, and drew strategic business and product implications.
Shon earned his bachelor’s in economics from the University of California, Irvine, and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Michael Evanoff is a manager of product planning for Hyundai Motor America, where he has been responsible for the lifecycle planning for the best-selling Elantra, Elantra GT, Veloster and Accent since he joined the company in 2012.
Prior to working for Hyundai, Evanoff spent time at Mitsubishi Motors North America. At Mitsubishi, he was a manager of product planning, overlooking the lifecycle planning for the automaker’s sedans and sporty cars. Before he was a product planner, he held the role of senior specialist of aftersales at Mitsubishi. In this role, he was charged with customer retention and customer service initiatives. Evanoff started his automotive career at The Automotive Group, managing fixed operations for the automotive retail company.
Evanoff received his bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Michigan, Dearborn.
Joining Hyundai Motor America in 2013, Trevor Lai is a manager of product planning, where he is responsible for the company’s crossovers Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport and Tucson. In this role, he studies consumer trends related to the CUV market in the United States, evaluates competitive vehicles to ensure that Hyundai CUVs have the highest quality of materials, workmanship and features, and ensures the smooth integration of innovative technology that helps with day-to-day life of a CUV owner.
Prior to working for Hyundai, Lai was the manager of product planning for SUV/CUV/LT tires for Toyo Tires USA, Corp. He also held numerous roles at Nissan North America, Inc. from 2002-2012, including manager of product planning for the Nissan Altima and NISMO Juke, manager of specialty vehicles group, planner of product planning for the Nissan Frontier, specialist of product planning for the Nissan Altima and Maxima, and specialist of consumer affairs.
Lai received his bachelor’s in international business from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.