Erwin Raphael is the Chief Cost Optimization Officer (CCOO) for Hyundai Motor North America. Erwin is responsible for leading a cross-affiliate group, the North American Cost Optimization Committee, which was created as a part of Hyundai’s efforts to streamline and better integrate all of Hyundai’s operations across the North American region. The group’s scope of work includes benchmarking and implementing best practices for localization, supplier assessments, cost optimization and analysis among many other business initiatives to improve efficiency across these companies. Erwin was named CCOO in March 2020.
Raphael is a seasoned automotive veteran, most recently serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Genesis Motor America where he was responsible for launching the brand in the U.S., including the strategic direction and management of all Genesis operations in the United States. Prior to the Genesis brand, Raphael was the Western Region director and general manager for Hyundai Motor America, overseeing operations of more than 165 Hyundai dealerships in the 12 Western-most states. Raphael has also served as the director of Engineering and Quality at Hyundai, where he was responsible for new vehicle engineering, quality improvement of production vehicles, technical training and support, as well as warranty planning and operations.
Prior to joining Hyundai, Raphael held a number of key leadership positions in vehicle development, engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and the International Truck and Engine Company.
Raphael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Math and Chemistry from Ohio State University, where he also completed graduate studies in economics. Raphael served eight years in the United States Army, most recently in the 364th Engineers Group in the 83rd ARCOM. He currently serves as a California Army Reserve Ambassador.
Raphael was born on the Island of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean and completed his early education on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. He currently resides in Orange County, California, where he enjoys surfing, skiing, running and a number of other sports. He is married with one son and a daughter.