FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Nov. 25, 2019 – Michael O’Brien, the vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital planning for Hyundai Motor America, was named a 2019 Automotive News All-Star in the product development category. This esteemed award is an annual selection of outstanding individuals who are leaders in the highly competitive automotive industry.
“We are very proud that Michael has been named an Automotive News All-Star,” said Brian Smith, COO, Hyundai Motor America. “Michael is forward-thinking in his understanding of the evolving consumer demand for SUVs and is reimagining open-bed utility, but doesn’t lose focus of the rich opportunities in the evolving sedan market. His commitment to a diverse and technologically advanced vehicle lineup allows Hyundai to remain at the forefront of automotive innovation in the U.S. market.”
O’Brien is responsible for guiding the strategic development of Hyundai’s entire model lineup, identifying opportunities to extend into new segments, tailoring Hyundai vehicles for the U.S. market and determining the target audience and positioning for each model. He also leads Hyundai’s corporate planning effort, which includes short and long-range strategic planning, market research and analytics and pricing.
As head of IT business strategy, he addresses the digital world by identifying and implementing the technologies and operations that make Hyundai products and services unique in a highly competitive market. He was successful in making Hyundai the first automotive brand to offer Android Auto and oversaw the launch of some of Hyundai’s recent technological innovations, such as the Digital Key, while continuing to lead advancements in its Blue Link connected car technology.
On the product front, he’s led the expansion of Hyundai’s eco-friendly vehicle lineup that is currently one of the most diverse in the industry, offering a variety of electric, plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, including the Kona EV and refreshed Ioniq lineup featuring industry leading gas and electric efficiency levels. Moving forward, he will oversee the growth in Hyundai’s eco-friendly portfolio, which will reach 13 models by 2022 in the U.S.
He has been responsible for the development of models like the all-new Santa Fe that was introduced last year and the dramatic evolution of the marquee 2020 Sonata. He has also been a driving force behind the company’s move to SUVs, including the NEXO fuel cell; the all-new Palisade, Hyundai’s new flagship SUV; the Kona, winner of the prestigious 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year; and the all-new 2020 Venue.
Hyundai Motor America
At Hyundai Motor America, we believe everyone deserves better. From the way we design and build our cars to the way we treat the people who drive them, making things better is at the heart of everything we do. Hyundai’s technology-rich product lineup of cars, SUVs and alternative-powered electric and fuel cell vehicles is backed by Hyundai Assurance—our promise to create a better experience for customers. Hyundai vehicles are sold and serviced through more than 830 dealerships nationwide and nearly half of those sold in the U.S. are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. Hyundai Motor America is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, and is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea.
Please visit our media website at www.HyundaiNews.com