Humans > Legend

Hyundai Motor Group’s chief creative officer is 2022 World Car Person of the Year

For designing some of the brand’s recent vehicles

This man is responsible for the recent wave of head-turning Korean cars. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP

You probably have been living under a rock if you haven’t noticed the Hyundai Motor Group‘s resurgence into the respected brand (or brands) it is today, especially with the likes of Kia and Hyundai doing extremely well around the world, and the introduction of the luxury brand called Genesis.

You can thank Luc Donckerwolke‘s design contributions to the brand last year (which was a very strong year for the HMG), which was why he was named the World Car Person of the Year by 102 journalists from 33 countries at the 2022 World Car Awards.

His past works ranged from luxury and exotic to even average cars. PHOTOS FROM AUDI, BENTLEY AND LAMBORGHINI

The Belgian automotive designer has joined the Hyundai Motor Group as its chief creative officer in 2016 after having worked for various companies in the Volkswagen Group like Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi.

You may recognize some of his iconic works in the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo, the B6-generation Audi A4 Avant, and the second-generation Bentley Flying Spur.

These are some of Donckerwolke's recent works for the Korean automakers. PHOTOS FROM GENESIS, HYUNDAI AND KIA

Donckerwolke has been responsible for penning some truly unique designs in his time at the Korean automaker, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (which also bagged three awards at this year’s World Car Awards), the Kia EV6, and most of Genesis’s vehicles (the GV60, the GV80, the G80 and the G90).

He bested the other finalists for the award this year:

  • Shailesh Chandra, managing director of Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors
  • James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin, executive producers of Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Netflix
  • Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer, General Motors
  • Linda Zhang, F-150 Lightning chief engineer, Ford

To give a bit of a refresher, the World Car Person of the Year award is one of the six accolades given annually by the World Car Awards to recognize individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the industry or significant breakthroughs in automotive engineering.

Previous recipients have included Akio Toyoda (Toyota president and CEO), Carlos Tavares (Stellantis CEO), Sergio Marchionne (former Ferrari CEO), and Hakan Samuelsson (Volvo president and CEO).

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.