Six Innovators Shaking Up the Industry

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For our inaugural awards honoring the World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors, Newsweek is honoring people and corporations which might be utilizing expertise to drive transformative change within the trade. What all of our winners have in frequent: They are within the forefront of the motion to convey the automobiles of at present into the digital future, and are doing so in ways in which profit each customers and their corporations’ backside strains.

Here’s a better take a look at this 12 months’s winners in six classes. (For particulars on how Newsweek picked the recipients of the 2022 Auto Disruptors awards, see “How We the Picked the World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors 2022” on the finish of the story.)


Euisun Chung
Executive Chair, Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group’s Executive Chair Euisun Chung is not simply centered on the automobiles of at present. He’s pushing the corporate, and its Hyundai, Kia and Genesis manufacturers, into the long run in a number of key methods. The firm is turning into extra vertically built-in, with Hyundai buying stakes in lots of the corporations that offer it with supplies and elements. It is bringing quite a few electrical fashions to market and testing hydrogen fuel-cell powered automobiles. And it has acquired a serious robotics firm with a watch towards a future wherein wheeled gadgets will transfer folks and issues round their properties and workplaces.

Those initiatives, which collectively put Hyundai Motor Group on the forefront of disruptive change within the trade, make Chung Newsweek’s Auto Disruptors Visionary of the Year.

“From the very start, when my visionary grandfather, Ju-Yung Chung, founded the company, we have always wanted to make a genuine and positive difference to people’s lives,” Chung tells Newsweek. “You could say that we have always been disruptors and today the ambition to create, improve and move forward is evident in the people and teams around the world who are part of Hyundai Motor Group. Personally, I feel compelled to drive change where it is needed and I believe it is imperative that those of us in a position to change the world for the better must accept the responsibility and embrace it.”

Alternative fuels play a serious function in Chung’s plans for Hyundai’s future, because the Group pushes ahead in an formidable means on electrical automobiles and vehicles. The firm can have 14 battery-electric automobiles beneath the Kia model by 2027 and 11 Hyundai and 6 Genesis battery electrical automobiles by 2030. The purpose: to promote 3 million items and seize 12 % of the worldwide electrical automobile market by 2030.

Chung is not simply planning on an electrical future, although; he is additionally betting on hydrogen. “We believe fuel cell and battery electric technologies are complementary, not competitive,” he says. “To realize zero-emissions mobility at a global scale and counter the climate change crisis, we should foster both. One cannot replace the other.”

Considerable progress has already been made. In 2021, 46 hydrogen-powered Hyundai take a look at vehicles in Switzerland drove 1.2 million miles. Diesel fueled vehicles would have put 1,268 tons of carbon into the air. The hydrogen vehicles’ solely emissions had been small quantities of water from their tailpipes.

Still, challenges stay. The obligatory help infrastructure for hydrogen automobiles—for instance, networks of fueling stations—hasn’t been constructed at scale but, so Hyundai is attempting to hurry that together with a collection of worldwide company collaborations. “Through strategic partnerships with hydrogen, energy and logistics companies around the world, we will help accelerate the development of a hydrogen society. All in all, we are building what tomorrow needs,” Chung says.

Hyundai can also be planning a future for itself that goes past automobiles and vehicles. “We are focused on multi-disciplinary innovation and are reshaping the potential of the automotive industry by providing holistic solutions to these challenges,” Chung says. “Our work includes supporting the development of smart cities with a fully integrated approach and by developing a variety of eco-friendly mobility solutions tailored to diverse customer lifestyles. By doing so, we aim to provide mobility solutions for individuals, business and society overall. This is a key differentiator for Hyundai Motor Group and one of our strengths,” he provides.

Toward this finish, Hyundai final 12 months acquired Boston Dynamics, a robotics firm finest recognized for its four-legged “dog” robots named Spot. The firm showcased the acquisition at this 12 months’s CES in Las Vegas, thought of the premiere platform for technological innovation. There, Hyundai displayed small “Mobility of Things” modules that may transfer folks or issues, not on roads however slightly in properties and companies. The firm additionally talked up what it calls “Metamobility,” a mix of robotics and digital actuality that may join customers and their automobiles to the “metaverse.”

Meanwhile, Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility unit, beneath the corporate identify Supernal, is engaged on each electrical vertical take-off and touchdown automobiles and the assorted logistics challenges surrounding mass adoption of the expertise.

Through all of this, the corporate has positioned particularly excessive significance on additional integrating its enterprise, analysis and design and manufacturing operations. “One needs to look no further than the ongoing supply chain challenges to understand why vertical integration is necessary,” Chung says. “While strategic partnerships and a robust supply chain will always be essential, in this business there are areas where we need to be self-sufficient, from components to finished goods.” —Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

FE Auto Awards 03 EXECUTIVE
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty


Jim Farley

President and CEO, Ford Motor Company

Ford president and CEO Jim Farley’s grandfather labored on the road that constructed the Model T greater than 100 years in the past. Now Farley has been tasked with advancing the Ford household legacy of auto disruption and innovation into the twenty-first century by transferring the corporate to the forefront of the trade’s digital future.

The steps taken in 2021 to push Ford ahead towards this purpose, mixing the corporate’s storied historical past with targets round sustainability and digital innovation, are why Farley is Newsweek’s Auto Disruptors Executive of the Year.

Farley has launched electrical automobiles beginning with iconic nameplates: Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning and Lincoln Zephyr. Those fashions will be modified with out stops at dealerships. Their linked applied sciences permit for digital vary, suspension and dealing with upgrades wirelessly.

“This digital transformation has ripped its way through business and, after years of talking about it, it’s finally arrived in our industry. I think Tesla deserves a lot of credit for their acknowledgment of the shift more than 10 years ago,” Farley tells Newsweek. “We call that ‘Always On’ at Ford. You’re always improving the product, you’re always talking to the customer. It’s not this episodic thing when you buy a car and if something breaks you go to the dealership—those days are over.”

Interconnectedness is vital. “For us, ‘Always On’ means that yes, it’s a digital powertrain with electrons but, more importantly, the electrical architecture shifts to an embedded system like the phones,” Farley says, holding up his Apple iPhone.

To achieve perception into the method, Farley talked to the chief executives of General Electric and Sysco, large corporations additionally going by way of digital transformations. “They all had the same drumbeat,” he says. “During the transition, supply chain becomes really important. And don’t ask your team to do too many things. That really resonated with me.”

Those conversations led to a recent means of doing enterprise at Ford, together with the launch of two new divisions: Ford Blue and Ford Model e, which work individually to innovate present (Blue) and future (Model e) merchandise. It’s a part of a push to disrupt the trade rapidly.

“Watching my team struggle with this change to digital product,” Farley says, “it became very clear to me and the leadership team that the only way to make this go faster, and to catch up to where customers already are, is to create an innovation team.”

To shore up its provide chain, Ford has damaged floor on BlueOval City, a $5.6 billion campus in Stanton, Tennessee. The facility is meant to revolutionize the best way Ford makes elements and automobiles, emphasizing sustainability whereas bringing 6,000 jobs to one in every of America’s poorest areas.

“This is our chance to build a carbon neutral plant and do so in a socioeconomic location where there was very high unemployment and not a lot of jobs,” Farley says. “So it’s kind of like what we did in the ’20s in the company [when] lots of people moved from the South and overseas to work to get $5 a day from Mr. Ford.”

Ford can also be planning a $5.8 billion battery manufacturing complicated with SK Innovation in central Kentucky that can create 5,000 new jobs.

“It’s really a revitalization of our commitment to America,” Farley says. “Ford is one out of every five vehicles that are built in the United States. We’re the largest employer in the U.S. in our sector even though we don’t sell the most. We bet on the U.S. This is a revitalized bet on the U.S., merging our aspiration for carbon neutrality with our history as a great manufacturing company and our history of doing social good. —Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

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Hyundai Motor Group


Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group’s engineering staff developed the corporate’s new Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which underpins a brand new technology of automobiles aimed toward democratizing an electrified future. It earns its creators Newsweek‘s Auto Disruptors Research and Development Team of the Year Award.

One of the advantages of electrical powertrains is the flexibility to have a extra spacious inside. Hyundai aimed to reap the benefits of this by creating an inside design the corporate says is a mirrored image of how folks stay and work at present.

“Over the past few years, humanity has gone through major changes,” Fayez Abdul Rahman, senior vp of Hyundai’s Vehicle Architecture Development Center, tells Newsweek. “As a result, having mobility that provides a smart living space where we can safely and comfortably spend time has become more highly valued.” That consists of options like a movable console and vehicle-to-load charging, which permits the automotive to offer electrical energy for different gadgets for makes use of like automotive tenting and distant workplace work.

According to Rahman, E-GMP has additionally improved automobile dynamics. “We took advantage of the EV’s structure to enable more stable and comfortable driving by lowering the center of gravity,” Rahman says.

Going ahead, Hyundai expects the E-GMP platform for use in 23 battery-electric automobiles by 2025 ranging throughout the Kia, Hyundai and Genesis branded lineups. Currently, the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 experience on the structure. Vehicles constructed on the platform shall be able to getting as much as 310 miles of all-electric vary.

Rahman provides “By developing this new platform, we are proactively preparing for the autonomous driving era.” —James McCandless

FE Auto Awards 02 DESIGNER


Alfonso Albaisa
Senior Vice President, Global Design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

When it involves automotive design, the eagerness is within the course of for Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vp of worldwide design. That ardour has led to a reinvigoration of Nissan and Infiniti design.

In simply 20 months, Nissan has launched, revised or launched almost each key mannequin it makes, from the absolutely electrical Ariya to the highly-anticipated next-generation Z. The Rogue, Pathfinder and Frontier additionally underwent generational overhauls. This disruptive, accelerated cadence is why Albaisa earns Designer of the Year honors.

In order to create a way of uniformity within the line up, Albaisa and his staff chosen an inventory of phrases to outline their new design strategy. One of them is ma, a Japanese strategy to minimalism that may be seen all through the road up. “In music, the silence between the claps is ma,” Albaisa says. “But it’s not empty, actually. It’s full of tension. It’s also full of some sound waves. [Nissan design] fell in love with all of this stuff, and that’s how we create this minimalism, and this harmony, and this completeness, with very few elements.”

Albaisa and his staff are specializing in the long run. They’ll be busy. The firm plans to have 23 electrified fashions, together with 15 new battery-electric automobiles in its lineup by the top of the last decade as a part of its Nissan Ambition 2030 plan. –Tatiania Perry

FE Auto Awards 01 MARKETING
Land Rover


Land Rover

Land Rover has been supporting volunteer organizations and nonprofits internationally for nearly a century. The firm’s Defender Above & Beyond Awards are an extension of these efforts, combining the launch of a brand new automobile with a advertising marketing campaign that disrupts the standard means of promoting a mannequin, incomes Land Rover Newsweek’s Auto Disruptors Marketing Campaign of the Year honors.

“For the last 70 years, we have a strong legacy of providing vehicles to organizations that are doing good not only for the community but also those that reach around the globe,” Joe Stauble, public relations and communications supervisor at Land Rover, tells Newsweek. “When we launched the Defender, after a hiatus of about 24 years in the market, it was right around the time that the pandemic was taking place. It was just such a great opportunity for us to give back.”

To be thought of for the awards, organizations had been required to provide a video explaining their mission and why a brand new Defender would assist them fulfill it. Land Rover opened up entries to group service organizations in seven classes: search and rescue, marine conservation, city enchancment, fireplace and rescue, environmental conservation, animal rescue and first responders. Land Rover’s model ambassadors, together with Winter Olympians Lindsey Vonn, Steven Nyman and Meghan Duggan, together with professional surfer Laird Hamilton, narrowed down the preliminary candidates. Those who made the minimize had been then voted on by the general public. Over 350 submissions and 175,000 votes had been acquired. Winners had been introduced in September 2021. The organizations then sat down with Land Rover design to create customized automobiles for his or her respective missions.

“This program really creates a lot of linkage between Defender capability, and the desire to serve, and being connected to a community,” says Michael Curmi, director of brand name expertise for Jaguar Land Rover. “For me, those are the three things that we came in every day and worked on for this project. This was a labor of love.” —Tatiania Perry

FE Auto Awards 05 POWERTRAIN
Kelly Serfoss


Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group went into improvement of its new technology of electrical automobiles aiming to enhance effectivity and vary. The firm is now providing consumers a selection of a 400- or 800-volt electrical system that permits lengthy ranges and fast-charging capabilities—at costs which might be far decrease than these of automobiles beforehand in the marketplace with the expertise.

The democratization of that superior energy expertise, and its potential to disrupt the auto market, is why the corporate wins Newsweek’s Powertrain of the Year award.

With the creation of a brand new energy distribution expertise, engineers sought to emphasise Kia, Genesis and Hyundai automobiles’ fast acceleration, made potential by the instantaneous throttle response that EVs ship. The new system is able to attaining as much as 310 miles of all-electric vary. Its structure permits decreased charging occasions, with some automobiles in a position to go from 10 to 80 % charged in round 20 minutes, down from the hours it presently takes most fashions.

Creating {an electrical} system that would help such a powerful energy move meant proving the expertise beneath a large number of situations that drivers would face. “Many parts were newly developed for our E-GMP platform, with a huge amount of work done to ensure durability, performance, robustness and safety,” says Alain Raposo, Hyundai Motor Group government vp and head of the electrified propulsion improvement tech unit. The fashions are constructed with an extremely high-strength metal body and are designed to distribute the pressure of an impression extra safely throughout the automobile’s physique and battery.

Years earlier than its debut, the widespread adoption of EVs appeared a distant dream. As far again as 2017, the staff was making choices on battery structure, design and cooling programs, and betting on the long run. Now, the brand new system will be discovered within the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 fashions which might be at dealerships worldwide.

“The next step is clear: maintain our lead in EV technology to best meet our customers’ evolving needs,” Raposo says. “We have ambitious technology road maps that will enable us to continue improving and offering our customers an exemplary EV experience.” —James McCandless


How We the Picked the World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors 2022

For its preliminary listing of candidates, Newsweek requested America’s automakers to submit nominations for the World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors awards from inside their ranks. Then, led by Newsweek Senior Autos Editor Eileen Falkenberg-Hull, the Autos staff combed by way of a 12 months’s value of infotainment, powertrain, platform, advertising, enterprise and details about different advances within the trade to additional determine the accomplishments of nominees. To be thought of, candidates needed to be using expertise, advertising or imaginative and prescient in a means that’s driving elementary, transformative change within the automotive market, with measurable real-world outcomes—or have clear and demonstrable potential to take action. The listing was then narrowed by the Autos staff, which incorporates editor Jacob Lingeman and writers Tatiania Perry and James McCandless. Winners had been chosen after a consensus was reached among the many Autos staff and Newsweek prime editors.

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