Hyundai Motor North America has selected Genesis and Hyundai veteran Erwin Raphael to lead a new cross-affiliate group as the Chief Cost Optimization Officer for Hyundai Motor North America. The new group, the North American Cost Optimization Committee, was created as a part of Hyundai’s efforts to streamline and better integrate all of Hyundai’s operations across the North American region. He will report directly to Hyundai Motor North America President and CEO José Muñoz.
The Cost Optimization Committee includes members from Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Hyundai Motor North America, Hyundai Motor America, Genesis Motor America, Hyundai Auto Canada, Hyundai Motor Mexico, Hyundai America Technical Center Incorporated, Mobis, and Glovis. Each company plays a critical part in the product competitiveness and the success of Hyundai throughout the Americas. The new group’s scope of work will include benchmarking and implementing best practices for localization, supplier assessments, cost optimization and analysis among many other business initiatives to improve efficiency across these companies.
“I can’t think of anyone better suited to serve in this position and create a new level of integration across all of Hyundai’s organizations in North America that will result in better business and financial performance,” said Muñoz. “We are excited to have Erwin lead Hyundai’s next start-up organization and we thank him for his strong leadership over the last ten years, including the most recent four years where he successfully led the launch of Genesis in the U.S. market.”
Raphael has 29 years of experience in the automotive industry, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for Genesis Motor America where he was responsible for 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.