2023 World Car Person of the Year

SangYup Lee

Executive Vice President, Head of Hyundai and Genesis Global Design Center, Hyundai Motor Company

SangYup Lee was born on November 22, 1969, in South Korea. After studying Transportation Design at the ACCD(Art Center College of Design)(1995–1999), he started his career in Porsche and Pininfarina in 1998. He has an extraordinary career with his extensive experience working at different automotive companies as a Chief Designer. Before he joined Hyundai in 2016, he was the Chief of Exterior and Advanced Design in Bentley, Chief Designer in Volkswagen Group, and Design Manager in GM. He is a designer of world-renowned cars such as Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Bentley Bentayga, Mulsanne, Flying Spur, and EXP 10 Concept. He currently works for Hyundai Motor Company as the Head of Hyundai & Genesis Global Design Center, and he is now putting his effort to improve design value of these two brands. The results of his effort has been presented to the public in recent years, which are 45 Concept, Prophecy Concept, X Concept, Elantra, IONIQ 5, G90, GV80, GV70, GV60 etc. He declared new design philosophy of “Sensuous Sportiness” for Hyundai and “Athletic Elegance” for Genesis. He emphasizes building innovation upon Hyundai’s design heritage while establishing new identity of Genesis design. With a strong vision for Hyundai & Genesis design, he plans to expand product design portfolio of the brands.

Hyundai Motors Company
Head of Hyundai & Genesis Global Design Center Present
> Responsible for All Genesis and Hyundai designs including Exterior, Interior and Advanced programs.
> Design Strategy by Brand: Genesis, Hyundai and Hyundai Commercial

Bentley Motors Limited
Head of Exterior and Advanced Design 2013-2016
> Responsible for All Bentley Exterior and Advanced programs.
> Bentley Product and Design Strategy.

Volkswagen Group of America, Design Center California
Chief Designer 2010-2012
> Volkswagen Group Advanced and Production programs
> Volkswagen Audi Skoda Porsche Lamborghini and Bentley

General Motors
Design Manager
> Camaro Production Program, GMNA 2008-2010
> Manufacturing Design Execution and Z28
> Camaro Life Cycle Strategy, SEMA and special editions
> Camaro Production Program, Holden Australia 2006-2007
> Camaro Concept Vehicle, GMNA 2005
> Stingray Corvette Concept Vehicle, GMNA 2004

Lead Designer
> Buick Velite Production Program, GMNA 2004
> Buick Velite Concept Vehicle, Bertone, Italy 2003
> Cadillac 16 Concept Vehicle, GMNA 2002

Senior Designer
> GM and Subaru join venture program, Subaru, Japan 2001
> C6 Corvette Production Program, GMNA 1999-2001

> Porsche AG, Weissach, Germany (Intern and Contract Designer) 1998
> Pininfarina, Torino, Italy (Internship) 1998

> Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA 1995-1999
> Transportation Design BS degree with an honor
> Hongik University, Seoul, South Korea 1988-1994
> Fine Art, Sculpture BFA degree

> Autocar awards, “Design Hero Award" 2022
> Motor Trend, “Person of the Year” 2021
> Festival Automobile International(FAI), “Grand Prize of Design” 2021
> Korean Government, “Order of Industrial Service Merit _ Silver Tower” 2021
> Wall Street Journal “Growing Influence in Detroit and Beyond is Evidenced by Sangyup Leeʼs Camaro” 2008
> GM Chairmanʼs Honors “Best of the Best” 2007
> New York Times “Camaro designer in New York City” 2008