Updated at 10:00pm on June 6 with response from Hyundai.
Derrick Hatami, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president of sales for less than two years, has been removed from Hyundai’s leadership team as of today, June 6, 2017.
After record annual volume in the 2016 calendar year, Hyundai’s U.S. sales have been falling fast throughout 2017. Year-over-year, Hyundai volume declined in each of the last six months, including an 18-percent decline in May 2017.
That decline enabled partner brand Kia to outsell Hyundai for the first time in the brands’ U.S. history, evidently a source of embarrassment for Hyundai. Having already forced out the company’s U.S. CEO, Dave Zuchowski, just before Christmas last year after Hyundai’s rapid growth stalled, Derrick Hatami’s departure leaves a hole that will be filled in the interim by Hyundai’s southern regional general manager, Sam Brnovich, according to Automotive News.
Last week, Hyundai wasn’t short on excuses for the company’s poor May performance. This week, the excuses were apparently not good enough.
There’s room at the top at Hyundai Motor America after the sudden firing of CEO David Zuchowski, insider sources claim.
According to Automotive News, Zuchowski, who joined the company as sales chief in 2007 before taking the top job two years ago, didn’t achieve internal sales targets. As such, he’s reportedly out the door, replaced by an interim leader.
It might be hard finding someone to replicate Hyundai’s sizzling post-recession sales performance.
Remember the Hyundai Santa Cruz from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show? The trucklet may soon be coming to a showroom near you.