Hyundai Motor America has made diversity a part of its business plan, chief executive Dave Zuchowski said at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Automotive Project conference in Detroit. He noted that diversity and inclusion were once part of Hyundai’s social responsibility department, but it didn’t work well due to lack of accountability from the operating groups.
Now, the business plan calls for diversity, with clear-cut objectives in areas like hiring, the automaker’s retail network, suppliers, marketing and advertising. But unlike before, those in charge of meeting those objectives will be held accountable, Zuchowski remarked.
He noted that 92 percent of the growth in the auto business comes from female and ethnic diversity buyers, which means the company can’t do business the way it used to. Hyundai accounted to 5.6 percent of 502,000 new cars and trucks vehicles delivered to African Americans in the first six months of 2014, according to data compiled by IHS Automotive.
On the other hand, Hyundai accounted for 4.6 percent of overall auto sales in the United States in the same period. The company, however, only has 29 African Americans out of its 700 sales and marketing employees – a number that Zuchoswki called as not good enough.
Zuchowski quipped that the people selling Hyundai’s products and services should to reflect its buyers. When he sat as CEO in January, Zuchowski established a diversity council of 17 employees coming from different ethnic backgrounds, genders, ages and sexual preferences.
The council – in which Zuchowski is also a member – holds a monthly meeting to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion within the company and its operations, according to Zafar Brooks, director of general affairs, government relations and diversity at Hyundai. [source: automotive news - sub. required]