José Muñoz joins the ranks of Rafael Nadal, Carlos Sainz and other prominent Spaniards in receiving one of Spain’s top automotive honors.
Muñoz, president and global chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor Company, and president and CEO, Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America, was selected to receive the prestigious “El Abrazote de Manolo” award by the Spanish members of the Europe Car Of the Year (COTY) jury.
The jury selected Muńoz for his longstanding global leadership in the automotive industry and ongoing advocacy for the industry in Spain and around the world.
“José Muñoz continues to make significant contributions to the motoring industry in Spain and internationally. On behalf of all of the COTY jury members in Spain, we offer our heartfelt congratulations,” said Xavi Pérez, COTY member. “This recognition by the Spanish members of the COTY jury is a tribute in memory of Manolo Domenech who left us 10 years ago and who represented a benchmark in motoring reporting.”
El Abrazote de Manolo, “the hug of Manolo,” is named after prominent Spanish motoring journalist Manolo Domenech who passed away in 2013. The award represents the Asturian expression ‘hug’ that Manolo Domenech used with people close to him.
“On behalf of the global team at Hyundai, I am deeply honored,” said Muńoz at a ceremony in Madrid. “Serving our customers with fantastic products and being part of a team with such a compelling vision for the future of mobility is reward enough; however, I am very thankful to the Spanish Car of the Year jury and sending a big abrazote to Manolo Domenech.”
This is the sixth El Abrazote de Manolo award. Previous recipients have included tennis champion Rafael Nadal, Formula One driver Carlos Sainz, Audi’s head of electrification Fermin Soneira Santos and COO of Kia Motors Europe Emilio Herrera, among others.
Spanish members of the Europe Car Of the Year jury include:
Xavier Pérez (Director de Motor de Prensa Ibérica y de El Periódico de Catalunya)
Rafael Guitart (Director en Boosters)
Pere Prat (responsable de motor en La Vanguardia)
Felix Cerezo (responsable de motor en El Mundo y Unidad Editorial)
Pedro Martín (responsable de motor en El Confidencial)
Juan Ignacio Eguiara (director de Autopista)
Previous jurors include Sergio Piccione, Alberto Mallo, Maria Angeles Pujol, Eduardo Azpilicueta and Arturo de Andrés.
José Muñoz is the president and global COO of Hyundai Motor Company and the president and CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America. In this capacity, Muñoz is responsible for driving greater performance in key strategic regions, including Europe, India and the Middle East and Africa. This includes leading global talent acquisition & management to recruit and retain core talent in new technology-based businesses.Muñoz is also responsible for global sales, service and product planning as part of the global business operations division.
Based in Hyundai’s U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, Muñoz also oversees the entire Americas market, including Hyundai Motor North, Central and South America, as the head of the Hyundai Motor Americas Region.
Muñoz is a native of Spain and earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of Madrid and has an MBA from Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School in Madrid. He has also completed executive management programs from Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. and INSEAD Business School in France. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French.