Automotive Hall of Fame Celebrates Innovators

By Staff Writer July 21, 2021

The 2020/2021 Automotive Hall of Fame’s Induction and Awards Ceremony will recognize innovators and influencers from across the global mobility industry. This year’s class mirrors the evolution of the automotive industry and is comprised of a diverse group of visionaries.

“This class of inductees is the Automotive Hall of Fame’s most diverse in terms of geographical region, race, gender and industry sector. Also, we have added a new award – Mobility Innovator Award,” said Ramzi Hermiz, chairman of the Automotive Hall of Fame Board of Directors. “It is our goal to recognize all individuals who have made clear and compelling contributions that helped shape the automotive industry.”

Since the postponement of the Induction and Awards Ceremony in 2020, three additional inductees have been added to the Class of 2020/2021: C.R. and Frederick Patterson – C.R. Patterson & Sons (later the Greenfield Bus Body Company) and Charles Wiggins, who was barred from participating in white-only events, including the Indianapolis 500. He was also a leader in the parallel Colored Speedway Association championships, becoming a four-time winner of the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes. Known nationally as the “Negro King of Speed,” Charlie was a notable driver and an exceptional mechanic and engineer.

The previously announced inductees of this year’s class include: Honorary Chairman Mong-Koo Chung, the innovative leader and former chairman, who grew Hyundai/Kia into the world’s fifth largest car manufacturer and established the Hyundai brand synonymous for quality and reliability; Thomas Gallagher, the former chairman and president of Genuine Parts Corporation who successfully championed the independent owner model of NAPA stores, promoting distribution models that kept stores competitive and rooted in their communities, and advocated right-to-repair legislation; Jay Leno, founder of the Emmy Award-winning series, “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Leno is capturing generations of automotive enthusiasts through his passion for all things automotive; Helene Rother, known for her impeccable taste in design, Rother moved the post-war car market from interiors designed for utility to ones designed for luxury and sophistication. She was also the first woman hired in the styling department of General Motors.

The Mobility Innovator Awards recognize the outstanding work an individual has accomplished to introduce new technologies and services that are redefining mobility. This year’s winner is Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom and a member of its management board.

The 2021 Distinguished Service Citation, recognizing individuals who have had a significant positive impact on the industry or their respective organizations, go to; Sir Lewis Hamilton, professional driver, Formula One; and Ray Scott, CEO, Lear Corporation.

The  2021 Industry Influencer Awards, which recognize individuals who are influencing and leading through their actions, innovations and visible positions on issues pertinent to the automotive industry and its future, go to; Jim Baumbick, vice president, enterprise product line management, strategy, and planning, Ford Motor Company; Laurent Borne, president & CTO, Stoneridge; Nelda J. Connors, founder & CEO, strategic partner, Pine Grove Holdings, LLC; Chris Ludwig, vice president, EPIC Experience Team, HARMAN International;  Ben Volkow, CEO, Otonomo and Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer, General Motors.

The July 22 private ceremony will be held at the museum, located in Dearborn, Mich.

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Last modified on Monday, 26 July 2021 14:09