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Hyundai Motor names former Nissan executive Jose Munoz as COO

Key Points
  • South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor on Thursday named former Nissan executive Jose Munoz as its global chief operating officer.
  • Munoz, who will take charge on May 1, has also been named president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America.
Jose Munoz, chief performance officer of Nissan Motor Co., speaks during the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 15, 2018.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor on Thursday named former Nissan executive Jose Munoz as its global chief operating officer.

Munoz, who will take charge on May 1, has also been named president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America.

Previously, Munoz, 53, was Nissan Motor's chief performance officer and head of its China operations.

He joined Nissan in 2004 in Europe and led its expansion in North America after the global financial crisis. Since then, Nissan has raised its market share in the United States and posted record sales.

Munoz resigned from Nissan in January, further rattling the Japanese automaker's management team amid the investigation into ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn's alleged financial misconduct.

Widely considered as a close ally of Ghosn and a potential successor to lead the automaking partnership between Nissan and France's Renault, Munoz had been a "person of interest" in Nissan's widening internal investigation. Munoz will be based in California and will report to Hyundai's top leadership in Seoul.

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Key Points
  • Hyundai's latest offering is the compact Venue, expected to be priced under $20,000 for the base model.
  • "It's pretty darn small but it's a perfect entry-level vehicle for someone who might have, in the past, only had sedans to choose from," says Hyundai America COO Brian Smith.