DETROIT -- There’s no gold medal for the most fuel-efficient car. So, when Hyundai’s new Ioniq Hybrid and EV eco-vehicles took top-of-class in EPA ratings, the boss decided to make one.
It was an Olympian performance, said Lee Ki-sang, senior vice president at Hyundai Motor Group’s Eco Technology Center. And he commissioned 500 gold medals to reward his team.
Dangling from red-white-and-blue ribbons, the lustrous hardware is inscribed, in English, with the declaration “WE ARE THE BEST” and “1st Ioniq.” Lee needed special permission from his wife to make the medals because he paid for them out of pocket. It was unclear whether they were real gold.
“We wanted the engineers to be proud of their achievement,” Lee said.