The Automotive Hall of Fame honored General Motors Chairman Jack Smith as Industry Leader of the Year last week during the NADA convention.
In accepting the award, Smith said joining GM in 1961 'has led me on an adventure and education I'd never dreamed of.'
The auto industry is not something 'you'd advise your children or grandchildren to go into if they don't like risks,' Smith told attendees at the Automotive Hall of Fame and Popular Mechanics annual awards luncheon.
The Automotive Hall of Fame also awarded distinguished service citations to six auto industry leaders:
Sam Cupp, a Michigan Chevrolet dealer and CEO of Hamilton Group International in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Irma Elder, a Detroit area dealer with Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jeep, Jaguar, Saab, Aston Martin and Mitsubishi franchises.
Yale Gieszl, vice chairman of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
Leon Mandel, publisher of AutoWeek, a sister publication of Automotive News.
Tom Pappert, retired vice president of sales and services at the former Chrysler Corp.
Cynthia Trudell, GM vice president and chairman of Saturn Corp.
Honorees Sam Cupp, left, and Jack Smith chat at the awards luncheon.
Irma Elder, left, recipient of an Automotive Hall of Fame 2000 Distinguished Service Citation, gets a hug from fellow recipient Cynthia Trudell as they exit the stage after receiving their awards. Elder is a Michigan multifranchise dealer, and Trudell is a General Motors vice president and Saturn Corp. chairman.
AutoWeek Publisher Leon Mandel, right, a recipient of an Automotive Hall of Fame 2000 Distinguished Service Citation, poses with Cobra creator Carroll Shelby at the awards luncheon.
Tom Pappert, left, a recipient of an Automotive Hall of Fame 2000 Distinguished Service Citation, is retired vice president of sales and services for the former Chrysler Corp. He receives his award from James Olson, chairman of the Automotive Hall of Fame and a senior vice president for Toyota Motor Sales U.S. A. Inc.
Yale Gieszle, vice chairman of Toyota Motor Sales U.S. A. Inc., stands among vintage Toyota products at the awards luncheon. Gieszl received an Automotive Hall of Fame 2000 Distinguished Service Citation.