GENEVA - At a gala dinner at the Geneva International Motor Show, the European Automotive Hall of Fame was introduced to a gathering of industry executives and honorees' family members and the hall's two living members.
The legacy of many of the 13 charter members lives on with Porsche, Renault, Jaguar, Ferrari, Citroen, Bugatti, Robert Bosch, Mercedes-Benz and DaimlerChrysler. Other inductees fathered famous models and products, such as the Mini and the diesel engine.
The hall was established this year by various industry groups. It recognizes individuals who developed and changed the landscape of the automotive industry, said Keith Crain, publisher and editorial director of Automotive News and its sister publication, Automotive News Europe.
Plaques representing each member were unveiled Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Palexpo Center in Geneva, where they will be displayed year round. Induction ceremonies will occur each year at the Geneva show.
The two living members of the hall, Fiat patriarch Giovanni Agnelli and prolific designer Giorgetto Guigiaro, were on hand to accept replicas of their plaques.
Descendants of the other inductees also attended, including Gottlieb Daimler's grandson, Hans-Joachim Hoffmann-Daimler, who met with Karl Friedrich Benz's great granddaughter, Jutta Benz.
The Hall of Fame members were chosen by a panel of judges, including Crain; Carl Hahn, former chairman of Volkswagen AG; Bernard Hanon, former chairman of Renault; Sergio Pininfarina, chairman and managing director of Pininfarina S.p.A.; Robert Lutz, former vice chairman of Chrysler Corp.; and Walter Hayes, the late former vice chairman of Ford Motor Co.
Biographies of the inductees can be found at www.euro-auto-hall. org.