LOS ANGELES - Hyundai Motor America has lost its top service and product planning executives to resignations, a blow to a company trying to maintain a hot streak.
Chuck Halper, vice president of service, and David Ossenmacher, director of product strategy and planning, both left effective May 1.
Hyundai officials declined to comment beyond saying the two left "to explore other opportunities."
Hyundai has not named replacements and is considering both internal and external candidates for the jobs, a spokeswoman says.
In an interview last week, Halper said he was "taking a breather before getting back into the auto industry." He declined to say why he left Hyundai, but said his relationship was "amicable."
He added there "was no connection" between his departure and that of Ossenmacher.
Halper, 55, was named a 2002 Automotive News All-Star in the parts and service category.
In giving the award, Automotive News noted that Hyundai boasted "better-trained personnel, more software and a service-support budget that is triple what it was three years ago."
Before joining Hyundai in 1997, Halper was operations strategy and analysis manager at Nissan North America Inc. and held management positions with Chrysler and Infiniti.
Ossenmacher, 39, joined Hyundai in 2000, just in time to help launch the Santa Fe sport wagon.
Prior to that, he was program manager for the Xterra SUV at Nissan.
He did not return several messages last week.
Hyundai Motor America CEO Finbarr O'Neill noted that Ossenmacher "has been a key contributor to the market performance improvement of the Hyundai brand in America and our recent series of successful product launches."
Hyundai sales grew 8.3 percent in 2002 to 375,119 units, but O'Neill has set a goal of reaching 1 million U.S. sales by the end of the decade.