Werner Frey isn't afraid of tough competition, which is a good trait for an executive at a relatively new brand that is fighting for sales in the world's most competitive market.
Frey is Hyundai Motor Europe's vice president. He is expected to increase the Korean brand's sales this year to 360,000 units -- a 35 percent increase over last year.
He says if he wasn't working in the automotive industry he would probably be in the aerospace business because it is even more competitive than car manufacturing.
Before moving to Hyundai in September 2002, the German native worked for 26 years with General Motors subsidiary Opel in Rüsselsheim.
Frey likes a good beer and enjoys reading biographies about business leaders and politicians to gain insights into what made them successful.
His heroes are Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and what he values most in life is honesty and sincerity.
Name: Werner Frey.
Title: Hyundai Motor Europe vice president.
Languages: German, English, some French.
Family: married, two daughters, one granddaughter.
Countries lived in: Germany, USA.
Education: Degree in industrial engineering with a focus on information technology and operations from the University of Karlsruhe.
First Car: Volkswagen Beetle.
What cars are in your garage now?
Hyundai Coupe, Hyundai Getz, Alfa Romeo 147.
If you could work in another industry, which would you choose?
The aviation/aerospace business because it is even more competitive than the automobile industry.
What's your favorite restaurant?
Our Hyundai cafeteria [at Hyundai Europe headquarters in Rüsselsheim], alternatively, all Italian restaurants.
What is the best holiday you ever had?
A trip to South Africa because of the country's overwhelming nature and its rich wildlife.
What's your greatest regret?
Having offended someone close.
What's your greatest extravagance?
Having built a house according to my ideals.
How do you relax?
Spending time with friends and family.
What do you value most in life?
Honesty and sincerity.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Professionally: A smooth and cooperative implementation of the block exemption rules for Hyundai across Europe.
Privately: My family.
What kind of books do you like to read?
Biographies about business leaders and politicians to gain insights into what made them successful.
When you come home from work, what is the first thing you do?
Take a shower, change clothes, chat with my wife and catch up with what the children did that day.
If you could meet a figure from history, who would it be?
Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo. They were creative and left lasting impressions. They changed the way people perceive the world.
What are you passionate about?
Striving for perfection.
What are your strongest personality traits?
Managing human resources, which means putting the right people into the right job; creating job satisfaction for those on my team.
If you had time to learn a new skill, what would it be?
To play the piano.
What CDs are in your car right now?
Norah Jones "Feels Like Home," Cecilia Bartoli "The Salieri Album."