Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally and consumer activist Ralph Nader will join Bertha Benz, the wife and business partner of Carl Benz, who invented the gasoline-powered automobile, and engineer Roy Lunn, godfather of the Ford GT40, as the latest inductees into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the museum said Thursday.
The four inductees will be honored at the hall's 2016 induction and awards ceremony on July 21 at Cobo Center in Detroit.
“We are pleased to induct four individuals whose entrepreneurial spirit helped create today’s global automotive industry,” William R. Chapin, president of the Automotive Hall of Fame, said in a statement. “Each made their unique vision a reality through tenacity, creativity and forward thinking, traits that still drive the auto industry evolution today.”
Mulally, 70, oversaw the team that created the first all-digital airplane, the Boeing 777. He became CEO of Ford in 2006 and steered the company through the severe downturn of 2008-09 before retiring in July 2014.
The museum, in honoring Mulally, credited the former Ford chief with one of the "greatest turnarounds in American business" and his "epic gamble" in approving development of the company's redesigned, all-aluminum F-150 pickup truck, a first for a major automaker.
"Mulally guided the Ford team in working together on a compelling vision, comprehensive strategy and relentless implementation of the One Ford plan to successfully guide the company through the U.S. financial crisis and restore Ford’s status as one of the world’s leading automakers," the hall said in a statement.