On the evening of July 21 local time, the 2022 U.S. Automotive Hall of Fame's Induction & Awards Ceremony was held in ICON, Detroit. Lu Guanqiu, founder and chairman of the Board of Directors of Wanxiang, won this honor and became the first Chinese to be inducted into the AHF. Wanxiang is also the first company to be selected for its clean energy vehicles.
Lu Weiding attended the awards ceremony and accepted the trophy of the AHF on behalf of Lu Guanqiu, chairman of the Board of Directors of Wanxiang.
Founded in 1939, the AHF honors and celebrates entrepreneurs and leaders who have made great contributions to the automotive and mobility industry, and induction into it is considered as the highest honor in the global automotive industry. Each year, the AHF evaluates around 60 to 70 candidates from around the world and inducts 4 to 6 of them. In February this year, the AHF announced the inductees for 2022.
At that time, the AHF introduced Lu Guanqiu like this in its press release: "Lu Guanqiu is a Chinese entrepreneur and pioneer who has developed Wanxiang from a rural bicycle repair shop in the 1960s to a global auto parts supplier with his creativity and great wisdom. Wanxiang was the first Chinese company to sell auto parts to American Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and now has operations in 26 U.S. states. Chairman Lu has also been a pioneer in addressing the global climate change with practice in China, and has raised China's awareness of the global climate issue. He spearheaded the development of China's clean energy industry, including launching a number of battery and electric vehicle programs in the late 1990s. Subsequently, he acquired and revived such clean energy-related companies as A123 Systems and Fisker Automotive Holdings, Inc. The latter has transformed into Karma Automotive."
Sarah Cook, President of the AHF, paid a special visit to Wanxiang. She said that the rapid development of Wanxiang in the U. S. auto industry and its promotion of new energy have attracted global attention. Induction into the AHF requires rounds of selection, including the recommendation by industry leaders, appraisal by expert groups, and review by the Board of Directors. It is rather remarkable for Chairman Lu Guanqiu to get the unanimous recognition of so many big shots, and become the first Chinese to be inducted into the AHF, which has also made Karma the first electric vehicle company to be selected, reflecting Wanxiang's reputation in the industry in the United States.
At the awards ceremony, Jonathon Husby, President of the Board of Directors of the AHF, gave an account of Lu Guanqiu's entrepreneurial story. He said that Mr. Lu Guanqiu started his entrepreneurial endeavors with a bicycle repair shop, and later founded Wanxiang Group, which he developed into a global conglomerate through 55 years of efforts. His foresight, persistence and success are a valuable legacy to the world. His story transcends itself and will have a further impact on the next generation.
Lu Weiding said in his speech that his father's inclusion into the AHF shows that American users, his former partners, and his peers in the auto industry still remember him and are thinking of him, and that he has made certain achievements and meaningful contributions in both China and the United States. My father once said that he had two sons, and one of them was Wanxiang. He said in as early as 1999 that clean energy vehicles had to be developed. If he failed, his son had to keep doing it; and if his son fails, his grandson had to carry on the work. All this is about the next generation and our future. Lu Weiding said that he was glad that his father's dream had been realized in 2017. As the son of an inductee into the AHF, it is his responsibility to ensure that our next generation can have a thorough grasp of their responsibilities for the entire clean energy and smart mobility industries.
At the awards ceremony, a Karma GS-6 special edition was showcased as a tribute to Chairman Lu Guanqiu and the 54-year business history of Wanxiang Group, as well as an inspiration for people to advance towards the future of electric vehicles with passion and innovation. This edition features Karma's specially designed Edition 54 logo embroidered on the seat headrest, a 3D Edition 54 emblem made of ground aluminum decorated on the external fenders on both sides individually, and the color gold by one-time anodizing. The logo and 3D emblem were meticulously created by Karma's design team. The exterior color of Benito Blue was inspired by Wanxiang blue.
Sarah Cook said in an interview, "We're very excited to be inducting our first individual from China. Lu really exemplifies entrepreneurship. This was a man that started from very humble beginnings and built his company to a business with an annual turnover of 27 billion dollars. He's left a great impact in the industry, as well as a really strong spiritual legacy and an enterprise that's surviving into the next generation."
The day before, an inscription ceremony was held at the headquarters of the AHF in Dearborn, Michigan. A marble plaque bearing the signatures of the 2022 inductees will be put on display permanently.
The other inductees this year besides Lu Guanqiu are: Victor Green and his wife Alma Green, authors of The Green Book: The Black Traveler's Guide to America; Taiichi Ohno, creator of Toyota Production System (TPS); Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of Lamborghini; and Lyn James, legendary American racer.
According to information, the AHF has so far honored close to 800 awardees from around the world, including Benson Ford of the Ford Family, Lee Iacocca, who saved Chrysler, founder of Mercedes-Benz Karl Benz, founder of the Porsche AG Ferdinand Porsche, Honda Motor founder Soichiro Honda, founder of Ferrari Enzo Ferrari, and founder of Toyota Motor Corporation Kiichiro Toyoda.