Gearing Up for the Future: Tia Battle of Hyundai

Problem solving? Team building? Magic making? It's all second nature to Tia Battle, Central Region Director and General Manager for Hyundai North America.

Tia Battle Of Hyundai
I enjoyed learning how Tia Battle is determined to help others through her position at Hyundai. Photo: Teia Collier

Tia Battle of Hyundai Has a Presence

Standing tall in black pleated slacks, almond-toe block heels, and a long-sleeved blouse the shade of spring bluebonnets, Tia Battle stood comfortable with power and responsibility resting in her hands. I watched as she engaged with her team. Hands flitting quickly from note to person, a bright smile lit her face as the clock clicked down, signaling it was almost time to begin.

Seconds ticked off the digital clock. The Hyundai logo flashed a bright white against the muted modern sound stage, and a new SUV stood off to the left, shrouded in black satin, prepared for reveal. The buzz of journalists returning to normality after the dry loneliness of the pandemic hummed around the stage as Chicago’s McCormick Place sparked to life with a test click of the mic and flash of lights. 

As I settled into a seat on the carpet, I glanced around and saw familiar faces and new-to-me folks who bore the same edge of nervous excitement that I had felt upon my first re-entry events. It’s exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time. 

Related: Why We Love the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

I Enjoyed My Time With The Dynamic Tia Battle Of Hyundai.

I enjoyed my time with the magical Tia Battle of Hyundai. Photo: Teia Battle

I Came to See this Dynamic Hyundai Executive 

I knew who I came to see. Tia Battle, Central Region Director and General Manager for Hyundai North America. It is a vague title that does little to explain her path and journey but neatly explains her steady climb through the Hyundai organization. I also came to see my digital friend whom I first met virtually through WOCAN, Women of Color Automotive Network.

On Zoom, she comes across as lively and confident, radiant with the light of delight and curiosity. A careful listener with an eye for detail, she often had insight and wisdom to share and an easy laugh that was welcoming and made easy friends.

In person, even at a distance, there is a warmth that surrounds her, and I wanted to know more.  Nestled on the front row with other members of the leadership team. It was clear that she was in her element and beloved by her team and the House of Hyundai

Tia Battle Of Hyundai

Tia Battle of Hyundai speaking at CAS. Photo: Teia Collier

You Have to Start Somewhere…  and Start Team Building 

The Michigan State University graduate presented that day on a Progress for Humanity initiative from Hyundai that expanded the partnership with Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and donated $50k to the Buckle Up Child Passenger Safety Program. Her voice filled with pride as she spoke of the Women of Hyundai and the auto dealers who are investing more than just financially in communities but by creating networks that feed the surrounding areas, encourage safe progress, and inspire hope

It’s no surprise that a smile lights her face. I would later learn through our interview held via Zoom a few weeks later that that contagious pride stems from her work on the ground with dealers and service providers, not just at Hyundai but also at sister company Genesis and GM. It comes from years of problem-solving and building teams from within. A naturally energetic and positive person, Battle learned through years of solutions-driven tasks that the devil is in the details and that each team is different. 

While she was still in college, Tia began to work with GM. There, she learned how to listen, to pay attention to the details, and to absorb information. She discovered mentors who led by example, moved with purpose, and demonstrated how to walk through the next open door. She tells of adventures, learning through leadership development training, and actively finding the magic in everyone she works with. Tia notes that people shine when they are operating in their ‘zones of genius’. She also tapped into her inner resilience and gleaned nuggets of wisdom from people who have been down the road and were willing to invest in themselves and her.

Related: Check out the Thoughtfully Designed Hyundai Ioniq 6

Riding Through Open Doors at Hyundai

A Girls Guide To Cars | Gearing Up For The Future: Tia Battle Of Hyundai - Tia Battle At Genesis

Tia Battle, now with Hyundai, also worked for Genesis. Photo: Tia Battle

Utilizing the resources at hand and the value of her network, Battle landed at the luxury arm of the mobility giant that she currently calls home. Starting in sales, which essentially ended up being a real-life case study in people development, Tia learned how to prioritize, make the tough calls, and meet and exceed targets while creating a full life that she loves – rather than sacrificing it for the sake of the current goal. 

As she shared her story, I followed along her path and realized that her unique form of magic is fueled by a strong sense of self and honed by lessons gathered along the road. Over time, Battle has learned to strategically implement what she learned to create a covetable talent that has helped her to create and maintain cohesive teams that are consistently top-performing. It’s no wonder that success upon success has flowed from her journey at every waypoint. 

Tia Battle Of Hyundai

The dynamic Tia Battle. Photo: Teia Collier

Stepping Into the Future at Hyundai

It is also no surprise that as the Korean mobility giant steps into its role as a global leader, it continues to promote the talent that is already in-house. As a result, Tia found her way to Hyundai’s Central Region, just outside of Chicago, where she currently inspires teams to continue striving toward the next progressive goal and actively participates in ‘creating the future’ that she wants to see. 

More focused on ‘teachable moments’ and ‘building communities’ rather than commiserating over perceived ‘failures,’ Tia is backed by a strong work ethic and an optimistic outlook that has served her well over the years. In fact, Battle seems delighted and energized by the audacious goals of Progress for Humanity, Dynamic Equality, Circular Economies, and Emissions Neutrality set by Munoz and company.  

It’s an uphill climb, and yet she positively vibrates with a “Let’s do this!” kind of energy that is both magnetic and captivating. Strengthened by a strong circle of friends and family and fed by the communities in which she thrives, Tia Battle is gearing up for the next challenge, and we are cheering her on.

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Teia Collier is a mother of three, educator, social journalist, advocate for women’s and children’s issues and lover of... More about Teia Collier