2021 is an inflection point for growth, says Hyundai chairman


Hyundai Motor Group chairman, Euisun Chung, has delivered a New Year’s message for the Group’s employees around the globe, outlining the company’s strategic direction and commitments for the year 2021 and beyond. The message, which may also inspire other companies, conveys Hyundai’s future vision, customer-first philosophy, quality-innovation drive and direction for elevating its corporate culture, with the aim of being at the forefront of the future mobility industry.

“We should all stay true to our mission, which is realising humanity’s dream of ‘safe and free mobility as well as a peaceful life,” Chung stated, adding that “2021 should be the year in which we kick-start our great transformation into a new growth engine.”

He also emphasised the importance of making bold progress in eco-friendliness, future technology, and business competitiveness. In particular, the enduring need for prioritising “quality and safety” was highlighted, as the Group’s chief urged all staff and business partners to collaborate to “make quality and safety a top priority.”

Year of inflection point
“In the post-pandemic era, social values and lifestyles different from the past will prevail,” said Chung. “And as a result, only those companies prepared for continuous transformations will survive and grow.”

He also expressed confidence that 2021 will be a decisive year for Hyundai Motor Group as a catalyst for long-term sustainable investments and innovations. “We have to therefore think of 2021 as an inflection point for shaping our future growth and prepare ourselves to become the first mover in a new era.”

The chairman presented a vision for transforming the Group into a new growth engine by expanding market share in the eco-friendly market, securing future technology capabilities, and strengthening business competitiveness in collaboration with all the members of the Group.

“Our great transformation into a new growth engine is possible only when we are all on board together,” according to Chung. “If we persevere by uniting our hearts and capabilities, I’m confident we will triumph over any challenges and turn them into new growing opportunities.”

Electrification leadership
“With the launch of new vehicles based on the recently released electric vehicle platform, the E-GMP (Electric-Global Modular Platform), we plan to provide attractive eco-friendly mobility options that aptly reflect customers’ diverse tastes and needs at more reasonable prices,” said Chung, referring to the Group’s vision to become a top-tier global eco-friendly brand.

“Furthermore, our hydrogen fuel cell technology, recognised as the world’s most advanced, will be expanded to diverse mobility and industrial sectors to help achieve carbon neutrality under the ‘HTWO (Hydrogen + Humanity)’ brand,” he added.

This year Hyundai Motor Group will concentrate efforts to become a global electric vehicle powerhouse by launching dedicated electric vehicles built on the E-GMP, including Hyundai Motor’s IONIQ 5, Kia’s crossover electric vehicle, and Genesis luxury brand’s crossover electric vehicles.

The E-GMP offers a multi-charging system allowing both the 800V and 400V charging capabilities. The system is the world’s first patented technology which operates the motor and inverter to boost 400V to 800V for a stable charging compatibility. A battery electric vehicle based on the E-GMP is capable of a maximum range of over 500km with a fully charged battery (WLTP standard) and it can high-speed charge up to 80% in just 18 minutes and can add up to 100km of driving range in just five minutes.

Hyundai Motor Group plans to expand its battery electric vehicle lineup from the current eight models to 23 by 2025 and sell 1 million units annually in global markets.

The Group will also accelerate the building of EV infrastructure. Hyundai Motor Group will set up 20 high-speed charging stations in Korea by 2021 and will further expand its charging network in cooperation with energy companies. Overseas, the Group plans to have EV charging infrastructure optimised for market-specific environments with various partners, including IONITY, the European high-power charging network in which the Group has made a strategic investment.

Moreover, the Group will accelerate the creation of a hydrogen energy ecosystem. It will expand the supply of hydrogen fuel cell systems with ‘the world’s best technology’ as power sources for ships, generators and trains, as well as global automakers. The Group recently introduced a dedicated HTWO brand for fuel cell systems as part of such efforts.

Through strategic partnerships with global companies specialising in hydrogen, energy and logistics, the Group is aiming to take the lead in hydrogen-related projects. It will also focus on developing next-generation hydrogen fuel cell systems that will be applied to future eco-friendly mobility solutions such as Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Safe and innovative mobility technologies
In terms of securing future technology capabilities, Chung stated, “We will realise the safest and most innovative mobility technology in the world by strengthening our autonomous driving, connectivity and software capabilities. We will continue to invest in new growth fields such as urban air mobility (UAM) and robotics to expand the realm of new mobility in the near future.”

Hyundai Motor Group will apply Level 3 autonomous driving technology to mass-production models in 2022 and push for commercialisation projects for autonomous driving technologies such as robotaxi services in 2023.

Motional, the joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, plans to conduct Level 4 driverless tests on public roads in Nevada, USA. In 2023, the company will work with US car-sharing provider, Lyft, to launch autonomous driving commercialisation services in major US regions.

The Group will also focus on core technologies for next-generation software such as vehicle software that closely interacts with vehicle driving assistance, precision map-linked navigation, and various connected and infotainment services to provide convenience and safety to customers.

The development of the UAM product lineup, which encompasses both passenger and cargo transportation markets, is also speeding up. The Group aims to introduce Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for cargo with hybrid powertrains in 2026, and a fully electrified UAM model optimised for urban operations in 2028, and regional air mobility products connecting adjacent cities in the 2030s.

In the robotics area, the Group recently signed a deal to acquire the controlling stake in Boston Dynamics to actively respond to global megatrends of ageing society and digital transformation as the Group seeks to provide humanity with a higher level of experience and more value.

Hyundai Motor Group’s wearable robot technology and its industrial and logistics automation technology are expected to maximise synergies with Boston Dynamics’ capabilities ininnovativation. Robotics technology will also be applied to various mobility areas such as autonomous driving, UAM, and PBVs (Purpose Built Vehicles) to help the Group establish a leading position.

On strengthening the Group’s business competitiveness, Chung said, “We will rationalise the Group’s business portfolio, and lay the foundation for sustainable growth by continuously discovering new growth engines that would meet the industry’s paradigm shift.”

The affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group will enhance their future business capabilities through electrification and self-driving core components and software specialisation, and will explore new growth engines such as smart city development as well as renewable energy projects.

Quality and safety first
“All of our activities would be meaningless without quality and safety, because they are the prerequisites for serving our customers,” Chung noted. “It should be always remembered that quality and safety are not the domains of any particular fields of our operations. Customers will only give us their trust when all Hyundai Motor Group members and our business partners work together to make quality and safety a top priority.”

In his inaugural message in 2020, Chung underscored a similar point, saying that “All of our goals and efforts must be customer-centric. The first step to customer happiness is to enable them to focus on their own lives through perfect quality of our products and services.”

With regards to the Group’s social responsibility, he said, “I kindly ask all of you to always prioritise our customers and humanity in your daily operations, so that we can maximise our shareholder value. Please think hard about how we can contribute to our partners, as well as various neighbours, communities and the environment.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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