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Competitiveness matters

June 23,2017
Hyundai Motor’s luxury brand Genesis ranked first in its category in a 2017 IQS survey. The market survey company with expertise in quality management and compliance also ranked Kia Motors in first place overall, with Hyundai Motor ranked sixth. Genesis took second place in the overall rankings. The Hyundai brands surpassed major competitors like BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota and Chevrolet in the overall category. The results of the survey released by J.D. Power, a leading global marketing information services company, is very encouraging as they show the competitiveness of Hyundai Motor automobiles.

The survey was conducted on customers who bought new cars in the U.S. from November 2016 to last February. The survey covered 233 categories and customers’ complaints per 100 cars. In the survey, Kia Motors took the crown for the second consecutive year. Though Hyundai took sixth place, we need to pay special attention to Genesis, which took first place among luxury cars.

To compete in highly competitive overseas markets, car companies must sell high-end automobiles because of their higher profitability than ordinary brands and their positive effects on other ordinary brands. In that sense, Genesis exceeding traditional powerhouses will surely help Hyundai brands survive in their struggles in the China market. The enhancement of competitiveness of car makers should be applauded for their impact on other parts companies in the production chain.

SK Hynix’s successful acquisition of the nand flash memory business of Toshiba is also good news. In the beginning, Toshiba was reluctant to sell the business to SK Hynix for fear of a technology outflow. But SK was able to acquire it after easing the wariness of the Japanese government by joining forces with U.S. and Japanese companies. That carries great significance as it means SK put its Taiwanese and Chinese rivals behind while being able to make up for a weak spot.

Head of the Fair Trade Commission Kim Sang-jo, a self-proclaimed “sniper” at chaebol, has a meeting today with leaders of four major conglomerates. He should demand from them what he has to as champion of fair trade. But he must not forget that the nation’s competitiveness and quality jobs are created by those manufactures.

Samsung Electronic’s world’s largest semiconductor complex in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, accounts for as many as 150,000 jobs when including its contractors. Raising our small and mid-size companies is important, but Kim must not dismiss the innovation of our conglomerates.

JoongAng Ilbo, June 23, Page 34