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Hyundai rethinks foreign strategy

Dec 15,2018
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun on Friday held meetings with the heads of the group’s foreign corporations as part of a push to rebound in markets the group struggled in this year, including the United States and China.

It is the first time Chung has presided over meetings with foreign corporation heads of both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, a Hyundai Motor spokesperson said. Chung is now in charge of overseeing both automakers as he was promoted from Hyundai Motor Vice chairman to the group’s executive vice chairman in September.

The group’s major strategy to boost overseas sales is to set up regional headquarters around the world and make them take responsibility for local sales. Hyundai believes this system will enable the company to respond quickly to local demands and come up with customized marketing strategies.

Hyundai Motor already has regional headquarters covering North America, Europe, India and Russia while Kia Motors has headquarters covering North America, Europe and Russia. More headquarters to oversee business in China, the Middle East and Africa will be established for both automakers next year, according to the group.

“It’s the regional headquarters’ role to cooperate with various business divisions and provide new experiences to our customers,” Chung said on Friday. “Only the companies that can answer the basic question ‘how can we satisfy our customers more than others?’ will be able to survive.”

While the group will focus on making customized strategies for each of its overseas markets, its priority is to recover its share of the U.S. and Chinese markets.

In the United States, Hyundai and Kia will both strengthen their SUV lineups considering the market favors larger cars. Hyundai’s large SUV Palisade that launched in the Korean market on Tuesday will be released in North America early next year.

In China, the group plans to launch customized cars for the market. Car specs and prices will be adjusted to meet local demand and the group will also expand partnerships with Chinese IT companies like Baidu to show off top-notch, localized car technologies. As the country is highly interested in eco-friendly cars, the group is preparing to boost sales of its plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

Other businesses like car sharing and connected car services will also begin in different markets, the group said.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]