Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung outlines ‘sustainable growth through consistent change’ in New Year’s message
- Hyundai Motor Group celebrates New Year at Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong, the first dedicated EV factory in Korea
o Executive Chair Euisun Chung and other Group executive share New Year’s message and vision for robotics, AAM and electrification
o Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong evolves from Korea’s first comprehensive automotive plant to an electrification innovation hub
- Consistent change to provide flawless customer satisfaction
o “Customers always want better products and services, so we can never be satisfied with where we are today and must strive to become better
o “Consistent change is the key to innovation, which needs creativity”
o “We need to foster a corporate culture that encourages innovation and challenge, and not fear failure”
- Sustainable growth for the future, customers and humanity
o Social responsibility for the environment: strengthening carbon-neutral activities, such as hydrogen ecosystem and revitalising circular economy
o Quality: satisfying and impressing customers with the highest quality products and differentiated values
o Security awareness: strengthening the security systems of intellectual assets, directly related to success and the source of sustainable growth
- Executive Chair Chung calls for a corporate culture of ‘preparation’ to make swift and agile decisions
Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) held its 2024 New Year address today at Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong, the first dedicated electric vehicle (EV) plant in Korea, looking forward to the year ahead and outlining the Group’s key areas of focus.
Under the theme ‘Together, a Valuable Start,’ Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Euisun Chung and executives from the Group’s affiliates shared New Year’s messages and the Group’s future vision.
In his New Year’s message, Executive Chair Euisun Chung highlighted, “Our mission this year will be ‘Consistency and Sustainability’ consistently strengthening our capabilities, which will allow us to scale any challenges and achieve sustainable progress.”
Chung stressed that ‘consistent change’ and ‘sustainable growth’ are the key words for the Group’s success in the face of increasing global uncertainty and growing competition.
Focusing on 2024 and beyond, Chung said, “I am excited about the series of innovations in electrification that will start here at AutoLand Gwangmyeong, the Group’s first EV-dedicated plant, and expand to Ulsan, the United States and beyond.
The Group will complete the redevelopment of the Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong EV Plant in the second quarter of this year, which will produce the brand’s EV3, a compact EV, for domestic and international sales. Subsequently, Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), Kia’s AutoLand Hwaseong EV Plant, and the Hyundai Motor Ulsan EV Plant will be brought online sequentially to introduce innovative EVs to the global market, with an overall Group strategy to become a top three global EV manufacturer by 2030.
“Last November, I was conferred the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire as Honorary Commander (CBE) in recognition of my contributions to strengthening the cooperation and friendship between the UK and the Republic of Korea,” said Chung, adding, “It is the same Order that was bestowed upon the Founding Chairman Ju-yung Chung, who laid the foundation of the Hyundai-UK partnership in the 1970s.”
He expressed his deep gratitude to the Group’s members by saying, “This recognition is the result of the outstanding work and professionalism of all our employees, and I applaud all of you who fully deserve this honor.”
Executive Chair Chung added that he is particularly pleased that the Group’s ‘challenging spirit’ has been passed on like a timeless medal, originating with Founding Chairman Ju-yung Chung and continued by Honorary Chairman Mong-Koo Chung.
Referring to the Group’s ability to overcome numerous crises, Executive Chair Chung emphasised the importance of a healthy character for its companies.
He said, “Weakness will make you stumble but strength allows you to maintain your balance, defy the odds and come out stronger. A company should do the same by making continuous efforts to strengthen itself.”
“Oftentimes it is a painful process,” he added, “but it is absolutely necessary in order to succeed. Only when we, as a company, strengthen ourselves can we conquer our challenges and lay the foundation for sustainable growth.”
Flawless customer satisfaction through consistent and constant change
Chung outlined the importance of consistent change for the clearly established rationale of the Group – its customers.
“Consistent change is the key to innovation,” said Executive Chair Chung, adding, “The act of stepping out of your comfort zone may seem unsettling at first, but it is proof that you are actually moving in the right direction.”
Stressing the need for creative thinking and a challenging spirit to achieve the Group’s commitment to consistent change, Chung outlined that “We need to foster a corporate culture that actively encourages innovation. We must not fear failure but be weary of not trying.
“The best strategy is earning the full trust of our customers, not quickly following our competitors,” he added. “I urge you to stay competitive by harnessing creativity in all areas of our corporate activity encompassing the quality, safety and cost competitiveness of our products and services.”
Sustainable future growth for customers and humanity
Reinforcing the Group’s vision for a better planet, Executive Chair Chung also highlighted that “Through consistent innovation, we can achieve sustainable growth. This is a mission that we must realise not only for our customers and company, but for humanity.”
Chung emphasised that the Group would focus on sustainable growth by embracing social responsibility for the environment, prioritising customer satisfaction and trust through high-quality products and services, and instilling a sense of security to safeguard competitiveness in the future.
Commenting on the Group’s environmental responsibilities, Chung said, “Humanity has always been concerned with sustainability for its own survival, but we must redouble our efforts now,” and insisted, “We must take greater interest in carbon neutrality and the circular economy for the sustainable progress of humanity.
“We can help nurture a global hydrogen ecosystem and strengthen carbon-neutral activities through our Small Modular Reactors and clean energy solutions. In addition, we can take the lead in social responsibility as a global enterprise, by revitalising the circular economy that recycles resources, such as EV batteries,” he said.
The Group holds the distinction of being the world’s first organisation to commercialise hydrogen fuel cell EVs and utilise hydrogen energy effectively. Furthermore, the Group is developing a hydrogen business ecosystem, encompassing the entire lifecycle, from hydrogen production to transportation, storage, and utilisation through connecting the hydrogen business capabilities of each Hyundai affiliate.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction (E&C) is rapidly advancing its renewable energy power brokerage and trading business, as well as the construction of next-generation nuclear power plants, including small nuclear reactors.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor and Kia are actively working to reduce carbon emissions in their manufacturing processes. This involves a significant increase in the usage of renewable energy, including the implementation of solar power generation systems at both domestic and overseas production sites, to become carbon-neutral by 2045. Hyundai Motor and Kia also recently signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hyundai E&C to procure solar renewable energy.
The group is actively fostering a circular economy, establishing a domestic and international cooperation system to create a circular ecosystem for EV batteries and expanding the use of recycled plastics.
In the pursuit of sustainability, Executive Chair Chung also underscored the levels of customer satisfaction and trust that stem from significant quality.
“Quality is ultimately what wins the trust of customers,” he said. “The quality of our products and services must always surpass customers' expectations. There can be no compromise on quality, as only those companies genuinely dedicated to quality will survive. We must strive to differentiate ourselves by adding our own value to our solutions and go the extra mile to provide the highest possible satisfaction to our customers.”
Chung emphasised a sense of security as the third direction for sustainability, stating, “The knowledge and information we have accumulated over the years is what drives our competitiveness in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is everyone’s responsibility to strengthen the system that protects our corporate intellectual assets.”
This strongly indicates the need to form and uphold a consensus that security is a critical issue linked directly to success across all areas of the Group.
Preparation key to accurate and agile decision making
Executive Chair Chung concluded by focusing on the importance of a ‘culture of preparedness’ Facing economic uncertainty and increasing instability, he stressed, “In order to turn these external challenges into opportunities and achieve long-term sustainable growth, we must be prepared.
“We need to cultivate skills and knowledge that will allow us to make rational decisions even under pressure,” he added. “At Hyundai Motor Group, we will tirelessly strengthen our systems and capabilities, and I will fully support this endeavor.”
His address emphasised the importance of constantly learning and preparing for changing future trends, new technologies, and economic and social shifts so that the Group can proactively respond to crises by making quick decisions.
Chung restated his belief in the Group’s employees’ ability to meet the challenges he outlined, saying, “I have deep respect and pride in all of you who worked hard together to achieve one of our highest operating profits last year. As we usher in the New Year, I ask that you continue to dedicate yourself to the growth of our Hyundai Motor Group family with pride and confidence.
“Instead of fearing what comes next, let us rise to the challenge. Let us keep reinventing and innovating ourselves to usher in a brighter and more sustainable tomorrow,” Chung added to end his New Year address.
This year’s ceremony to highlight the Group’s focus for the year ahead was held at Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong, a facility that embodies constant change and innovation.
Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong was established in 1973 as Korea’s first integrated automobile factory with a conveyor belt production process, ushering in the era of full-scale automobile production in the country. In the first half of this year, Hyundai will complete the construction of Korea’s first dedicated EV factory at the site, writing a new chapter in the history of future mobility.
This year also marks the 80th anniversary of Kia’s founding and the 50th anniversary of the launch of Kia’s first passenger car, the Brisa, which was produced at Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong.
Following Executive Chair Chung’s New Year address, Kia President Ho Sung Song explained the dedicated EV plant at Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong and the factory’s operation plan to employees; AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) Headquarters President Jaiwon Shin presented the mid- and long-term plans for AAM; and head of the Global Strategy Office (GSO) and Executive Vice President Heung-soo Kim presented the Group’s for robotics.