Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung, left, discusses with Kewsong Lee, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, at an event in Yeouido, Seoul on May 22, 2019. [Photo provided by Hyundai Motor Group]
Car-sharing and strategic network with innovative companies would be the key to future mobility and survival for Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Group, its heir apparent and executive vice chair Chung Eui-sun said.
“Younger generations are not as keen on the idea of buying cars or even getting a driving license, so we have to shift our business to service,” he said during an investor forum in Seoul hosted by The Carlye Group and its co-CEO Kew Lee Kew-song.
In order to accelerate its transition into a smart mobility solutions provider, the group has been partnering with mobility companies like Grab and Ola. One of his biggest challenges is boosting investment and efficiency in R&D, emphasizing the key to the group’s future success is “building firm partnerships.”
The ways of management also must change in line with the motor vehicle industry landscape.
Highlighting the importance of adopting more flexible corporate culture, he said he will give more autonomy to the employees and work hard to improve communication within the organization. Communication with customers is also the key to the survival.
“Customers have always been our priority, but I question whether we are really thinking of our customers in our services and products. I want everyone at our company to think about how they can make the customer happy.”
He reflected on the impact made by the group founder and his grandfather Chung Ju-young. “My grandfather was a strong leader, with the whole company following a single direction. But today, I try to provide a general direction and discuss ideas altogether. It may take longer, but I think we can find better answers when we work together."
Regarding the group’s governance restructuring that has been drawing huge attention from global investors, he said the group is “considering many options with the aim of pleasing investors.”
For its plan to build a 105-story high-rise as its new headquarters in Samseong-dong in central Seoul, he said he chose the location because it has great future value. “We are considering joint development with investors through a special-purpose company. It’s important to work with investors and develop that land so that we can invest back into our core businesses,” he added.
The automotive group bought some 80,000 square meters of land from state-run utility company KEPCO in open bidding in September 2014 by paying 10.55 trillion won, more than three times the officially appraised value, to build its new headquarters called Global Business Center (GBC). It will accommodate five buildings including a 35-story office and hotel building and other commercial premises such as conference rooms, shopping facilities and concert halls.
By Lee Jong-hyuk and Choi Mira
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