Hyundai Pins Hopes on Robotics and Future Vehicles

  • By Ryu Jung, Yoon Hyung-jun

    October 23, 2019 11:46

    Hyundai will devote more resources to producing personal aerial vehicles (PAVs) and developing robotics technologies, while reducing car production, which has been its traditional core business.

    Speaking at an open discussion session with some 1,200 staff at the company's headquarters in Seoul, vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said he will cut car production by 50 percent and focus on PAVs and robotics. "Production of cars will account for half of the company's main business, but the rest will be replaced with PAVs (30 percent) and robotics (20 percent)," Chung said.

    Hyundai chief Chung Eui-sun (center) takes a picture with employees at the company's headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. /Yonhap

    Although he did not provide an exact timeline, Chung seemed determined not to fall behind in the global race amid rapidly changing technology and market conditions.

    "Supply vastly outweighs demand in the global auto market by about 25 million vehicles," he said. "We need to change in order to survive. No major automaker has disappeared, but we will see that happen in the future." He added, "It is crucial to remain competitive. To do that, we need to do more than just make good cars. We need to offer innovative services and solutions."

    The global automotive industry is already testing "flying taxis" that can take off and land vertically (Uber) and commercializing self-driving cabs (Waymo), while a multitude of delivery services are competing fiercely to develop drones that can drop off parcels.

    In a bid to ride the wave of such new business trends, Hyundai has already announced plans to invest W41 trillion in developing self-driving cars and future mobility technologies by 2025 (US$1=W1,174).

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