Jaehoon Chang, CEO, Hyundai Motor Co Ltd.

Our Best Global Brands data suggests that brands who not only provide superb experiences but also take a leading stance on social issues are more relevant to consumers. How are you approaching this in your organization?

An increasing number of customers are choosing brands and products with stricter ethical/social responsibility standards, and this trend will continue to intensify in the future.

Hyundai Motor Group established the vision of ‘pursuing a better future together’ to live up to customer expectations and is carrying out ESG-related activities from various angles to underpin the importance of sustainability.

In particular, Hyundai Motor is rapidly expanding its clean mobility lineup by electrifying ICE models such as NEXO and IONIQ as the automotive industry pivots towards green mobility. We are continuously raising our voice for a better future by providing mobility technology to local governments and collaborating with international development organizations such as UNDP.

On the social front, Hyundai Motor is protecting the human rights of employees and supply chain stakeholders, alike, to generate values grounded in co-existence. Through the Department of Sustainability, Hyundai assesses working conditions, employee safety, and business impact to ensure that they are aligned with the standards of international institutions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations. Moreover, due to the nature of the automobile manufacturing industry, which is grounded in a collaborative network, Hyundai Motor strives to not only manage the ESG status of its supply chain, but also that of partner businesses.

Hyundai Motor achieved recognition for its global sustainability management last year when it was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World Index—an index that represents the top 10% of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global BMI—for the first time.

An increasing number of customers are choosing brands and products with stricter ethical/social responsibility standards, and this trend will continue to intensify in the future.

How has your competition evolved over the past 24 months? Where are you seeing or experiencing the greatest threats? What are the biggest opportunities? Are you seeing new or surprising competitors entering the space?

Competition within the automobile industry has expanded from “automotives” to “mobility”, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity to Hyundai.

Acceleration of the electrification era has induced a paradigm shift from hardware to software, while simultaneously giving birth to a new smart mobility market called M.E.C.A (mobility service, electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving).

In response to this shift, Hyundai Motor Company unveiled ‘Meta Mobility’—a universe where robotics converges with the metaverse—and announced its vision to expand the realm of human mobility experience through smart devices such as AI, autonomous driving, UAM, robots, and future cars at ‘CES 2022’

Hyundai Motor’s multifaceted efforts are paying off with the IONIQ, the company’s first electric vehicle-only lineup, which marked the beginning of Hyundai’s future mobility. This summer, Hyundai Motor Company conducted a pilot operation of ‘Roboride’, an auto pilot taxi service that applies level 4 autonomous driving technology to the IONIQ 5.

In cooperation with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Hyundai Motor has engineered into existence an infrastructure that can link traffic signals and autonomous vehicles. By successfully operating self-driving unmanned taxis in Gangnam, the most congested area in downtown Seoul, Hyundai Motors demonstrates the feasibility of meta-mobility—the brand’s ultimate vision.

Furthermore, following the successful debut of the IONIQ 5 last year, I think that the IONIQ 6, which surpasses its predecessors not only in aesthetics but also in performance and mileage, will be an opportunity to manifest even more advanced technology in the future.

Hyundai Motor Company’s continuous progress towards next-generation mobility technology will form a perfect eco system for the future smart city, which will allow us to have our own dominant competitiveness that cannot be imitated by other companies.

Competition within the automobile industry has expanded from “automotives” to “mobility”, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity to Hyundai.

We have come to recognize brands as being powerful acts of leadership. In what ways do your brand’s moves reflect you/your organization’s belief system? 

Our brand was born from the vision “For a better life”, which was espoused by the late Joo-Young Chung, the founder of Hyundai Group; his dream was to create a society where all citizens can enjoy a more humane life.

After the Korean War, Honorary Chairman Ju-Young Chung took the lead in rebuilding various urban infrastructures and creating Korea’s first self-produced automobile. His contribution to Korea’s economic development and industrialization made his vision to help people live a better life a tangible reality. Hyundai Motor Company has inherited the spirit of our founder and still upholds this belief through the brand’s vision of ‘Progress for humanity’.

At a time during which Hyundai Motor is evolving from an automotive manufacturer to a smart mobility provider, we are revisiting the iconic Pony—Korea’s first commercially mass produced automobile—to tap into the spirit of innovation which it embodies.

It has already been proven once that the answer to the future can be found in the past—in brand heritage. Hyundai’s first mass-produced electric car, the IONIQ 5, which reinterpreted and inherited the design of Pony in various ways, is the first of many models that demonstrates the prowess of Hyundai’s futuristic technology and design. IONIQ won the World Car of the Year (WCOTY) at the 2022 World Car Awards, beating out high-performance/luxury brands around the world this year.

As such, our brand heritage is a compass that can lead Hyundai Motor into the new era of electrified mobility. Hyundai Motor Company, which has proven to be the world’s best innovation and technology in the electrification era through the IONIQ 5, promises to take off as an overwhelming Smart Mobility Solution Provider for a better tomorrow by embracing the DNA of challenge and innovation once again.

Hyundai Motor Company, which has grown from an industry fast follower to a global leader, expects to consolidate its position as a true mobility leader that betters the world for everyone.