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Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp Announce Major R&D Restructuring for Future Mobility Competitiveness

The Automotive Giants Focus on Software-Defined Vehicles and Cost Innovation in Response to Evolving Market Dynamics
South Korea
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Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. are set to undergo a significant restructuring of their research and development (R&D) organizations. This strategic move, announced on Thursday, is a response to the rapidly evolving global mobility market and aims to centralize and strengthen their R&D capabilities, which have previously been dispersed.

The two automotive giants plan to establish a specialized R&D organization dedicated to pioneering next-generation software and hardware architecture integration. This initiative is a departure from the traditional vehicle development model, focusing on cost innovation and the emerging concept of software-defined vehicles (SDVs).

“We are preparing for a restructuring of the R&D organization to secure future competitiveness, focusing on early preparation for innovations such as software-defined vehicles (SDVs) through synergy between software and hardware technologies,” said sources from Hyundai Motor and Kia. The companies plan to unveil detailed restructuring plans in January of the next year.

Amidst the intensifying competition in electric vehicle pricing and the industry’s shift towards SDVs, Hyundai Motor and Kia have been actively pursuing innovative technologies and new vehicle development approaches. Various entities within the Hyundai Motor Group, including the global software center 42dot, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Hyundai and Kia, the Global Strategy Office (GSO), and the SDV Division, have been collaborating based on their expertise to adapt to changes in future mobility trends.

However, challenges such as inconsistency in innovation strategies, leadership duality, and a complex collaboration system have reportedly hindered the pace of R&D. As part of the restructuring, President Song Chang-hyun of 42dot and SDV divisions, CTO and President Kim Yong-Hwa, and Vice President Kim Heung-Soo of GSO have been key figures. In this reorganization, President Kim has stepped back from the front line, taking on an advisory role.

This comprehensive restructuring of the R&D organization is a strategic move by Hyundai Motor and Kia to streamline their innovation efforts and maintain competitiveness in a rapidly changing automotive landscape, particularly in the areas of software-driven and electric vehicles.

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