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Hyundai’s Game-Changer: India as a Global Export Hub

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Chung Eui Sun, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, highlighted India’s strategic importance, stating, “We will continue to develop India as a global export hub as we expand our business into Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and other regions.”

Hyundai Motor Group

He also emphasized, “The Indian region has been pivotal in propelling the growth of Hyundai Motor Group, navigating through various challenges including global economic downturns and supply chain disruptions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and consistently yielding commendable outcomes. Considering the importance of the Indian region, we will not hesitate to provide active support so that it can play a bigger role in the future.” He also expressed his pride in maintaining a robust second-place market share and building a premium image and brand influence in India, a nation witnessing accelerated economic development.

On the 23rd (local time), Hyundai Motor Group announced that Chairman Chung was briefed on business operations by Hyundai and Kia at the brand-new Delhi office of the Indian regional headquarters in Gurugram, Haryana, India. Discussions on medium and long-term strategies took place with the employees of both companies in the Indian region. Following this session, Chairman Chung convened a town hall meeting with the local employees in India, who serve as the primary executors of the medium and long-term strategies.

Chairman Chung’s visit is part of an effort to share a vision and strengthen trust among local Hyundai employees as the company gears up for upcoming endeavors, such as setting up a production system for 1 million vehicles in India and advancing electrification initiatives. The town hall meeting, initiated by Chairman Chung, saw an attendance of around 400 employees from Hyundai’s Indian regional headquarters, including Hyundai Motor President Jang Jae Hoon and Vice President Kim Eun Soo of the India-Middle East region.

This is the first time Chairman Chung has held a town hall meeting with local employees overseas. He has held two town hall meetings in Korea, and last year, he conducted the group’s New Year’s conference in a town hall format.

Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group is taking the initiative to address the expansion of the Indian automotive market, intending to establish itself as a leading mobility provider in India. Primarily, the group is focusing on enhancing production capacity. Hyundai is currently engaged in a new factory initiative in Pune, with a capacity exceeding 200,000 units. Kia is also ramping up its production capacity to 431,000 units in the first half of this year.

The Pune factory in Maharashtra, India, acquired from GM last year, is being upgraded to become a facility capable of producing over 200,000 units by applying Hyundai’s intelligent manufacturing system.

Upon completion of the Pune factory in the latter half of next year, Hyundai will establish a production system capable of making 1 million units, combining the capacities of the Chennai factory (824,000 units) and the Pune facility. With Kia’s contribution, Hyundai Motor Group will collectively have the capacity to produce approximately 1.5 million units in India.

The push towards electrification to address the Indian electric vehicle market is also gaining momentum. Hyundai is set to unveil its first locally manufactured electric vehicle in India during the latter half of this year. By year-end, Hyundai intends to introduce five electric vehicle models by 2030, starting with the production of an electric SUV at the Chennai factory. Using Hyundai’s expansive sales network, the company aims to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations to 485 by 2030.

Similarly, Kia plans to produce compact electric vehicles tailored to local requirements starting in 2025, followed by the gradual rollout of diverse electric vehicle models. Efforts will be made to develop an electric vehicle charging infrastructure for production.

Recently, Hyundai and Kia forged a strategic partnership with Exide Energy, a specialist battery company in India. The partnership aims to incorporate locally produced batteries into electric vehicle models exclusive to the Indian market. This strategic move involves localizing batteries, which account for a significant portion of electric vehicle costs, to ensure price competitiveness in India’s price-sensitive market.

As Hyundai Motor Group’s presence in India has grown, it has also intensified its focus on social responsibility. Since entering India, Hyundai has been consistently engaged in various social responsibility initiatives, including establishing and operating the HMIF (Hyundai Motor India Foundation), a social responsibility foundation in the Indian region, established in 2006.

For example, Hyundai has taken various initiatives to fulfill its commitment to social responsibility in India. This includes planting 80,000 trees for forest and water resource conservation, repurposing outdated factory materials into bookshelves, and donating biogas and electricity from community waste. Moreover, it actively addresses social issues by operating mobile clinics and mobile science libraries, supporting public vocational schools, and promoting disability awareness.

Since last year, Kia has been implementing the Green Workshop program to transform its local sales bases in India into environmentally sustainable facilities. It involves installing solar panels on building roofs to reduce electricity consumption by up to 80% and establishing an 11kW electric vehicle charging station powered by solar energy. In addition, Kia is engaged in projects to rehabilitate wastelands through tree plantation and support the economic empowerment of Indian women. Efforts to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of plastic waste are also underway.

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