[EDITORIALS]Lift rules to boost auto industryHyundai Motor Group ranked eighth in the world market last year, defeating Japan’s Honda Motor Co. in sales. Some are even saying that Hyundai Motor could catch up with Nissan, the sixth largest automaker, this year. Hyundai Motor first exported a compact model, Pony, in 1976. After 29 years, it has overtaken the third largest Japanese carmaker by exporting 3.18 million units. Hyundai Motor has grown to be big enough to compete with the world’s first-class automakers and is now the pride of Koreans.
Hyundai Motor Group’s growth is splendid. It is running at the forefront in terms of quality, brand power and customer satisfaction and has shed its cheap image. Hyundai Motor caught up with Toyota Motor Corp. in J.D. Power & Associates’ 2004 survey of initial quality. Its chairman, Chung Mong-koo, was selected as one of the Best Managers of 2004 by BusinessWeek, a U.S. business magazine.
There were great concerns over the future of Hyundai Motor during the Asian financial crisis. But it weathered such concerns in a short period of time. It has grown into a super blue chip company, strengthening Korea’s automobile industry and lifting it to one of the top automakers in the world. Such a dramatic recovery is owed to management leadership, technological innovation, quality and global strategy.
The automobile industry creates more jobs than other industries. And the Korean economy’s reliance on it grows. Hyundai Motor Group should develop. But the circumstances are not favorable. The production capacity of the world auto industry is bigger than the market, and checks against Hyundai Motor are getting higher. Under such circumstances, Hyundai Motor must develop better technology and quality and restructure in order to save it and the automobile industry.
The government and Koreans should encourage such leading industries. The Korean economy endured sluggish domestic consumption due to some leading companies, including Hyundai Motor. Korea exported $250 billion in products last year thanks to Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Posco. The government must create a business-friendly environment to help give birth to another Hyundai Motor and another Samsung Electronics. The government should lift regulations to let companies run business freely. Only then, will productivity improve and jobs increase.