Spate of recalls sends Hyundai’s tech chief packing

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Spate of recalls sends Hyundai’s tech chief packing

Hyundai Motor’s chief technology officer has resigned after a series of recalls dented the Korean automaker’s reputation for quality.

Kwon Moon-sik, who was president of the research and development division, quit Monday along with two other executives over a chain of quality issues, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. It didn’t say who will replace Kwon.

The resignations follow a series of recalls this year in the U.S., China, and most recently, the call back of its upscale Genesis sedan in Korea over a faulty brake system. Hyundai Motor, which is preparing to introduce the new version of the Genesis later this month and the Sonata next year, is expressing its “strong will” to reinforce quality control, the company said.

“Hyundai is probably trying to refresh the atmosphere before the launch of its new models to show it cares about its quality,” Lee Sang-hyun, an analyst at NH Investment and Securities. “Hyundai has seen how poor quality control has hurt business at Toyota and other automakers and will try to avoid being the center of such attention at all costs.”

The company’s shares rose as much as 2 percent to 252,500 won ($235) in Seoul trading. The company’s stock closed 0.61 percent higher at 249,000 won. The benchmark Kospi closed 0.92 percent higher.

Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors recalled more than 1.7 million vehicles in the United States in April because their stop-lamp switches may malfunction and cause brake lights to not illuminate, the cruise control to not turn off and other faults. Bloomberg
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