Chairman Chung pins hopes on new Genesis model

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Chairman Chung pins hopes on new Genesis model

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Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo, center, inspects Hyundai Steel’s high-tensile steel products with employees in the company’s Dangjin Plant in South Chungcheong on Saturday. Provided by the company

With the release of Hyundai Motor’s next-generation Genesis sedan imminent, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo urged employees to stay alert and ensure all goes well.

Chung, who runs the nation’s second-largest conglomerate, visited Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Hysco’s plant in Dangjin, South Chungcheong, over the weekend, checking the quality of the automobile steel sheets that will be used for the new Genesis.

“The partial merger between Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Hysco links the process of making hot-rolled steel and cold-rolled steel and allows for making lightweight and high-strengthened automobile sheets, which will enhance fuel efficiency, collision strength and driving performance of the car,” Chung said. “The competitiveness in automobile steel sheets will decide the success of the new cars, including the new Genesis.”

More than 50 percent of the new Genesis body uses high-tensile steel sheets. Hyundai said that the figure is almost double of what European premium car makers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi use. The high-tensile steel sheets are known to increase fuel efficiency with their light weight while increasing the safety of the car because of their strength.

Chung also looked around the construction site of Hyundai Steel’s iron powder and special steel manufacturing plant, saying the development of high-tech materials are crucial for the automaker to build lightweight automobile bodies with high intensity.

Hyundai Motor Group has been running a system that emphasized cooperation between its steel business affiliates (Hyundai Steel, Hyundai Hysco) and automakers (Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors) to make customized automobile steel sheets.

The nation’s largest automaker has put high hopes in the second-generation Genesis. Chung previously said that the vehicle, a high-tech luxury sedan equipped with all the latest technologies, is the company’s key weapon to enhance the Hyundai brand.

In addition, Hyundai said Chung himself will introduce the new Genesis at the launching ceremony tomorrow. This is the first time that the 75-year-old chairman has participated in a vehicle introduction since the May 2012 launch of Kia’s K9 sedan.

Hyundai said that the market response to the new Genesis is going well so far. According to the company, more than 5,200 customers have signed a pre-contract to buy new the Genesis since it started receiving pre-orders last Tuesday.

Hyundai said that more than 3,500 customers signed a pre-contract on the opening day, which was the second-best pre-order record in its history.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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