Hyundai goes for an R&D reshuffle

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Hyundai goes for an R&D reshuffle

Hyundai Motor Group announced a corporate reshuffle aimed at improving the group’s R&D and technology parts to strengthen its competitiveness in the global market.

More than 400 executives in the group were promoted, including those working at the nation’s leading automaker Hyundai Motor, its sister company Kia Motors and other affiliates.

The group said Friday that 141 executives from Hyundai Motor, 60 from Kia Motors and 232 from affiliates including Hyundai Steel have been promoted, saying it was part of a plan for continuous growth in an unstable global economy. Comparing to last year’s reshuffle that saw 419 executives promoted, this year saw 433 executive promoted, a rise of 3.3 percent.

The core part of the reshuffle was strengthening R&D. Some 43.6 percent, or 189, of the promotions were made within the R&D and technology departments. This reflected the company’s goal of improving the overall quality of Hyundai and Kia vehicles including environmentally friendly vehicles and to improve overall IT car technology convergence.

The company promoted three researchers from Hyundai’s main R&D center, Namyang Research Institute, to make them research fellows, an executive-level position. They are Han Dong-hee, 43, who has a doctoral degree from Stanford University’s mechanical engineering department and has been a member of a gasoline engine performance test team at Namyang; Park Soon-chul, 45, who has a doctoral degree from Pusan National University’s (PNU) mechanical engineering department and has been a member of a vehicle durability test team in the research institute; and Jung In-soo, 50, who has a master’s degree from PNU in mechanical engineering and has been a member of a noise-vibration-harshness improvement team.

On Monday, Hyundai said it hired Albert Biermann, who was head of engineering for BMW’s M series for the past seven years, to develop a high-performance growling vehicle with more than 500 horsepower. The 57-year-old will be the new vice president of Hyundai’s high-performance vehicle development department at Namyang.

The company’s high-performance car development project is championed by the group’s vice chairman, Chung Eui-sun, son of the group chairman, Chung Mong-Koo.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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