Spun-off HHI unit sets 7 trillion won sales goal

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Spun-off HHI unit sets 7 trillion won sales goal

Hyundai Construction Equipment vowed to reach 7 trillion won ($6.2 billion) in sales and enter the top five in the global construction equipment market by 2023. The company on Wednesday announced its official launch as an independent enterprise.

HCE is one of the three business units that spun off from Hyundai Heavy Industries last month alongside Hyundai Robotics and Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems.

Started as an internal unit in 1987, the affiliate manufactures heavy construction equipment such as excavators, forklifts and wheel loaders. Its excavator is second in market share in Korea. “According to our research and data from the Korea Construction Equipment Association, HCE’s market share in this year’s first quarter was estimated to be around 34 percent,” said a company spokesman.

“Our independence after operating 30 years under HHI’s wing is a big challenge for the company,” HCE President and CEO Kong Ki-young said at a ceremony at Kintex, Gyeonggi, to mark the launch.

“A major purpose of the spin-off was to expand our stance in the global construction equipment market by establishing a management system adequate for the business sector.” Although he did not give exact figures for this year’s sales expectations, Kong said that HCE is likely to surpass the 3 trillion won goal in its business plan.

In the past, HHI’s decision-making process and investments were largely focused on the company’s biggest sector: shipbuilding. But as non-shipbuilding sectors grew, so did the need for independent management bodies capable of making decisions adept to each industry.

Kong said Wednesday that “the company had never put this much emphasis on quality and technology before.” The plan is to invest 660 billion won in the next five years, a spokesman said.

The company has had strong sales in the first quarter. Domestic sales grew 91 percent compared to the same period last year and global sales by 30 percent. HCE’s products are sold in 140 countries and the company is thriving in emerging markets.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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