Hyundai sets aside 1.67 trillion won to support its suppliers

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Hyundai sets aside 1.67 trillion won to support its suppliers

Hyundai Motor Group has introduced a 1.67 trillion won ($1.49 billion) support program for small and midsized auto parts suppliers, the company said Thursday.

As auto parts suppliers in Korea tend to be highly dependent on the performance of carmakers, the sluggish performance of Korea’s largest auto group by sales this year has been a major blow to their earnings.

A report published by the Economic Research Institute run by the Industrial Bank of Korea earlier this year showed that 48 percent of domestic auto parts suppliers supply parts to a single carmaker and their business growth is highly dependent on the growth of that carmaker. Also, while carmakers have extra capital to respond to ups and downs in their earnings, small-sized parts suppliers are more vulnerable to changes in the market.

Hyundai Motor Group said it will first create a 140 billion won fund for its suppliers and subcontractors. Suppliers will be able to borrow money at low interest rates and use it to stabilize their business or invest in research and development.

Considering many suppliers lack liquidity due to the massive investment and costs incurred in early stage R&D and parts manufacturing, the group also said it will pay forward some of the cost incurred in those activities. For instance, part of the cost incurred to develop parts used in Hyundai cars will be paid by the carmaker at the beginning of development rather than after the finished product is designed. The auto group estimates its suppliers and subcontractors will receive roughly 1.46 trillion won in investment upfront over the next five years.

Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis are also creating a 15 billion won fund to provide emergency aid to suppliers.

There is a special program for suppliers expanding facilities to support the mass production of Nexo, Hyundai’s fuel-cell powered vehicle. The group is planning on injecting up to 44 billion won into suppliers and subcontractors that expand investment into facilities for parts used in the Nexo next year.

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