Hyundai Motor restructures its R&D division

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Hyundai Motor restructures its R&D division

Hyundai Motor has restructured its research and development (R&D) division as it strives to adapt to the rapidly changing industry environment.

The Korean automaker announced in a statement Tuesday that it has reduced the number of R&D units, from five to three, to focus on vehicle quality and increase its R&D investment.

The reconfigured R&D structure, which will be undertaking work for both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, comes as the group is looking to stay competitive with other auto brands in releasing next-generation vehicles.

Kia Motors is 33.9 percent owned by Hyundai Motor.

“Through this R&D division restructuring, Hyundai Motor Group will be able to quickly and flexibly react to the rapidly changing auto industry and customer demands,” said Albert Biermann, head of the automaker’s R&D division and a director of the company in a statement.

“By making changes to the R&D environment and ways to collaborate, we believe we can stay competitive in the future of growing uncertainties.”

The division, which originally had five departments - project management, design, electronics, vehicle performance and powertrain - will now have three: vehicle development, system development and project management.

The vehicle development department will be in charge of architecture for new vehicles while working to improve performance. The virtual car development team, which focuses on autonomous driving, will be in that department.

In the enlarged project management department, employees will be divided up by vehicle types and sizes.

The system development department will be dedicated to core technologies to be incorporated into sashes, bodies, digital elements and powertrains of the vehicles.

The design and commercialization departments will now run as separate entities within the R&D division, Hyundai Motor added.

The automaker group recently announced that its sales in the United States grew 2.7 percent in the first half this year from the same period last year. Between January and June this year, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors sold a combined 63,8172 vehicles in the market, up from 621,349 vehicles posted a year earlier.

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