Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun succeeds his father, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo, as the new board chairman of the group’s flagship unit, Hyundai Motor. He was also reappointed as an inside director of Hyundai Mobis on Wednesday.
According to Hyundai Motor on Thursday, board members appointed Chung Euisun as the board chairman after the company’s annual general shareholder’ meeting. The move would give the heir apparent greater managerial power as he envisions to transform the group into a future mobility service provider.
Chung’s father was the chairman of the board for 21 years.
During the annual shareholder’s meeting, the directors did not decide if they would reelect Chung’s father as the executive director, hinting that he would not continue his chairmanship. For the position, the group was expected to either appoint Chung Euisun to pursue stability or an outside director to increase transparency.
The decision to reappoint Chung was to maintain consistent and responsible corporate policies amid the deteriorating business environment over the rapid global spread of COVID-19, rapid changes in the automobile industry, and a volatile business environment.
Since his promotion as the second-highest executive vice-chairman role in 2018, Chung Euisun, led the group by representing the company at significant events at home and abroad. In 2019, Chung became CEO of Hyundai Motor Group and auto parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis.
He expedited investments in hydrogen cars, electric vehicles, and air mobility, highlighting the conglomerate’s transformation into a future mobility solution provider. Chung also revamped the corporate culture of the company, which has a reputation for the most disciplined and seniority-oriented working culture in Korea.
Hyundai Motor’s articles of association added businesses related to “various modes of transportation” and “electrified vehicles and related infrastructure” in its corporate objectives. The additions mean that the company sees air taxis and other mobility services as feasible businesses.
In December last year, Hyundai Motor announced that it would inject 61 trillion won ($47.28 billion) for the company’s electrification, air taxi, and other mobility services by 2025.
Effects of Virus Outbreak
The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Korea resulted in dwindling sales and frozen market sentiment for the Korean carmaker.
Hyundai Motor temporarily shut down a manufacturing plant in Ulsan due to a worker testing positive for coronavirus. Operation at the company’s Alabama plant also stopped on Wednesday for the same reason. The company has not yet decided when to resume the operation at the U.S. factory.
In February, Hyundai Motor suffered a 12.9 percent decline a year earlier, selling 275,044 vehicles internationally. The company’s sister company, Kia Motors, also sold five percent less during the same period.