The group's exports of cars will total over 50 million units this year 38 yrs since the first shipment of 10 pick-up trucks in 1975
Chairman Chung Mong-koo of the Hyundai Motor Group delivers his speech at an event early this year.
Hyundai Motor Group said its total exports of cars will number over 50 million units by the end of this year. The group first shipped 10 Briza pick up trucks bound for Qatar in 1975 38 year ago, which was followed by 10 Pony sedans bound for Ecuador in 1976.
Hyundai Motor Group will hire around 7,700 new employees, up 200 from last year, despite the cloudy business prospects for this year due to the appreciation of the Korean won caused by the Japanese government’s yen quantity increase to depreciate the value of its currency aimed at refloating its economy through exports.
The actual number of the newly hired would increase to 9,500 as the group plans also to make around 1,750 subcontractor employees into regular employees this year.
The group decided to make the announcement of the new personnel policy and its investment plan for this year on Jan. 28.
The group’s affiliates, such as auto, steel, and financial companies, are set to hire 7,700 new employees this year, up 2.6 percent from the preceding year. Hyundai Motor led the numbers every year, hiring 5,340 in 2008, 5,800 in 2009, 6,260 in 2010, and 7,400 last year.
About 10 percent of the newly hired will be assigned to the R&D Institute in line with the group’s strategy to focus on the quality of its products. Hyundai Motor, for one, has decided to invest 10 trillion won this year, up around 500 billion won from the preceding year.
The number of newly hired will be increased if some of the workers of subcontractors are hired by the group, since it plans to employ some 3,500 of them until 2016 with 1,750 to be hired this year.
Hyundai Motor officials said the company has decided to increase the number of personnel to be hired this year from last year, despite the cloudy economic prospects, in a bid to make a contribution to a move for national integration by creating jobs. The company wanted to do in full its corporate social responsibility, despite the poor business conditions both at home and abroad this year.
They said the car maker was able to increase the number of its employees last year for its car plant in Brazil and the third car plant in Beijing completed last year, but only Hyundai Steel has openings for more employees with its third blast furnace to go on stream this fall. But the company has decided to go ahead and hire new employees this year to make a greater contribution to society by creating jobs.
In the meantime, the group has kicked off its emergency management operation by holding an early morning top executive meeting of both Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors at the Hyundai Motor Building in Yangjae-dong in southern Seoul.
Chairman Chung Mong-koo arrived at the meeting at 8:30 a.m. °™ an hour earlier than usual °™ to preside over the meeting. He asked for everyone in the auto companies and the group to go on an emergency footing to cope with the appreciation of the Korean won and the depreciation of the Japanese yen to ease its impact on raw material purchases, production and marketing, among other areas.
The top manager of the group called for expanded sales of large sedans, a cut in expenses, and improved quality to boost the profitability of the car makers.
Hyundai Motor officials said the rapid appreciation of the Korean won has put the company in a crisis situation. Both Hyundai and Kia sold a record number of cars last year, although profitability worsened as more small cars were sold as buyers in Europe opted for those cars rather than luxury sedans due to the economic crisis.
The ratio of small cars in Hyundai’s cars sales came to 61 percent of all cars sold, rising from 57 percent in 2010 and 2011, while sales of medium to large-sized cars and SUVs dropped to 33 percent from around 36 percent during the same periods.