Hyundai Mobis is proud of the fact that its overseas orders jumped five times in the past 12 months, with orders picked up in North America and China coming to $4.8 billion as of Aug. 30. The moves are all the more impressive because they come in the face of China’s retaliatory measures against for Korean goods over the THAAD self-defense missile system. One of the most significant things accomplishments came when the company secured an auto parts deal in China. Korean exports to China have been falling due to China’s measures against Korean goods.
The auto parts maker said the quality of its products and technological competitive edge have been what kept its operation going as usual.
The company has sealed a deal with Chinese automotive company Geely to supply external amplifiers despite growing anti-Korean sentiment in China amid a diplomatic row over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea
The company won the order for exterior amplifiers in China, which is classified as “sensitive auto parts,” in addition to electronic parking brakes and rear lamps.
The affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group will supply Chinese customers some of its main auto parts including electric car brakes and rear lamps. A notable addition to the list is the external audio amplifier, the company’s first sale of the product in the overseas market.
In North America, Hyundai Mobis said it will supply three products, one of which is a chassis module for pickup trucks, its first such sale in the region. The market for pickup trucks is big in North America, with the vehicles especially popular among Americans. Its demand has also soared in recent years on the back of the sport utility vehicle boom. An auto parts maker’s entry into the pickup truck market in North America is seen as a yardstick for measuring its technological advancement.
The two other products are DCSD and ICS, electronic parts used to operate multimedia and connecting devices. The deal would be an extension of the ongoing contracts that the company has signed with two automakers in the region in 2011 and 2016.
Hyundai Mobis is targeting American and Japanese brands to expand business beyond its traditional Korean turf.
Mobis wants to increase its sales to General Motors, as well as score new business with Ford Motor Co. and Japanese automakers, particularly in North America, said Cho Jae-mok, director of its global parts business group, which targets customers beyond Hyundai-Kia. Mobis aims to lift its North American sales to non-Hyundai-Kia customers by 50 percent over the next seven to eight years, he said.
South Korea’s biggest supplier wants sales to outside carmakers to account for around 30 percent of its global sales by 2025, from around 20 percent today, Cho said.
New factories coming online in Mexico, China and the Czech Republic should give Mobis added capacity to supply new manufacturers, Cho said in an interview this month at the supplier’s global headquarters here. Most of Mobis’ existing plants are dedicated to Hyundai Motor Co. or Kia Motors Corp., or are committed to making vehicle modules with little room for other output.
Mobis ranks No. 6 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global auto suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $26.26 billion in fiscal 2015. Kia Motors holds a 17 percent stake in Mobis, while Mobis owns 21 percent of Hyundai Motor.
Because it is a newer, less-established supplier than giants such as Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH or Denso Corp. of Japan, Mobis wants to grow business in technologies where it thinks it has a better chance of winning uncommitted customers. Mobis sees potential in areas such as lighting, steering, multimedia and electronics.