Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation, the two giants of the Korean automotive industry, said today that they are restructuring their joint research and development (R&D) structure in order to "flexibly respond to the rapidly changing global automotive industry."

“The new R&D organisation will be fast and flexible, operating with the agility of a start-up, and will enable us to lead in the rapidly changing mobility landscape,” said Yong Hwa Kim, President and CTO, Hyundai Motor Company. “While the previous organisation was focused on the efficient development of vehicles, the new dynamic structure will meet ongoing changes in global consumer demands and expands the organisation to deliver aligned solutions in future mobility, electrification, software and robotics,” he adds.

The new R&D entity, according to the firms, will become an independent Allianced Tech entity (ATO) from a centralised structure centred on vehicle development. Additionally, the businesses established a new technology division within the current R&D division for their next-generation innovative technology teams.

The corporation explained that under the new approach, each division, tech unit, and centre will autonomously work on developing their technologies, yet in situations where collaboration is necessary, companies can join together and separate as needed to operate flexibly, akin to a start-up.

Executive Vice President Yong Hwa Kim, who had been in charge of the R&D division, was elevated to President and given the title of CTO during this restructuring process. Kim will be in charge of managing the entire R&D department in addition to replacing the Head of Vehicle SW Tech Unit. Additionally, Head of TVD Division Heui Won Yang, Executive Vice President and former Head of Total Vehicle Development Tech Unit, was appointed, ensuring continuity in R&D despite the substantial organisational upheaval.

In order to increase its capacity for R&D, Hyundai Motor and Kia created an integrated division in 2003 that brought together R&D operations that had previously been dispersed around the nation. To better segment the development of a broad product range, including worldwide strategic cars, Hyundai Motor and Kia reorganised the organisation into a platform-based structure by vehicle type and class in the mid-2000s, when sales volumes grew quickly.

In 2012, the businesses continued their organisational reform. The Division underwent a reorganisation with the intention of enhancing fundamental vehicle performance and customer-centric principles. To ensure technological competitiveness in 2019, the companies built an architecture-based system structure.

The organisational adjustments are anticipated to strengthen the companies' standing in the automotive sector of the future and hasten their development into providers of smart and sustainable mobility solutions.