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Hyundai Motor eyes 80,000 jobs, W68tr investment at home by 2026

March 27, 2024 - 15:53 By Kan Hyeong-woo
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun delivers his New Year's address at Kia AutoLand Gwangmyeong in Gyeonggi Province on Jan. 3. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Group announced Wednesday a grand plan to invest 68 trillion won ($50.7 billion) in Korea and create 80,000 jobs by the end of 2026 to secure future growth engines as a global first mover in the mobility sector.

According to the auto conglomerate, 31.1 trillion won, about 46 percent of the investment, will be assigned to research and development to secure core technologies in improving product competitiveness, electric vehicle transition, advancing software-defined vehicles and internalizing battery technology for EVs.

Hyundai Motor Group has committed 35.3 trillion won toward expanding R&D infrastructure, building EV-dedicated factories, joint investment in affiliates, the Global Business Center project and strengthening information technology capabilities.

The remaining 1.6 trillion won has been set aside for strategic investment.

To speed up the EV transition, Hyundai Motor plans to spend a large chunk of the investment on building EV manufacturing sites in the country.

The automaker said it will complete the construction of the Kia EVO Plant -- the group’s first EV-dedicated manufacturing facility -- in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province in the second quarter of this year and begin production of the Kia EV3 for domestic sales and exports.

The company aims to complete the construction of another Kia EVO Plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, in the second half of next year to produce purpose-built EVs for customer needs.

The automaker added that it will begin the production of its luxury brand Genesis’ full-size electric sports utility vehicle at the Ulsan EV plant in the first quarter of 2026. The company broke ground for the Ulsan EV plant in November last year.

Hyundai Motor Group has set the target to expand its EV lineup to 31 models and increase domestic EV production to 1.51 million units per year by 2030.

Under the ambition of creating full-cycle hydrogen supply chains to achieve carbon neutrality, the company said it will continue to push for enhancing hydrogen technologies in developing next-generation fuel cell systems as well as hydrogen buses and trucks, and expanding hydrogen chargers across the nation.

The carmaker added that it will also focus on the goal of commercializing flying transportation for advanced air mobility by 2028 and establishing a robotics business ecosystem.

The automaker noted that the GBC project, which refers to the large-scale complex construction in southern Seoul that includes two 50-some-story buildings and four lower buildings, will be able to serve as a representative landmark of the capital city once the site is completed. The company said if the construction plan gets approved by the authorities in the second half of next year, some 4.6 trillion won will be invested into the project through 2026.

For the next three years, the average amount of the investment per year has been set at about 22.7 trillion won, up 30 percent from the 17.5 trillion won investment in 2023.

The creation of 80,000 jobs comes three categories: promoting future businesses, strengthening existing businesses and their competitiveness and rehiring experienced staff.

About 44,000 people will be hired for the future business sector which includes EV transition, software-defined vehicles, carbon neutrality and the GBC project.

To strengthen the conglomerate’s existing businesses, 23,000 people will be hired to develop new vehicles, bolster quality and safety management, diversify global business and increase brand value.

The auto conglomerate will also support skilled workers facing retirement age by rehiring 13,000 of them for a certain period. Hyundai Motor Group’s eight affiliates operate the continuous employment program for retired employees through agreements with their labor unions.

“We plan to continue strengthening our future business competitiveness centered on Korea through large-scale job creation and intensive investment in the country,” said a Hyundai Motor Group official.

“We will try to provide extraordinary services to customers with unmatched technologies and products in not only the new businesses that will become new growth engines but also the existing key businesses.”