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42dot gets $185m from Hyundai-Kia to boost hiring

June 5, 2024 - 14:51 By Moon Joon-hyun
Song Chang-hyun, CEO of 42dot and head of Hyundai-Kia's advanced vehicle platform, speaks at the 3rd Hyundai Motor Group Developer Conference in Seoul on Nov. 13, 2023. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor and Kia are investing some 253 billion won ($185 million) in 42dot, the global software center within Hyundai Motor Group, to aggressively recruit top-tier talent and accelerate the group's software-defined vehicle strategy.

On Tuesday, Hyundai and Kia announced through Korea's Financial Supervisory Service that their boards had approved a capital increase, with Hyundai contributing over 152 billion won and Kia adding more than 101 billion won. This investment is based on a per-share price of 129,000 won.

This new injection of funds follows hefty investments adding up to around 1 trillion won since Hyundai-Kia took over 42dot in 2022. A Hyundai Motor Group official described this funding as the second phase of investment, continuing the momentum from the first phase in May last year.

The software center plans to direct the new funds primarily toward talent acquisition, with over 100 job openings currently listed.

“While we can't disclose our exact employee count, we're committed to hiring the best talent out there, with no set limits on how many we bring on board, ” a 42dot official said.

In April last year, Hyundai and Kia announced a phased investment plan for 42dot, amounting to 642.6 billion won and 42.83 billion won, respectively, spread over three stages until 2025. The first phase saw an infusion of 346.2 billion won on May 30 last year. The second phase of more than 253 billion won is scheduled for this month, with the final portion planned for 2025.

Hyundai Motor Group aims to complete the development of its standardized software-defined vehicle platform by 2025 and start rolling it out across the vehicle lineup in 2026. Software-defined vehicles refer to vehicles that are capable of receiving new features and improvements through software updates without needing to change their physical parts.

At this year's CES technology show in Las Vegas, 42dot announced a partnership with Samsung Electronics to utilize the chipmaker's Exynos Auto, a processor designed for automotive applications, in developing its software-defined vehicle platform.

At the EV3 launch last month, Kia explained that the vehicle's new voice assistant, Kia Assistant, utilizes ChatGPT with customization from 42dot.