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Hyundai Motor Reshaping Itself to Focus More on R&D
Realigning Workforce at Home and Abroad
Hyundai Motor Reshaping Itself to Focus More on R&D
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • July 9, 2019, 09:25
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Hyundai Motor is increasing its workforce in the United States and emerging markets while scaling back its employees in China.

Hyundai Motor America is recruiting a lot of people across the United States for sales prediction and analysis and engineer positions. Hyundai Motor’s sales in the United States showed a positive growth for 11 months in a row until last month, led by its new SUVs. Under the circumstances, the company is trying to hire more sales personnel and future car engineers in the U.S. market.

The story is completely different in China. Beijing Hyundai, its joint venture capable of producing 1.8 million cars a year, sold only 790,000 cars in China last year due to China’s THAAD retaliation against South Korea and Chinese automakers’ rapid rise. The company had to reduce the number of its local employees by 5 percent last year. This year, its first plant in Beijing was shut down for restructuring.

Hyundai Motor’s global business reorganization for more concentration on the United States and emerging markets is in progress in line with future car development. Recently, the company increased the number of its employees by 40 percent, 1,608 to be specific, in the latter such as Southeast Asian markets while expanding its manufacturing facilities there. Hyundai Motor America hired more than 1,400 people during the past two years to accelerate R&D related to autonomous driving, car sharing, connected car development, and the like.

A similar trend is seen in South Korea. Hyundai Motor increased the number of its employees by 1.3 percent in the country last year, increasing R&D personnel by 324 (3 percent) to 10,889 while increasing production workers by only 314 (0.8 percent) to 35,983. The company no longer conducts large-scale college graduate recruitment but is hiring future car engineers on an ongoing basis. The number of factory workers is likely to keep falling for a while. A total of 10,717 are scheduled to reach their retirement age in 2023 or earlier. The number amounts to 1,386 this year alone.