Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors recorded a new high in annual R&D investment in 2019.
The two automakers’ R&D spending in 2019 totaled 4,807 billion won, 3,038.9 billion won from Hyundai Motor and 1,768.1 billion won from Kia Motors. The amount increased a record 9.0 percent from 4,407.3 billion won in the previous year. Compared to 3,700 billion won in 2015, the amount ballooned by one trillion won in 4 years.
Kia Motors chalked up the largest R&D expenditure ever in 2019, which was 100 billion won more than the previous year.
The share of R&D expenditure in sales has been growing at around 3.0 percent each year at both companies, which is high in light of their profitability. Hyundai Motor's annual operating margin is 3.5 percent.
The two carmakers spent most of their R&D money on future mobility such as autonomous driving and batteries for electric vehicles. Hyundai Motor carried out 31 R&D projects in 2019, with many related to autonomous driving and electric vehicles. They included artificial intelligence (AI)-based near-future prediction control, vehicle video recorders, parking collision prevention auxiliary-rear sides, a next-generation integrated controller hardware platform, the miniaturization of high-voltage battery modules and maximum-efficiency variable voltage control of lithium secondary batteries.
Most of Kia's 16 research and development projects overlapped those of Hyundai Motor. They included artificial intelligence-based near-future prediction control, vehicle video recorders, and parking collision prevention assist-rear sides.