Hyundai Motor Company announced at its 2020 CEO Investor Day this week it plans to increase investments to KRW60 trillion (US$55bn) in the five year period ending in 2025 under a revised Strategy 2025 roadmap.

At the virtual forum, president and CEO Wonhee Lee and other executives outlined the mid- to long-term strategy to shareholders and investors which aims to strengthen the South Korean automaker’s position in the “future mobility industry and as a smart mobility solutions provider””. By 2025, the company aims to generate an operating margin of 8% and a 5% global market share.

The company said it would invest KRW36.6 trillion in the next five years in R&D and capital expenditures aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of its existing businesses, while KRW23.5 trillion would go into future technologies including powertrain electrification, hydrogen fuel cells, urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, autonomous driving, mobility services and platforms, connectivity, AI and robotics.

Hyundai has significantly increased its planned investment in its electrification and hydrogen businesses over the next five years, to KRW14.9 trillion from KRW10.4 trillion announced at the same event last year, due to its planned “full-scale implementation of its hydrogen business and expansion of its EV lineup”.

For internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, the company said it would focus on recovering profitability on the back of wider adoption of third generation platforms in various models, optimisation of production at regional level, retail innovation and global expansion of the Genesis luxury brand. 

The automaker said its electric vehicle (EV) strategy would be driven by the introduction of the E-GMP platform. It aims to bolster the competitiveness of all stages of its EV businesses from development and production through to sales in order to achieve profitability comparable with that of its ICE business. 

The main structural update to last year’s Strategy 2025 roadmap is the inclusion of hydrogen fuel cells as one of the main business pillars it is currently developing.

The updated strategy aims to achieve three major directives, including enhancing the competitiveness of its automotive business through electrification, establishing a foundation to become a leading mobility service provider and securing initiatives to establish a hydrogen ecosystem. The automaker’s updated strategy focuses on four major business areas: EVS, urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, autonomous driving technologies and hydrogen fuel cell systems. 

Lee at the forum said “2020 was the first year of implementation of our Strategy 2025. Despite a challenging business environment due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have successfully established the foundation for business growth for the next five years. Hyundai is now equipped with new strategies to respond to a rapidly changing business environment. Along with our relentless efforts to improve profitability, Hyundai Motor will continue to make mid- to long-term investments to lay the foundations for sustainable growth in the upcoming years”.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) 

Hyundai plans to sell 560,000 EVs per year by 2025, driven by the launch of IONIQ 5 in 2021. The company expects to introduce at least 12 EV models in the next five years, including models built on the E-GMP dedicated platform. From 2030, the company will gradually expand its EV range in key overseas markets including the US, Europe and China and by 2040 it aims to have a fully electrified product lineup in all major global markets to claim an 8% to 10% global EV market share. It will also promote sales EV sales in emerging markets such as India, Russia and Brazil with broader product ranges.

Hyundai said it would secure manufacturing competitiveness through increased parts standardisation and reduced costs. To meet the diverse needs of regional customers, the company plans to pursue regionally optimised EV product strategies.

Hyundai also plans to focus on expanding its recharging infrastructure and battery businesses. It plans to build 20 high speed charging stations in South Korea by the end of 2021 and will also continue to collaborate with high speed charging networks overseas, including IONITY in Europe.

For the Genesis luxury brand, a new dedicated EV model and a derived EV model will be launched in 2021. The Genesis brand will be expanded into China and Europe, in additional to just the US and South Korea currently.

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicles

Hyundai Motor said it would develop and build a range of UAM vehicles for both passenger and cargo transportation. The company plans to introduce an air cargo Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) with hybrid powertrain technology in 2026, followed by an all electric intracity UAM service in 2028 and regional air mobility vehicles connecting neighbouring cities in the 2030s.

Hyundai said it was designing its UAM vehicles with a focus on scalable commercial production from the initial stage of development. The company also plans to develop hydrogen powertrains for aviation using its own fuel cell technology to offer unrivaled efficiency and flight range. It will continue to collaborate with various private and public sector partners to create a safe and efficient UAM ecosystem acceptable to the general public.

Autonomous Driving Technology

Hyundai said it was speeding up its efforts to develop autonomous driving technologies, especially in the area of sensor fusion and integrated controllers. The sensor fusion technology integrates and processes information collected from various sensors such as cameras and radars. The company plans to add more cameras and begin using lidar in mass production vehicles to further improve recognition accuracy.

The next-generation integrated controller will use additional high performance processors designed to accommodate various advanced technologies such as Level 3 self-driving technology, self parking and deep learning based image recognition technology. From 2021 Over the Air (Ota) and Feature on Demand (FoD) functions will be introduced.

From 2022 Hyundai plans to offer models equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving technology while commercialisation of Level 4 and Level 5 would be accelerated through collaboration with global partners including its Motional joint venture with Aptiv.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell System

Hyundai also introduced its new HTWO global hydrogen fuel cell brand to help drive efforts to establish a leading global fuel-cell business. The company is stepping up its efforts to develop a next generation hydrogen fuel cell system that can be applied to various forms of mobility such as UAM vehicles, automobiles, ships and trains. 

The new system aims to deliver enhanced performance and durability at an affordable price, in a lighter architecture with enhanced energy density, providing customers with a highly-efficient and diversified range of hydrogen-powered vehicles.