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Hyundai planning R860bn investment

2015-01-06 11:56

ONE OF 6000 PLANNED: Hyundai plans to have 6000 outlets globally using its new showroom design. Above is the first which opened in Frankfurt, Germany in 2014. Image: Hyundai

YOUKYUNG LEE

SEOUL, South Korea - Earlier in January 2015 Wheels24 reported the Hyundai Motor Group had forecast its weakest annual sales growth in more than a decade.

Hyundai/Kia, the world's fifth-largest automaker, said on January 2 2015 that they hoped to sell a combined 8.2-million vehicles through 2015, only 2.5% more than 2014’s eight-million.

Now the company has announced that it plans to spend the equivalent of R860-billion over the next four years on factories, research and a new headquarters.

GOVERNMENT PRESSURE

The South Korean government has pressured businesses to stop hoarding cash and instead invest and hire more. Hyundai said the average annual spending during the four years was a 35% increase on 2014.

The company plans to build two more factories in China, which will start operating in late 2016 and 2017 as its existing factories reach capacity. Kia will expand the capacity of its existing Chinese factory.

The group will also build new headquarters that will include auto-themed exhibition halls, hotels and shopping malls in Gangnam, a trendy district in south-western Seoul. It said in September 2014 that it would pay R117-billion for 79 500sq m of land for the new headquarters that the automaker believes will burnish its brand.

BILLIONS ON RESEARCH

The expansion of factories at home and abroad and the construction of the new headquarters in Seoul will account for more than half of the four-year investment.

The group will spend billions on research and development for low-emission vehicles, smart cars and other technologies. By 2018 its affiliated companies will hire 7345 employees in R&D including about 3000 workers to develop low-emission and smart car technologies.
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