Hyundai turns to Europe to pick up lagging business

By Kim Bo-gyung

Automaker’s Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun begins trip to Europe, where the automaker has been seeing strong performance

  • Published : Sept 5, 2017 - 15:53
  • Updated : Sept 5, 2017 - 18:00
Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun delivers a presentation at the world premiere of the Kona, Hyundai Motor’s first small SUV, at the company’s studio in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, in July. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun started a four-day business trip in Europe, seeking to expand the company’s presence there through its to-be-launched fuel cell electric vehicles, compact SUVs and luxury cars, the company said Tuesday.

The first destination of Chung’s trip was Copenhagen, Denmark, where the government is active in installing hydrogen chargers in populous areas and demand for green cars is high.

Chung is widely expected to review market conditions ahead of the launch of the company’s next generation fuel cell electric vehicle in Europe early next year.

Hyundai has been leading the FCEV industry, suppling about 15 units of the Tucson ix FCEV SUV, the world’s first FCEV developed by the automaker, in 2013, to be used as official government vehicles in Denmark.

Amid disappointing sales in the US and China, Hyundai sold a total of 261,586 units in Europe in the first half of this year, up 10.2 percent on-year, according to data compiled by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

The rise was due to an overall increase in market demand for automobiles there.

Hyundai Motor will also display its first compact SUV Kona at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show before its release in Europe within the year.

Hyundai Motor said it would aim to export 41,000 units of the Kona to Europe and the US this year, and 150,000 units next year. 

Hyundai Motor Group Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun (Hyundai Motor Group)

In the high-end auto market, Hyundai Motor is currently reviewing the release of the latest all-new sports sedan G70, made by its luxury marque Genesis, in Europe by the year’s end at the earliest, the company said.

Slated for release in Korea next week, the Genesis G70 was designed with the hope of turning around Hyundai’s declining sales worldwide by tapping into the high-end auto market.

“The G70 was designed to rival models made by Europe’s premium brands, the Benz C-class, BMW 3-series and Audi A4,” said Hwang Chung-yul, senior vice president at the Genesis Project Management Center.

Largely due to Europe’s lack of demand for sedans and strong brand loyalty for European auto brands, Hyundai Motor offers Genesis’ EQ900 and G80 sedans in small numbers there.

The company is considering whether to split the luxury brand Genesis in the near future in Europe, as it is in the process of doing so in the US, the company said.

By Kim Bo-gyung (