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Hyundai Motor Group chief named MotorTrend Person of the Year

Chung Euisun discusses flexible implementation of IRA with visiting US official

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun (Hyundai Motor Group)
Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun has been named the MotorTrend Person of the Year, the South Korean carmaker announced Thursday.

With the award, Chung topped the US automobile magazine's list of the 50 most influential figures in the global automotive industry. He was ranked fifth in last year’s rankings.

MotorTrend acknowledged Chung for leading Hyundai Motor Group into a new age, underscoring that the vehicles developed under his leadership are notable for their “eye-catching design, quality, clever packaging and good value” and that the Korean-made vehicles are “proving increasingly difficult to beat.”

The spotlight on the executive chair followed other honors from MotorTrend. The magazine earlier named the Genesis G90 as the 2023 MotorTrend Car of the Year and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 as the 2023 SUV of the Year.

MotorTrend also said Chung's foresight in the electric vehicle market and future mobility is helping Hyundai Motor Group in becoming a leader in the industry.

“Tesla may have popularized electric cars, but Hyundai Motor Group is democratizing them, flooding the market with a wide variety of models, body styles, and price points and making them super cool or drop-dead gorgeous,” a magazine article on the award read.

It added that Hyundai Motor, Genesis and Kia plan to add a total of 31 new EVs by 2030, highlighting the automaker’s goal to sell about 3.2 million EVs annually by then, which would account for 12 percent of the global market.

Taking the example of Hyundai Motor’s purchase of Boston Dynamics, MotorTrend noted that Chung’s big-picture vision includes data, technology and software engineering.

“It goes even further with visions of smart cities boasting myriad mobility solutions, including robots and flying machines in the form of electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles,” the article said.

Meanwhile, Chung earlier this week met with Jose Fernandez, the US undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, to discuss the impact of the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act on the Korean automaker’s business in the US.

During the meeting, Chung expressed the need for flexible measures in implementing the IRA for companies that have already decided to invest in the US such as Hyundai Motor Group, according to industry sources here.

Under the IRA, tax incentives of up to $7,500 per car are only given to EVs assembled in the US. This has worried Hyundai Motor Group, which expects to only be able to manufacture EVs on American soil not until 2025.

Fernandez said in a tweet that he “Welcomed meeting with Hyundai Korea to advance our economic vision for global electronic vehicle battery supply chain resilience.”

The Korean government and Hyundai Motor Group have continuously lodged appeals to the US for a delay of the IRA’s implementation or revisions to the definition of the North American assembly requirements in the law. Washington has not budged on the issue.



By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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