Hyundai scion emerges from father’s shadow, says he will complete ownership revamp
The heir apparent of Hyundai Motor Group said on Wednesday he will complete restructuring in 2019 as he moves to formally take over from his father at the helm of S. Korea's second-biggest conglomerate.
Chung Eui-sun made the comments in his first New Year address to employees in the absence of his 80-year-old father, the clearest sign that he is now in charge of the group as it plans its first leadership transition in about two decades.
The transition comes at a difficult time for the group as Hyundai struggles with an extended sales slowdown in the U.S. and China, a U.S. recall probe, sharp technological change and potential U.S. tariffs.
“Internally, we face challenging tasks such as stabilizing business in major markets like the U.S. and China, while simultaneously enhancing our responsiveness to drive future growth.”
Group companies Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp earlier announced a “conservative target” of 7.6 million vehicle sales in 2019 as they battle to recover market share in the U.S. and China.
The target compared with an estimated 7.3 million to 7.4 million vehicle sales last year, the auto conglomerate said, citing analysts' estimates. The pair will announce 2018 sales results later on Wednesday.
Analysts said 2018 was likely to be the fourth consecutive year the pair had missed their annual sales target, as their latest sport utility vehicles failed to gain traction in China and the U.S., the world's two biggest auto markets.