Hyundai appoints new head of development department


Hyundai’s research and development department has a new boss. Yong Wha Kim was appointed the new head from 1 May. He replaces Jung Kook Park, who will remain with the South Korean carmaker as a consultant.

Jung Kook Park thus only held this post for around one and a half years, as he was appointed head of development at the end of 2021 – when his predecessor Alfred Biermann retired. Like Biermann (albeit at the European development centre in Rüsselsheim), Jung Kook Park is to remain associated with the Group as an advisor – but the carmaker does not name a specific area of responsibility in its announcement.

For his successor, however, the most important areas of his work are clear: Yong Wha Kim is to advance the research and development department, especially concerning the integration of software and hardware in the transition to software-defined electric vehicles.

He joined Hyundai in 2015 and has since led “key projects, such as hardware and software integration strategies for vehicles”, according to the statement. These include plans to integrate infotainment, electronics, autonomous driving, chassis, powertrain and vehicle controls – all key areas for developing new vehicle models focusing on electric drives, connectivity and software. Hyundai describes the new executive vice president and head of R&D division as an “internationally recognized authority in the field of engine control software”.

Kim can build on the results of his short time under Park. Park had “contributed to creating a positive work environment within the R&D Division based on his inclusive leadership as well as his deep understanding and expertise in the R&D field”, Hyundai says.

Hyundai Motor Group unveiled investment plans in mid-April to become one of the world’s top three electric car manufacturers by 2030. To this end, the South Korean company wants to invest up to 24 trillion won (equivalent to around 16.6 billion euros) to increase production and exports.


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