‘Auto industry to still face challenges in 2016’

‘Auto industry to still face challenges in 2016’

Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo called for the conglomerate’s executives and employees to push ahead with changes next year despite challenges and difficulties facing the Korean automaker.

“Economic indicators to gauge business conditions in advance show that the auto industry will continue to remain slow next year,” chairman Chung said in a meeting in Seoul with heads of overseas branches at Hyundai Motor on Tuesday.

The car industry experienced difficulties due to a global economic slowdown and falling demand in China and other emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil throughout the year.

To cope with lingering uncertainties in doing business next year, the group chairman gave a few business priorities for overseas branches — successful launches of the Ioniq hybrid car and thee EQ900, the first model of the firm’s premium brand Genesis, as well as the stable operations of car assembly plants overseas — the company said in a press release.

In overseas markets, Kia Motors will open its Mexico plant in May, while Hyundai Motor’s additional plant in China will start producing cars in the second half.

Another key agenda in the meeting was to discuss the 2016 target of overseas sales. Industry sources said Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia had not finalized their overseas sales targets yet.

Some sources said the Korean automotive group would present a somewhat aggressive target of 100,000 units next year, despite tough global market conditions. Others forecast it to set a similar sales goal of 820,000 units for 2015.

The combined overseas sales of the two carmakers exceeded 8 million units for the first time in 2014.


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