Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun stands next to a high-performance N brand series race car. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group
By Kim Hyun-bin
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun is heading to the east coast of the U.S. to check on the progress of future growth engines for the company, as well as to look for possible acquisition targets in the automotive technology sector. The chairman’s visit comes just two months after his first U.S. stopover this year, after being appointed to head the country’s top automaker.
Chung boarded Hyundai Motor Group’s private plane and took off to the U.S. from Gimpo International Airport, Sunday, the company confirmed. His specific itinerary is unknown.
“Chairman Chung has left for the U.S. to inspect the fast changing environment and to better prepare for the post-COVID era,” an industry official familiar with the matter said.
The chairman’s visit comes just two months after his previous U.S. visit on April 17 for around a week, and after being appointed as head of the country’s top automaker in March.
During his business trip to the U.S. in April, Chung visited the west coast, including Los Angeles. But he is scheduled to inspect the east coast this time around for a week.
The east coast, including New York and Boston, is the home to Hyundai Motor Group’s future businesses of autonomous driving and robotics technologies.
In March, Hyundai Motor Group launched a $4-billion joint venture with autonomous driving technology company Aptiv. The joint venture, called “Motional,” is tasked with developing driverless technology.
Also in December, the group acquired the robotics company, Boston Dynamics.
Ahead of the Seoul-Washington summit last month, Hyundai Motor Group announced a $7.4-billion investment plan to produce EVs, establish hydrogen and urban air mobility (UAM) infrastructure, as well as expanding its robotics business in the United States over the next four years.
Some industry watchers believe Chung is visiting the U.S. to explore the best targets for acquisition in the UAM sector.
The company plans to launch a corporate body in Washington D.C. in charge of the UAM business in the U.S. by August. Its goal is to release an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) equipped with a hybrid powertrain by 2026 to handle freight, and then showcase a fully electric UAM by 2028.