Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun is seeking to grasp the lead in the future mobility industry by investing heavily in innovative companies overseas.
Earlier this year, the chairman announced plans to inject KRW 100 trillion (US$ 89.78 billion) into the industry by 2025.
It has been three years since Chung has taken the helm of the country's leading auto manufacturer and since his inauguration, he has invested in dozens of innovative overseas companies.
The chairman has continuously emphasized that Hyundai must focus on innovation saying, "We need to become more ICT-savvy than the ICT companies themselves." The comments hint that the company will break away from its traditional auto manufacturer image and transition to a "future mobility" company. His initiatives are well portrayed in the bold investments the company is set to make in the coming years.
According to Hyundai Motors' third quarter earnings report, the company has invested in 41 foreign corporate bodies since 2008 after the chairman took charge.
The move accounts for 59% of the conglomerate's foreign corporate body investments since 1993, with a total of 70 investments to date.
Hyundai Motors' investment criteria has completely changed since Chung took the helm. Traditionally, the company focused on related manufacturing firms or other conglomerates. However, in the last three years, it has increased investments in foreign ventures and startups, including global leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, U.S. autonomous driving development company Aurora, EV battery production startup Solid Power and Israeli AI startup Allegro AI.
Chung is also seeking to acquire Boston Dynamics, a firm that specializes in robotics. Hyundai is negotiating with Softbank ― the largest shareholder of the firm ― to acquire a stake worth KRW 1 trillion.
In addition to the possible acquisition, he is seeking to acquire diverse innovative venture companies in the fields of AI, cybersecurity, autonomous driving software and EV batteries, to create a foundation for growth in the future mobility sector.
Chung has continuously sought ways to cooperate with IT companies.
The company is currently looking to cooperate with the world's leading semiconductor firm Intel as well as Nvidia. Starting this summer, Chung met with top conglomerate heads including Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won to increase cooperation between the firms.
Many industry watchers believe there could be a new alliance to increase cooperation in future mobility businesses among Korea's top four conglomerates.
Earlier this year, Hyundai Motors announced a blueprint for urban air mobility (UAM) and by 2025 plans to inject KRW 100 trillion into the future mobility sector including autonomous driving and electro motion sectors.
"All eyes are on whether the company will announce a large scale acquisition or new measures to fuel growth in the future mobility sector," an industry official said.