Posted January. 08, 2015 09:26,
Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo has unveiled a massive investment plan worth 80.7 trillion won (approx. 73 billion U.S. dollars) for the next four years by 2018. The whopping investment is a more than 35 percent rise from its previous all-time high of 14.9 trillion won (13.55 million dollars) in 2014. The worlds fifth largest automaker plans to spend 76 percent of the future investment into domestic industries and hire 7,345 employees to focus on development of smart cars and eco-friendly vehicles. This is a prime example of entrepreneurship to secure future competitiveness through aggressive investment amidst economic challenges.
Chairman Chung`s investment plan came one day after President Park Geun-hye asked for active investment at the New Years greeting gathering with economic leaders on Monday, but this is not just a simple response to the presidents words. In August 2013 when the president called on chairmen of Koreas top 10 conglomerates to expand investment, the entrepreneurs promised to increase investment and employment in response. But their vows have become empty promises. Hyundai Motor has been representing the domestic economy along with Samsung Electronics. But last year, the global auto giant had to struggle due to strong Korean currency gaining against the greenback, seemingly being edged out in the cutthroat competition for development of the next generation vehicles.
The global economy is nowadays witnessing rapid changes, which deserve to be called "the third industrial revolution." At the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where about 3,500 companies are participating to showcase their new products and services, the biggest attention has been paid to high-tech convergence products such as smart cars, drones, 3D printers and Internet of Things (IoT). The British daily Financial Times reported vehicles as the first item in its article designated for the CES 2015 by saying that CES has become as the car electronics show rather than the Consumer Electronics Show.
Soon will come the days when a vehicle can work as a super computer that autonomously drive by processing geographic information and verbal orders. All things will be connected soon through the Internet. The world is rapidly changing as experts are even predicting that Hyundai Motor Groups competitor would be Google, not General Motors of America any longer. Since its establishment as an Internet search engine 17 years ago, Google is now test-running a computer-driven car that doesnt need a driver. Googles self-driving car will be available in the market from 2017.
Among 142 worlds highest technologies, Korea has just the future ship technology. Falling far behind the U.S. with 87 technologies and Japan holding 33, Koreas flagship industries, such as electronics, shipbuilding, petro-chemistry and steel manufacturing, are facing challenges from rapid chase of China. Despite an economic recession last year, businesses in the U.S., China, Japan and European nations showed 10-40 percent increase in net profits year-on-year, but only Korean companies suffered from reduced profit of 2.2 percent.
Entrepreneurship, which dares to make investments all the more even in rough times, can be a solution to overcome economic crisis. The only way to survive is to pioneer new markets and businesses, and transform into a high value-added industry. The bright future will come only when making headway against uncertainties based on spirit of challenge. I hope that Hyundai Motor Groups pioneering investment would serve as pump priming for an economic turnaround in Korea.