Hyundai Motor Dismisses Its Entire Engine Development Center on Way to Electrification


Hyundai signals the end of the combustion engine with the closing of its engine development center, in a shocking move that relates to the recent company re-organization. According to Korean media, the automaker’s powertrain group was reorganized into an electrification development group. It’s all about the EV race that is on and will wipe away the carmakers that don’t pay attention. Even Toyota, long time reluctant to compete in the EV market, stunned everyone with its bold EV plans and lineups. Hyundai, in the meantime, takes an even drastic approach, ending the development of the combustion engines altogether. The company earlier started a groundbreaking shake-up at its headquarters that had Peter Schreyer and Albert Biermann removed from their key executive positions and turned into “technical advisors.” Now we learn the transformation of the company goes way beyond changing the management. Hyundai’s R&D headquarters in Namyang, which employs 12,000 people, will be reorganized, with all ICE-related centers being converted to electrification-related units, according to Business Korea. The Korean carmaker’s goal is to significantly cut the development time for new electric vehicles. Several departments are merged to form single units, supervising a new project from the initial design phase through to the production phase. Also, new departments have been created, like the battery development group. “Now, it is inevitable to convert into electrification. Our own engine development is a great achievement, but we must change the system to create future innovation based on the great asset from the past,” reads an email message from the new R&D chief Chung-Kook Park to employees, cited by The Kores Economic Daily. The engine development team was established in 1983 under the advice of Chung Ju-Yung, Hyundai Group founder, who wanted the company to make its own engines. But now, the Hyundai Motor Group signals they will not release new models powered by internal combustion engines and will accelerate its transformation into an electric vehicle manufacturer.