Hyundai, Kia Appoint New R&D Chief

Hyundai, Kia Appoint New R&D Chief

Hyundai and Kia have appointed a new president for their joint research and development division in hopes of restoring the automaker’s reputation after a series of quality issues this year.

Kim Hae-jin will take over as the Korean automakers’ R&D chief and was previously head of the development of engines and transmissions in addition to formerly managing R&D quality control. In April 2013, both automakers recalled nearly 1.7-million vehicles due to potential faults in brake switches. The same issue caused a recall of 600,000 vehicles in South Korea in September.

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Last year, Hyundai spent $1.54 billion on R&D, 1.9 percent of its revenue. Experts believe the Korean automakers need to invest more into R&D in order to become a true innovator in today’s marketplace. In contrast, BMW spent $5.47 billion last year on R&D or 5.2 percent of its revenue.

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[Source: Reuters]

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