Hyundai to establish a digital R&D unit in China

Hyundai Motor Group plans to establish a digital R&D unit in Shanghai this year  to strengthen the technology content in local vehicles and cater more closely to Chinese demand, according to local reports.

Hyundai said the facility would develop technology which closely met local Chinese demand which would then be applied globally. It would focus on several key technology areas including autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and shared mobility (CASE).

The automaker wants to regain market share lost in China after its sales declined from a peak of 1.8m units in 2016 before the before a diplomatic spat triggered a widespread consumer boycott of South Korean products in China.

HMG sales in China last year reached just 664,744 units of models sold under the Hyundai and Kia brands. It was targeting a 23% increase to 817,000 units this year.

Earlier this month, the group said it was planning a major electric vehicle (EV) offensive in China which included the launch of 21 Hyundai and Kia EVs by 2030, including hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The company was also building its first overseas fuel cell system plant in China, scheduled for completion in the second half of 2022.

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