Two-thirds of Koreans think Hyundai Motor’s Chung Eui-sun doing good job

Feb 02, 2021, 09:09 am

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AsiaToday reporter Choi Won-young

It’s been four months since Chung Eui-sun has taken office as the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. Nearly two thirds of South Koreans think Chung is doing a great job as the chairman of the conglomerate, according to the latest poll. People chose bold investments and mergers and acquisitions (M&As) as the most outstanding management activities of Chung, and they paid attention to the greatly strengthened quality management. Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Chung has been leading the business world and gracing the pages of newspapers with his far-reaching influence since his inauguration last October. This seems to be the reason why three out of four people said he would continue to lead the conglomerate to success. However, people think that Chung needs to focus more on improving relations with union, and pointed out that the conglomerate should strengthen its social responsibilities.

The survey commissioned by AsiaToday and carried out by R&Search shows that 64.3 percent of respondents evaluated management activities of Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun positively, with 24.3 percent saying Chung is doing an excellent job and 40.1 percent saying he is doing a good job. Only 18.4 percent of respondents evaluated Chung negatively. 

The poll surveyed 1,034 adults nationwide between Jan. 14 and 15. It had a margin of error of plus-minus 3 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level. 

Many respondents (43.7%) chose “business insight such as bold investment in promising companies at home and abroad as well as M&As” as Chung’s best business activity. Chung purchased 80% stake of robotics firm Boston Dynamics from Softbank last December for nearly 1 trillion won. It was a big deal to propel the conglomerate’s future mobility business. On January 15, Hyundai Motor signed an investment deal with the government of Guangdong Province to establish a hydrogen fuel cell system plant in Guangzhou, China. The new plant will manufacture key parts of Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen vehicle NEXO. 

Chung was highly praised for “quality management” (16.5%), such as quick recall system and improved customer satisfaction. It seems to reflect the carmaker’s 3.4 trillion won worth engine recall and preemptive measures for quality management made immediately after Chung’s inauguration. He received favorable reviews for admitting various defects that occurred unexpectedly. The “leadership that unites the government and all industries (9.4%)” is in line with Chung’s series of meetings with business leaders including Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, and LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, as well as the transition of local governments into a huge future vehicle demonstration complex. 

Chung received the lowest points for “communication with the union (5.1%)”. Immediately after taking office, Chung met with the chairman of the Hyundai Motors union, but did not avoid the conflict with the Kia union. The Kia union held a partial strike for 14 days, leading to production disruptions and losses.

Regarding the management style that fits well with Chung, most respondents chose “quality management (27.0%)”. It seems to be the result of Chung’s execution of large-scale quality cost and massive recall. 23.9 percent chose “innovative management” for his cooperation with IT companies, while 11.2 percent picked “onsite management” for his frequent meetings with business leaders and the visits to Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) construction site. 

People’s expectations for Chung seems very high. 75.0 percent of respondents said Chung would lead the conglomerate to success while only 11.5 percent showed negative response. “Chairman Chung has engaged in aggressive management activities in order to realize the future strategy,” said Kim Pil-soo, a professor at Daelim University College. “Chung will continue to cooperate with other industries for the next five to ten years to make synergy.”

#Chung Eui-sun #Hyundai Motor Group #R&Search; #survey #management 
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