Hyundai Motor Group: Fast Follower to Game Changer

By Mooweon Rhee, Jae-Gu Kim, William P. Barnett
2022 | Case No. SM364 | Length 40 pgs.

In 2022, Hyundai Motor Group had become the world’s third-largest automaker by sales volume. Under Executive Chair Euisun Chung’s leadership, HMG was shaping its vision as a “game changer” in the global automotive industry. The company no longer viewed itself as a traditional car manufacturer, but as a provider of smart mobility solutions.

The case study explores Hyundai’s strategies to pivot beyond the “fast follower” mission that had guided its rapid international expansion since the 1980s, under the leadership of founding Chairman Ju-yung Chung. Three decades later, South Korea’s automaker declared its next goal: achieve global leadership in vehicle electrification. Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 and the Kia EV6 were award-winning electric vehicles; the company planned to expand to 23 electric vehicle lines and sell more than 1 million EVs by 2025. Beyond electrification, Hyundai was making big bets on hydrogen energy, AI technology, robotics, and advanced air mobility—all of which could help make Hyundai the pioneering leader of the transportation sector of the future.

Learning Objective

This case study is designed to help students understand strategic thinking within large corporations, where the size and scope of operations might deter agile pivots to next-generation technologies and products. Students will discuss Hyundai’s approach and goals.
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