Hyundai: The carmaker aiming to become a tech firm
Hyundai let it slip last month that it was in talks with the iPhone maker to partner on a car project, but it said the talks were over this week.
South Korean carmaker Hyundai was dusty with Apple magic for a few weeks this year. Hyundai let it slip last month that it was in talks with the iPhone maker to partner on a car project, but it said the talks were over this week. This is by no means the end of the drive by Hyundai into technology, however. With a string of alliances, acquisitions and investments within the tech sector, the car maker has been investing heavily in emerging technologies. Last year's acquisition of the robotics company Boston Dynamics was a strong indicator of the path it is heading towards cutting-edge technology. As the transition to electric cars and autonomous vehicles accelerates, the entire auto industry has been forced to innovate.
In the past, Hyundai has been criticised for lagging behind competitors in embracing new technologies, but is rapidly catching up, recently sealing a series of partnerships and acquisitions with technology groups. Hyundai has a different set of reasons and more incentives to reach the limit. They have been even more proactive in reinventing themselves, says Dale Hardcastle, a consulting firm partner. The electrification of its line-up of cars with a dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) range named Ioniq has been ramped up by Hyundai. Over the next four years, its ambitious electric car plans will see it launch 12 new BEV models and completely electrify its line-up around the world by 2040. Hyundai has been busy creating charging points and hydrogen refuelling stations beyond battery electric cars.
"It's very clear where Hyundai sees its future. It's a brand that wants to disrupt and push forward, to break up the status quo," Mr. Hardcastle says. In December, the acquisition of a majority stake in Boston Dynamics in a $1.1bn (£810m) transaction was seen as a big step towards becoming a pioneer in automotive technology. Boston Dynamics, though having a common interest with Hyundai in autonomous driving and smart factories, is a leader in consumer robotics. Bakar Sadik Agwan, senior automotive consulting analyst at GlobalData, states: "Hyundai is being very responsive to the dynamic market trends," Because of the rapid technological developments, businesses need to transform their business strategies to protect their place in the future mobility age with the automotive industry becoming more competitive day by day. Hyundai seems to be well on track in this dire era of mobility.