By Hyun Jin ChoSustainability Management Team
Kia Motors Corporation
Green cars refer to next-generation vehicles that are pollution-free. When the phrase first surfaced, a “green car” was clearly a car that would appear in the “next generation.” However, it has now become something that will soon affect our present generation rather than future generations.
Presently, most automakers around the world are focusing on developing and launching green cars or similar vehicles under the realization that such products are directly linked to their future existence.
A few days ago, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group Chairman Mong-Koo Chung made an important comment related to the issue at a meeting.
“… low-carbon, environmentally friendly cars represent a high value-added industry of the future that will promote sustainable growth. Technological competencies should be focused on developing core parts and original technology. Venture businesses play a major role in developing cutting-edge technology, meaning vast synergy effects on related industries. Accordingly, we should nurture venture businesses to contribute to fostering mutual prosperity between large corporations and SMEs, job creation, and growth of the national economy…”
In other words, he expressed intent to drive low-carbon, green growth through the development and commercialization of environmentally friendly cars. To that end, plans are being pursued to start the first mass production of an LPI hybrid car in the second half of 2009 and to introduce a mid-size, gasoline and LPG hybrid car in 2010.
Additionally, the Hyundai-Kia Group will pursue early commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell cars. Currently underway is a test run of 66 vehicles equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell system developed independently by the Group. From 2010, the number of test cars will be increased to 500 and a system for low volume production will be set up. The plan is to begin mass production in 2012.
Recently, the worldwide automobile industry has been in the midst of a complex environment characterized by fierce global competition and soaring raw material prices, along with opportunities like the expansion of emerging markets and development of new automotive technologies.
Green cars will provide a valuable opportunity to rise above the tide of the times instead of being overwhelmed by them.