Seon Seob Kim takes charge as new MD & CEO of Hyundai India

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 04 Dec 2018


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Seon Seob Kim

Hyundai Motor India, the No. 2 passenger vehicle manufacturer in the country, has seen a change at the helm of affairs. Managing director and CEO YK Koo has stepped down from his role at the South Korean carmaker’s operations in India. He is to be replaced by Hyundai Motor Corp’s senior vice-president Seon Seob Kim, head of Business Operations Strategy Division. 

The change is part of the leadership appointments at key overseas operations announced today by Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation to strengthen organisational agility to adapt to a rapidly-changing business environment. The appointments will take effect from December 1, 2018. 

YK Koo took over from BS Seo in November 2015Under Koo, Hyundai fortified its growth strategy for India in terms of products, enhanced local contribution of R&D for new models, and expanding sales and service facilities especially in rural India.

In his three-year India innings, YK Koo has overseen the rollout of key products like the Creta which has consistently been the second best-selling SUV in the country after the Maruti Vitara Brezza. The most recent launch was that of the new Santro hatchback on October 23, which has garnered over  41,000 bookings within 40 days.

In FY2015, Hyundai Motor India had sold a total of 420,668 units (+10.63). Three years later, in FY2018, overall sales totaled 536,241 (+5.21). And, in the first seven months of the current fiscal, Hyundai has despatched 326,178 units (+3.86%). The company has been notching strong gains on the export front, and is currently leading the made-in-India chart with 99,640 units shipped in the April-October 2018 period.

Out of his 35 years of professional career with Hyundai Motor Company, Koo had been part of the senior management for 12 years in India with a strong understanding and orientation of the Indian auto industry. During his first stint from 1997-2001, Hyundai established itself as a household name with the launch of first generation 'Santro' and ‘Accent’ while he strengthened the sales and marketing operations during his second tenure from 2008-2011 and again headed the Indian operations in his third tenure from November 2015 to November 2018.

Hyundai Motor said Koo is credited with strengthening the India operations with focus on efficiency and smart manufacturing practices and has led to the roll-out of 8-millionth car in 20 years 9 months, which it says is the fastest-ever in the Indian auto industry. During his tenure Hyundai Motor India achieved the No.1 position in JD Power CSI survey consecutively in 2017 and 2018.

Koo has been instrumental for initiating several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities which includes, Safe Move – Road Safety Campaign and Swachh Can – Clean India Campaign.


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