Hyundai appoints ex-Daimler Trucks top exec as head of CV Development Tech Unit

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 30 Jun 2020

From 2018, Zeilinger headed Daimler Trucks’ Engineering Group in the Electro Mobility Group to spearhead Daimler’s electrification efforts.

Hyundai Motor Group has appointed Martin Zeilinger as executive vice-president and head of its Commercial Vehicle (CV) Development Tech Unit. Zeilinger brings with him 30 years of experience on commercial vehicle development.

Starting July 1, Mr. Zeilinger will enhance overall R&D capabilities for Hyundai and Kia’s commercial vehicles while  also spearheading development of eco-friendly commercial vehicles such as fuel cell trucks and buses. Zeilinger will be reporting to Albert Biermann, President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group’s Research and Development Division.

“We are fortunate to have Martin join Hyundai Motor Group’s CV Development Tech Unit. Martin’s extensive technical knowledge and experience will help to introduce innovative commercial vehicles,” President Biermann said. “We believe Martin will significantly contribute to further enhancing our group’s world leading fuel cell technology in the commercial vehicle sector.”

“I am very proud joining Hyundai Motor Group on the way to global growth with new technologies. The commercial vehicle industry has big environmental and economic challenges but also has big chances for efficient and clean transportation with the relevant new technologies and vehicles. I am looking forward to bring my experience in a new business environment” said Zeilinger.

Prior to joining Hyundai, he worked at Daimler AG. Based on his past experience developing autonomous trucks and electrified trucks, he will integrate innovative technologies to future Hyundai and Kia commercial vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group plans to step up efforts to lead the commercial vehicle industry with Zeilinger's expertise. Key focus areas will include fuel cell trucks and buses, as well as autonomous driving trucks – technological areas in which Hyundai Motor Group has developed considerable expertise in real-world applications.

In 2019, Hyundai Motor Group has formed Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, a joint venture with Swiss company H2 Energy, with plans to deliver 1,600 fuel-cell heavy-duty trucks to the JV through 2025. Last year in North America, Hyundai signed an MOU with Cummins to jointly develop and commercialize electric and fuel cell powertrains combining Hyundai fuel cell systems and Cummins’ electric powertrain, battery and control technologies.

In addition to eco-friendly technologies, Hyundai Motor Group also has demonstrated autonomous capabilities with commercial vehicles. In 2018, Hyundai Motor completed South Korea’s first domestic highway journey with an autonomously navigated semi-trailer truck, equipped with Level-3 autonomous driving technology. Last year, Hyundai utilised its V2V capabilities to platoon trailer trucks on Yeoju Smart Highway, a 7.7km testbed within the central region expressway, established by the Korean government for the development of autonomous driving technology.

Zeilinger started his career at Mercedes-Benz AG in 1987 with a truck testing role. Since then, he held various positions with increasing responsibilities. Zeilinger’s key career highlights include leading development of an autonomous driving truck and a battery electric truck called urban eTruck. From 2018, Zeilinger headed Daimler Trucks’ Engineering Group in the Electro Mobility Group to spearhead Daimler’s electrification efforts.

He graduated from Germany's Stuttgart University with a MS degree in Aerospace engineering.