• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

Automobile Industry Needs Renewal Of Strategic Plans To Emerge Stronger After The Crisis

Although it is currently a difficult time, the OEMs that are able to mobilize their COVID -19 response and take swift actions will be in a better position and more resilient going forward.

Photo Credit : Abhay Shukla


Hyundai Brand Ambassador Shahrukh Khan With Creta 2020

The automotive industry is a critical component of economic growth with extensive interconnections to upstream (e.g. steel, chemicals, textiles) and downstream industries (e.g. repair, mobility services). Although it is currently a difficult time, the OEMs that are able to mobilize their COVID -19 response and take swift actions will be in a better position and more resilient going forward. 

The ongoing global challenge is changing human attitudes and behaviours today and preparing organizations to respond for tomorrow. Brands are working to plan strategies which will bring about new trends.

A fast response to navigate the emerging situation with a focus on protecting people

Automobile companies will need to develop concrete measures to tackle disruptions now, strengthen operations to increase future resilience and prepare for the ‘new normal’. 

With production shutdowns taking effect, we at Hyundai, remain focused and nimble to better navigate this crisis. It is during this time that we reflect on our core values and further strengthen the consumer trust in the after-sales service. As our customers’ lifetime mobility partner, Hyundai Motor India will continue to engage customers through various platforms. Our focus currently is on near-term impactful measures that can help our society, employees, dealers and supply partners to safely navigate these turbulent times and subsequently on ways to quickly restore operations and near normalcy.

Under the umbrella of the ‘Hyundai Cares’ initiative, we are geared up to meet these challenges with sufficient measures that will Enhance Customer Confidence while also ensuring a Safe Showroom & Workshop Environment for Customers and Employees. Our carefully thought out initiatives will encompass all ownership aspects of Hyundai Cars for New & Existing Customers.

In a post Covid-19 world, the use and utility of vehicles are expected to change. Customer preference will be towards clean and hygienic personal mobility solutions. Digital engagement would go up and thus the connectivity and internet features, especially in cars are likely to surge. As a frontrunner in smart mobility solutions, Hyundai will continue to lead this segment with products such as Hyundai VENUE, All-New CRETA-the Ultimate SUV, All new VERNA among others.

Hyundai has been introducing unique and innovative mobility solutions for Indian customers. Hyundai’s partnership with Revv in 2018 has attained a significant milestone achieving 2500 subscriptions. This achievement strongly reflects the changing preference of customers for alternate mobility solutions and their trust in Hyundai’s innovative product offerings.

The human side of the enterprise will be a focus 

To stay relevant to customers who are increasingly seeking socially responsible brands, it is just not enough if the brand delivers a good product at a good price. We expect customers to prefer brands that will solve problems, focus on greener economics and showcase the human side of enterprise where communities and people-focused social activities will take centre-stage.

Mastering the key industry trends, such as digitalization continues to be essential for leadership

The digitalization process is expected to take focus in the near-term especially with respect to sales and service level.  Hyundai had embarked on the Digital journey both in Sales and service much before the COVID crisis and we feel this will reap rich dividends now. Our ‘click to buy’ portal addresses the need for new-age digital customers for purchase of new Hyundai cars. Ten Hyundai models including the Spirited New VERNA are available on Click to Buy website and this would act as an additional sales channel for over 500 Hyundai Dealerships.  The CTB platform is connected in real-time across India to fulfil the needs of the millennial generation.

Hyundai is also offering customers its 360 Digital & Contact-less Service Experience starting from online Service appointment, digital updates and online payments through ‘Hyundai Care App’ and ‘Hyundai on WhatsApp’. Extended working hours at workshops, Courtesy car facility & pick up and drop facility for customers enhances convenience like never before. Adequate care is taken for the sanitisation of 6 High TouchPoints at the time of delivery.

Supply chain dependencies will need a new look 

The manufacturing process and supply chain will see changes in the near term as companies will focus on reducing dependencies. For a self-reliant India, a robust local manufacturing sector can act as a strong lever for economic growth. Currently, the country is at the right juncture to build a vibrant local auto industry ecosystem that could support both domestic and export demand. India can offer both scale and large resource capacity. 

HMIL was also one of the first proponents of “Make in India” and showcasing India’s manufacturing prowess to the world. That vision is validated with HMIL and India remaining at the heart of HMC’s global operations and a key hub for exports. We have received tremendous support from the Indian customer and I am confident that this support and co-operation continues, going forward. 

Over the past two decades, automation in manufacturing has been transforming factory floors and the nature of manufacturing employment. Today, we are on the cusp of a new automation era: rapid advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning which are enabling automobile manufacturers to create products that are safer and more environmentally friendly without compromising on performance.

At Hyundai, we have already adopted automation and digitization in an evolved way adopting Industry 4.0. Our fully integrated state-of-the-art manufacturing plant near Chennai boasts advanced production, quality and testing capabilities. Our journey of automation has always been Keeping Dirty, Dull and dangerous jobs in mind and we will continue to do in the same lines in order to best capture value from automation over the long term.

Adoption of the megatrends with a different pace

The direction of the automotive industry towards the four major megatrends (connected, autonomous, shared and electric driving) is expected to remain unchanged as trends will continue to drive the industry evolution going forward. However, the speed of adoption might change due to the emergency.


India is one of the fastest-growing large economies in the world. It is also a young economy with robust domestic demand, high savings rate and regulatory mechanisms which makes it a resilient economy.

Due to the current situation – we believe there will be multiple challenges in the short term. However, facing challenges and successfully overcoming them is a part of Hyundai’s DNA and I am sure that this winning spirit will lead us to become the most admired, loved and trusted brand within Indian communities.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Mr. S S Kim

Mr. S S Kim, is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Hyundai Motor India

More From The Author >>