Hyundai Motors and affiliate Kia Motors Corp on Friday announced that has named Kim Hae-jin as new chief of research and development, just a month after Kwon Moon-shik and two other executives resigned over a huge recall in the U.S. and South Korea.
Kim Hae-jin, 56, was head of engines and transmission development; he will report to Yang Woong-chul, Hyundai’s vice chairman for research and development.
Back in April, Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors recalled more than 1.7 million cars in the United States for cruise control problems (cruise control not disengaging) and some malfunctions that may prevent brake lights from illuminating.
On the same time, Kia and Hyundai have also recalled about 160,000 vehicles in South Korea for the same issues.
On Friday Hyundai said: “This new appointment is aimed at solidifying our quality management”.
The company also changed two executives in charge of engineering and electronics technology.
Last year, Hyundai, the largest carmaker in South Korea spent more than $1.5 billion on research and development projects. That’s about 1.9 percent of its revenue. By contrast, BMW, the world’s largest premium carmaker spent 5.2 percent of its revenue on research and development programs.