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The South Korean government launched a command center to direct, groom, and defend the automobile industry amid challenges from the shift to next-generation vehicles of full automation and renewable fuel and on the trade front turning increasingly protectionist.
“The country’s auto industry is at a critical inflection point amid the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution, the fast rise of latecomers and growing uncertainties in global trade,” said Joo Hyung-hwan, minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, during the inauguration ceremony of a committee comprising of government members and automakers on Tuesday. “We need a control tower to coordinate policies to get ahead in the global auto industry.”
The ceremony was attended by Hyundai Motor President Chung Jin-haeng, Kia Motors President Park Han-woo, GM Korea President and CEO James Kim, Renault Samsung Motors President and CEO Park Dong-hoon and Ssangyong Motor CEO Choi Johng-sik.
The government-private sector’s joint committee announced seven agendas - strengthening the competitiveness of the country’s next-generation cars; bringing innovation and convergence of the nation’s auto parts industry; creating new service businesses related to cars; reforming the export structure and strategic use of trade policies; striking the balance between industry development and environmental and safety regulations; establishing sound labor and management relations; and setting up a policy control tower of the auto industry.
The committee unveiled plans to support small- and medium-sized auto parts companies to enhance their competitiveness. The government will invest 110 billion won ($96 million) in research and development of promising technologies for such as sensors for self-driving vehicles, and cultivate more than 400 talents in the future smart and green car sector. It plans to triple the number of so-called smart factories incorporating cutting-edge technologies to more than 2,500 by 2020.
By Ko Jae-man
Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (Feb. 7, 2017)