By Kim Yon-se
SEOUL - Hyundai Motor chairman Chung Mong-koo reiterated that the company should make a breakthrough in Europe with unique strategies.
Chung, who is visiting the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland, called for Hyundai's European corporations to cope with the European crisis with a creative mindset.
Chung was quoted by Hyundai executives as saying, "Though the European market is the origin of the global economic slowdown, Hyundai Motor should adopt a frontal breakthrough here."
A Hyundai spokesman said that his visit to the Geneva Motor Show indicates the group is trying to make an impact in the European market, even as the region is under financial distress.
During a dinner meeting with European dealerships, the Hyundai Motor chief was awarded the "2011 Top Manager in the World" by InterAutoNews, an Italian automotive publication.
Chung overtook competitors ? Volkswagen chairman Martin Winterkorn (2nd) and Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally (3rd) ? in the number of votes by Italian journalists for the award.
Hyundai plans to reveal the i20 facelift as well as the Veloster Turbo at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show, focusing on compact models to cater to cost-conscious buyers.
The all new i20 is the latest version of the Hyundai i20 produced last year and is more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.
It emits 84 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, a figure lower than any other car with a conventional power train.
Chung has continued to stress that the company should compete with global rivals in the sluggish European market with new car models.
He stressed the importance of producing new models that meet the needs of European drivers to overcome the current economic slowdown and strengthen the carmaker's market presence in the large market.
"While visiting car production plants in Europe, chairman Chung pointed out that Hyundai and Kia beat out their Japanese rivals thanks to the efforts and devotion of all European staff members confronted with sluggish growth in the overall car market," a spokesman said.
Hyundai Motor Group, the fifth-largest carmaker in the world, has steadily expanded its market share in Europe, reaching a record-high last month, despite generally poor growth posted by other automotive companies.
Chung stressed that competitive models such as Hyundai's mid-size wagon i40 and affiliate Kia Motors' newly-revealed Pride subcompact will spearhead the group's growing sales and bolster its brand recognition in the European market, where consumers are tightening their belts to cope with the fiscal crisis in several countries.
The company said Chung stressed that the new i40 and Pride were developed with European consumers' tastes in mind.
"It is necessary to promote these strategic cars to get closer to the consumers and boost sales in Europe," the chairman was quoted as saying.