A new report, coming in from South Korea, claims that Hyundai is in the process of shutting down and reorganizing its internal combustion engine (ICE) development unit. According to Business Korea, the R&D center, located in Namyang, is going through a significant restructuring phase, with the development center for ICE units being completely shut down.
The R&D department has roughly 12,000 employees and if the news is confirmed, this shift in priorities means that the South Korean company will be focusing on electric and hybrid models alone from now on. The same report claims that the engineering team that has been working on internal combustion engines until now will go on to work on electric models. They will join the engineers that have already been working on EVs, alongside the newly unveiled Battery Development Center that has also been established in Namyang.
This report comes shortly after Hyundai announced that Albert Biermann, former BMW Motorsport Chief Engineer and the man behind the most praised models from the South Korean manufacturer, retired earlier this month. Biermann used to be in charge of the Research and Development Division of the Group and will now take on the role of Executive Technical Advisor for the company. Most likely, he will play an instrumental role in the development of electrified high-performance models.
Hyundai intends to decrease the time it takes to develop new electric cars by combining various departments. The Project Management Team and the Integrated Product Development Team, for example, have reportedly merged to form a single entity that works on a vehicle from concept to completion. The Hyundai Group’s electrification has already begun, with numerous new Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis cars set to be powered by the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Apart from Battery Electric Vehicles, Hyundai will also be working on hydrogen-powered models in the future, being one of the few car makers still interested in this area.