More Genesis, Hyundai and Kia models will be developed in Europe for Europe, according to Tyrone Johnson, who heads R&D in the region for the three brands.
“We’ve been so successful [in our European operation] that we’ve been given more to develop on our own,” he said.
Ultimately, the move means more bespoke models just for Europe, but also the team leading development of some global models, such as those under the Hyundai N performance sub-brand.
Last year alone, Johnson’s team had 30 projects on the go, including the Hyundai Kona N, the Hyundai i20 N and the Elantra N, which was developed in Europe but destined for the US.
Since taking on the role in 2018, Johnson has consolidated a number of European test sites. Now, its main facility is the former Opel test track at Dudenhofen, Germany.
The Hyundai group is also planning to double the size of its site at the Nürburgring, confirmed Johnson. He said the ’Ring is used for extensive durability testing, with each vehicle driving 10,000 miles on the circuit.
In terms of new models for Europe, last year saw the launch of the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake, a car that has been created specifically for the European market. It has been so well received, said Genesis Europe boss Dominique Boesch, that its home market in South Korea is now considering selling the car as well.