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Won Hee Lee

President, Hyundai Motors

At the end of 2019, Hyundai Motors President and CEO Won Hee Lee announced the launch of Strategy 25, the company’s roadmap for the future. The new operating model, he says, would transform the company from an auto manufacturer into a mobility-solutions company.

The strategy is based on two core pillars: smart mobility devices and smart mobility services. For smart mobility devices, read cars — or more specifically, electric vehicles.

Smart mobility services, however, are a little more interesting. Lee says Hyundai wants to be able to offer customers a personalised mobility lifestyle, which can be anything from maintenance, repair, and financing, all the way to car sharing, online car-based services and robotaxi services.

Transformation won’t come cheap. Hyundai says it will invest over $8 billion annually in R&D and technology to smooth the transition. An early sign of the investment is the plan to open the Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center in Singapore. Hyundai describes the center as an open innovations lab, a test bed to explore and validate its future vision.

"The key to our future strategy is to focus on customers and to present the most desirable products and services,” Lee tells Business Insider. "Transforming into a smart mobility solution provider that combines devices and services will be the center-piece of Hyundai's future strategy."