Cars That Are Fun to Drive Will Always Be in Demand, Says Hyundai Exec
6 November 2019 - calcalistech
Albert Biermann, head of research and development at South Korean carmaker Hyundai, spoke to Calcalist during a visit to Israel last week
Even when autonomous vehicles are the norm, there will always be a market for cars that are fun to drive, according to Albert Biermann, head of research and development at South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Company.
"People will buy them as a hobby," he said last week in an interview with Calcalist during his visit to Israel to attend a smart transportation conference held by the country's Prime Minister's Office.
In 2015, Biermann, then a vice president of engineering at German carmaker BMW AG and a 32-year veteran of the company, was getting ready to retire once the company launched its new sports sedan BMW M5. It took a surprising phone call from Hyundai to get him to change course, shelve his plans to spend more time with his family, and join the South Korean company.
Biermann believes that despite the rising popularity of electric vehicles, hydrogen-fueled cars are the future. By 2025, Hyundai intends to market hydrogen-fueled trucks, later moving on to private vehicles, he said. The company will manufacture 500,000 hydrogen-fueled vehicles a year by 2030, he added.
In September, Calcalist reported that Hyundai intends to conduct an extensive pilot of hydrogen-fuelled trucks in Israel in 2020.