Monday, January 29, 2007

The Sussex Centre for the Individual and Society (SCIS)

The Sussex Centre for the Individual and Society (SCIS) ORIGINAL POST

My attention was recently brought to an apparently noteworthy institution in the UK, The Sussex Centre for the Individual and Society (SCIS)

Their aims appear heterodox as they engage research across disciplines to provoke original thinking and cross-functionalty among various academic interests and those willing to forgoe a typical entry into scholarly pursuits or those seemingly trapped in the digressios of interesting but difficult to fully categorize topics. In this they might be defined as dualistic and otherwise diffusive. Perhaps vision is multifaceted and quite diverse?

Such purposes are somewhat kindred to my own muddy hooved frolic in my readings. It is encouraging to know that their founders and notable advisory board include a range of field leaders pressing the borders and limits of contemporary lethargy or thought apparently in and amongst their own minds first. Their advisors appear formidable indicators of their individual and collective talents among them being: Prof John Friedmann (British Columbia, UCLA), Prof Ernesto Laclau (Essex, Northwestern, New School for Social Research), Prof Francis Sch├╝ssler Fiorenza (Harvard Divinity School), and Prof Michael J. Watts (Berkeley).

It was a nice introduction and reminded me of how I felt the day Google Korea wrote to request my assistance in sourcing a new HR Manager. Perhaps when one is ready, and patient enough, the fish do begin to gather around a tasty bit of discourse? One likes to read and one also likes to write. Freedom of thought is so necessarily precious. One must bob to find just the right dock and just the right bay.

2011 UPDATED AMENDMENT AND WARNING! Erich Kofmel is a SCAM! 2011

Changing Hyundai Motors: “Myeol sa bong gong”?

Changing Hyundai Motors: “Myeol sa bong gong”?
The export of Hyundai cars since the mid 1980s has demonstrated the industrial verve of Korean manufacturing companies for export driven growth which has nearly continuously increased annually since that time. Hyundai Motors has won several international awards for quality in the most recent years of the last decade demonstrating an increasing capacity to reinvent not only its product image but also enhance build quality incrementally to capture local consumer demands in the global marketplace. Concurrently the product profile of Hyundai cars has been assisted by an increased awareness of Korean exports which has infiltrated the media of many Asian neighbors to its benefit particularly and Korean products generally. Latest reports of Hyundai sales indicate sales slumps as a result of global trends forecasts for 2007 as well as US Toyota sales gains as well as US car makers’ sales incentives and pricing flexibility. Further possible negative impact as a result of managerial disputes at Hyundai and the recent indictment of Hyundai Motors Chairman Chong Mong-koo are ongoing and perhaps of more relevance to the national Korean car market.

Manfred F.R. Kets De Vries explains in his book, "Life and Death in the Executive Fast Lane: Essays on Irrational Organizations and Their Leaders" (1995) that successful change management is a most difficult exercise to achieve even in a singular company let alone in an entire national economy. To these ends Hyundai Motors and its national domestic market, the peninsular nation of the Republic of Korea, have great potential to embark on the next difficult phase of economic development, namely, the entrenchment of transparent and accountable corporate governance to the benefit of its minority shareholders, customers, citizens and affiliate companies over the long-term especially in securing future FDI for fledgling small and medium sized business ventures. However at Hyundai Motors the short-term effects of such transitions are especially perceived and cast a pall over forecasting its future growth trends.

Globally tuned practices and measures are difficult to implement locally as the national government has discovered competitive visions or what could be described as economic dualities for the future of Hyundai Motors exist which pits reform-minded individuals and government entities such as the President, ruling party and Seoul Office of Public Prosecutors against the intransigence of a predominantly family managed corporation. As a result the government has failed to maintain the support of the majority of stakeholders in the face of moribund effects of new policies and is perceived to be undermining Hyundai Motors support for past and further reforms especially in new rules regulating corporate equity investments and union arbitration. However in review of OECD recommendations a government inspired wave of realignments are necessary while considered another form of Anglo-American legal influence over national standards and as bitter a pill at present and similarly received by the public at large as the negative reaction to the IMF reforms of the post-1997 recovery (Jeong, 2004:1; Yanagimachi: 2004:1,5).

The reform principles called “five plus three” , which first came into policy in 1998 under the leadership of then President Kim Dae Jung coincided with the reorganization of Hyundai Corporation among many other Korean business chaebol units and the installation of Chung Mong Koo as CEO of the soon to be disassembled and reborn Hyundai Motors. These principles initially included five goals. The first was to facilitate the reduction of debt holdings. In the case of Kia Motors, for example, these were immense. Accountable corporate governance procedures comprised the second reform goal. Improved financial reporting transparency came third while elimination of cross-debt guarantees came fourth. Accountability of controlling shareholders and managers was to be enhanced as the fifth goal. However as operational efficiencies became known to the Kim Dae Jung administration three additional principles were appended to the original five in 1999. These included an attempt to reduce the volumes of circuitous equity holdings as well as increased reporting of unfair transactions among aligned businesses, clear corporate governance regulations for non-banking financial institutions and a stricter policy on gifts, inheritance bequeathals and their taxation among business partners. Following lengthy review of certain successes in these new realms of corporate governance persistent family managed company practices continue to hover within the nebula of moral hazard due to establishment resistance, political uncertainty and ineffective government oversight particularly in the years following their espousal and evident in the track Hyundai Motors has taken. Namely the present battle for control of the company illustrates that management may seek to transfer power to the third generation possibly through the expropriation of minority shareholdings and purchase of discounted convertible bonds, bonds with warrant and pyramidal stock trading (Jang, 2003: Slides 3, 12 & 14).

Those aspects of moral hazard by their definition as exemplified in the previous paragraph portend opportunities for anti-corruption policies as were attempted by the Kim Dae Jung administration and also by the current government of Roh Mu Hyun however incentives and opportunities for corruption remain intrinsic components of Korean business practices and while the Korean legal system has grown even more independent of political design since 1997 it at times demonstrates questionable effectiveness (Kim, 1998: 36-42). International underpinnings of corporate governance hold few comparative seams in the Korean cultural paradigm and are perhaps best not examined under the assumptions of neither Confucianism nor modernization, nor any attempt to define Asian values in a context of foreign precepts of contemporary economic humanist ethics. Instead the boundaries of Korean contemporary approaches to corporate economic strategies suggest that a continuous realignment or reassessment of its structure as a culturally molded reality is in fact its usefulness to business leaders in particular and those aspiring to lead businesses generally. This pleat upon moral hazard assumes that either the corporate management establishment or the current government must take on the role of coordinator and coordinated where one must possess greater authority over the constantly redefined borders of perceived moral hazard in Korean terms and the other must willingly submit to the current proscribed standards to determine it. These borders appear to be ever changing (Lee, 1998: 270). A complimentary resolution of focus may be redeemed from the perspective of productive inefficiency revealed not only in the effects of but the duality of economic modernization and traditionalism which has produced imbalanced growth, unevenness of development and governmental growth policies which often appear to rely heavily on state instituted repression from the historical perspective resulting in a dual risk society of limping and insufficient modernization exemplified at present in the panalopy within which the current government and leadership of Hyundai Motors appear to be competitively riding (Kim, 1998: 41-43).

The Galloping History of Hyundai

Since its foundation in 1947 Hyundai has represented the family managed corporate interests of Koreans in the global marketplace. Fast moving Chung Ju-yung sired eight sons and as founder of Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company he opened Hyundai Motors in 1967 among many subsidiaries yet chaired by some of his still surviving sons. In 1968 Hyundai Motors began selling its first model named the Cortina as a result of a joint partnership with Ford Motor Company. Mitsubishi offered technical assistance in the production of its first Korean car named the Pony in 1975. An early entrant in Canada, the 1985 Hyundai Stellar saw buyers like my father replacing a cracked Mitsubishi engine block and swearing off Korean cars for life. Thankfully Hyundai Motors then started exporting cars to the USA in 1986 when Excel came 10th due to price as Best Product in Fortune magazine. Sonata entered production and sales in 1988 as Hyundai’s first solely engineered product which has latterly provided outstanding performance in quality and customer satisfaction ratings (Keegan, 2005).

Hyundai Motors turned around its product reputation in the last decade through increased focus upon quality and brand power which became dominant marketing themes with improved design, research and development following the IMF led rebirth of many global Korean companies in 1998. All Hyundai US auto sales were then bolstered with a 10 year or 100,000 mile warranty to the great satisfaction of value conscious customers and naysayer pundits who questioned whether the company might even exist in ten years following its debt to equity reports in 1997. The real genius of the warranty program proved to be its limitation to the first owner only and non-transferable. Absorbing Kia while Daewoo fell to ravenous creditor machinations, Hyundai quickly went on to become one of the fastest growing automobile companies in the world rippling and revving in sales volumes to renewed shareholder and customer confidence.


By 2004 Hyundai won second place and tied with Honda in terms of initial quality reports according to J.D. Power and Associates with Sonata contributing top performance in the entry mid-sized sedan category. In 2005 Hyundai Sonata slipped to first place runner up in mid-sized sedan category losing to the Chevrolet Malibu & Malibu Maxx. Despite this Automotive News and Price Waterhouse Coopers awarded them Global Automotive Shareholder Value Award Winners in 2005 for having posted an 80% annual increase in total shareholder value, compared to sectoral increases of 9%. In addition Hyundai posted a 329% increase in total shareholder value over the previous three years, compared to sectoral increases of merely 69% overtaking Peugeot and exceeding their annual growth by 11% and their three year growth by 164% in 2004. 2005 saw progress overall as J.D. Powers latest ranking of Hyundai Motors is global third place following Porsche and Lexus. In 2006 Hyundai reached 75th place in Business Week’s top 100 brands ranking jumping from 84th in 2005. However 2006 reveals a gnashing and squealing of gears besides the fact that McGraw Hill is owner of both magazines and PWC has operated as an independent auditor of Hyundai in the form of Samil PWC Inc. Senior management at Hyundai Motors affirms that neo-Confucianism is alive and well in The Republic of Korea and Hyundai Motors Chairman Chong Mong Koo. After all, his father Chung Ju-yung led not only the company but ipso facto the industrial export policy of Korea for nearly six teetering decades. But Korea is changing?

“I believe I can fly”

Chung Ju-yung demonstrated a political and industrial prowess which so inspired Korea’s dictator Park Chung Hee that much of the nation’s industrial growth policy of the 1960s, namely limitless government guaranteed long-term loans and incentives fostered the world’s most successful shipbuilding and industrial enterprise. His influence extended even beyond the realms of dictatorship and into the early democratic era when formerly packaged South Korean chaebols successfully branching out as a result of IMF requirements can be attributed to him. As many of Korea’s similar corporate founders, Chung demanded much of government support while at the same time enforcing strong arm anti-unionist tactics in the 1980s and sparring politically with his adversaries facing convictions of money laundering in support of failed political platforms including a leadership race in the 1990s which won him a conviction and summary pardon in 1992 and 1996 respectively (, 2001; Time Asia, 1996).

Thus it is no surprise that his eldest son has followed his footsteps, Hyundai Motors Chairman Chong Mong Koo finds himself in the lead figuratively as well as the current local topic of interest legally even with his numerous brothers notwithstanding. Chong Mong Koo was originally tagged “the bland son” and shuttered away lingering in after sales service management for a quarter of a century. His revival is indicative of a quality revolution realized for Hyundai car customers in Korea and the world today. Elevated to co-chairman of Hyundai Corporation by his father in 1997 in an obvious fit of dualistic paternalism he and his co-chair younger brother Chung Mong Hun battled for control of the chaebol with zeal worthy of the fratricidal Sultans to be of the Turkish Empire. Following Chong Senior’s death in 2001 the division of the company was clearly cleaved according to his will into three operating interests namely Hyundai Heavy Industries, the Hyundai Motor Group, and Hyundai Engineering and Construction. Once the dusts settled Chong Mong Koo seemingly retained suzerainty over the Motors Division while Chung Mong Hun appeared to be boosted out of the lead and withered to a mere shadow of former influence at the helm of Hyundai Asan. After being indicted by former President Kim Dae Jung on charges of financial reports doctoring to transfer secret sums to the North Korean government and apparently taking a cue from Eli Black, Chung Mong Hun hurtled himself from his twelfth floor in an equally successful suicide on August 4, 2003 and not the only son to have done so. Notably another brother Chung Mong Woo exited life by his own hand in 1990 due only to fits of depression (Wikipedia, 2006).

Meanwhile Hyundai Motors has had a rough ride since Chong Mong Koo’s indictment in March, 2006. Perhaps this is why Chong Mong Koo is so obviously the bland one. His current criminal defense proceedings for corruption charges carried on through the spring and summer of Hyundai Motors success and have cost just over USD 30 million while his accusers claim that he is guilty of embezzlement and breach of trust by manipulating local politicians with a slush fund amounting to USD 103 million to ensure that success. It is chickenfeed compared to a slush fund amounting up to USD 7 billion discovered in another Hyundai affiliate, Glovis, locked in a safe on premises and apparently mostly in cash (The Hankyoreh, 2006). In Korean respects Chong Mong Koo is credited with turning Hyundai Motors and by extension Kia Motors around financially. However the costs to taxpayers and minority shareholders of such antics are claimed not to effect future earnings of the company according to at least one member of the board of directors. At the same time Hyundai Motors announced overseas expansions would be curtailed. Furthermore a possible witness, former Seoul public official Park Song Ahn was found stone cold dead in a reservoir from an assumed suicide apparently foiling prosecutors and testimonial evidence. The course of the trial remains uncertain and is due to reconvene in 2007 on January 15 with a court decision currently expected no later than February to determine the leadership future of the driven company (Dong-A Ilbo, 2006). While prosecutors are demanding a six year jail term, if past predicts future Chairman Chung will receive a light slap on the wrist (The Hankyoreh, 2007)

OECD Alert

The issues are myriad and relate directly to OECD recommendations concerning global investor expectations of Asian Boards of Directors. The concerns are independence of investors or groups of investors, protection of the rights of minority shareholders, management focus on increasing earnings values, opposition to dangerous overleveraging, selection of capable managers, and ensuring corporate and governmental compliance with agreed laws and regulations (Mobius, 2001: Slide 2). Enough precedence for concern over these matters exists at Hyundai Motors to suggest that quality management cycles have been applied in design, production and supplier relationships in total isolation of corporate managerial improvements. Kim Dong Jin CEO and Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motors was found guilty of making illegal donations of USD 10 million during the 2002 presidential elections and given suspended sentences (FT, 2005 in Frank, 2005). The Korean Ministry of Labour requested Hyundai Motors to stop employing nearly 10,000 illegally hired workers in 2004 with which the company did not comply as of 2005 (Korea Times, 2005 in Frank, 2005). Also in 2005 Hyundai Motors restated 2003 and 2004 financial statements following accounting changes at Kia Motors reducing equity capital by USD 360 million (Korea Times, 2005 in Frank, 2005). Of independent board members listed in 2003 one was Miyamoto Masao Assistant to CEO of Mitsubishi Corp. Total annual compensation for Hyundai Motors BOD stood at 3 billion won for eight persons in 2001 and 2002 which appears modest (Investegate, 2003).

Focus on Quality and Brand Power: Hyundai Motors Financial Summary

Tasty dividends and Hyundai Motors unit sales growth in 2006 have come about despite work stoppages, union strikes, won currency strength and rising fuel prices all to indicate that global markets for well built, competitively priced cars remains strong. 2006 saw an incredible 43% increase in sales from overseas factories while domestic sales have held their own despite being unable to meet sales targets for most of the last two quarters. Local union clashes are only one of the many reasons Hyundai Motors is investing heavily in a second Indian car plant and planning to start up another one in the Czech Republic (The Korea Herald, 2007). Quite simply these are the only ways to circumnavigate local tariff barriers and keep up with the competition. Hyundai Motors has very little debt in comparison to its child Kia Motors while carrying higher comparative volumes of short term debt. Total asset growth of 8.77% is again higher than what Kia is showing. Earnings per share of 10,652 Korean won in 2005 would also be higher however it has virtually doubled since 2001 so one would hope it would do so again by 2010 which would be a grand nod to the influence of, “The Perils of the Will to Believe.”(Kelly, 1930: 16). Yet a price to earnings ratio of 6 makes this stock appear a real bargain if combined earnings increases of 14% can be met in 2007.

Kudos for Mong Koo?

Hyundai Motors has proven with Chong Mong Koo as Chairman and CEO that Japanese auto manufacturers are not the only Asian competitors capable of implementing sound leadership directed quality management principles at production level and streamlining from research and development to advertising and customer service. This bodes well for the future of Hyundai products themselves and portends the future for Chinese competitors as well as a significant Hyundai manufacturing parts presence in the interests of Hyundai Mobis currently functioning out of China. However in 2003 Mr. Bruce Shibuya, a former Toyota Motor Sales USA quality control unit manager with eighteen years experience was hired at Hyundai-Kia North American Quality Center and is claimed to have brought several confidential dossiers from Toyota with him in the form of technical reports and European quality control models in, “binders and binders of information.” (Rechtin, 2006). Methods of information gathering vary through time and necessity exemplified by the Ford quality movement of the early eighties in taking Toyotas apart and examining their components for profitable new ideas; Toyota does the same thing with Hyundai cars. Quite possibly Hyundai merely required confirmation for Hyundai employees that their own quality management strategies were on track. The elements of quality management of production, namely the Shewart/Deming Cycle of “plan/do/check/act” has been effectively expanded upon in Japan and The USA and is no secret while kaizen and Taguchi diagrams are effectively implemented in company production cycles globally without cries of espionage. It should not be difficult to assume that Hyundai Motors has itself developed some fluency in quality improvement methods to get where it is so far. Continued quality improvement leadership must again be credited to Chong Mong Koo and in fact has begun to reposition Hyundai Motors as a major direct competitor with Toyota which is completely intended and appears preferred to the point that this past summer Toyota instructed its affiliated parts suppliers not to do business with Hyundai (JCBN, 2006).

HyundaiMtr KSE / A005380 (Current Prices)

Kia Motors: A Child’s Financial Summary

Kia Motors share prices by complimentary comparison have seen nearly a doubling effect since January 2005 and price earnings ratio of 6.20 indicates a bargain in terms of what this car manufacturer could be making and earning post 2013 if all goes to global parts plans. It seems to be of less interest to foreign investors than Hyundai Motors itself at this time which could be corrected if it continues to climb in sales volumes particularly in the US market where it apparently attracts a slightly younger purchaser profile and a slightly sportier reputation. But for all its cost in separate showrooms, dealers, styles, marketing and tissue wrappings it is nearly all the same car that is being sold over at Hyundai. These are the costs exorbitant as they are to which any like minded observer would agree are the most highly prized by the managerial cadres at Hyundai. It is a firm observation that streamlining this bit of extremely expensive differentiation would be a real boon to effective management of shareholder interests. It merely appears that the separation has been a form of incubation not only for Kia Motors reorganization but also a comfortable nest from which a younger Chung might emerge from the albumen of nepotistic advantages proving the value of his mettle in a proving ground of solid work wedded to development of cooperative skills.

KiaMtr KSE / A000270

Kia has a very small market capitalization and earnings per share are also extremely low and indicate one area of weakness again possibly in operational costs which could be cut significantly if it were simply relegated to a sub-marquee of Hyundai Motors and sold upon their premises eliminating bricks and mortar overhead costs. This is contingent on managerial decisions and could be impacted directly over the impending transfer of Hyundai Motors BOD power to Chung Eui Sung the son of Chung Mong Koo.

Figure Three

Kia’s past downsizing in R & D as well as standardization of engines and platforms appears to have benefited Hyundai Motors more highly. The strategy of direct competition between Kia and Hyundai Motors is one which appears to foreshadow possible difficulties similar to those experienced by competitive inventory purchasers at the former T. Eaton Company in Canada well described in “The Eatons: The Rise and Fall of Canada's Royal Family” by Rod McQueen (2001). Such a move away from squabbling over parts orders would be certain to boost Kia Motors financial statements. It just never appears to be wise to be competing with your own team indefinitely. Sales volume figures are steady and increased by 3.8% in 2006 in annual overseas sales gains. Reports indicate Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors aim to increase their combined global sales volumes by 14 percent in 2007 (The Korea Herald, 2007). Decreases in short-term debt are comforting as well as steady increase in shareholders’ equity. Overall ratios could indicate a soon to be implemented upswing in plant expansions and would explain a slight decrease in net income in 2005 (Kia, 2007).

Pseudo-podification of Kia

Kia Motors distinguished itself from its former competitors by having been one of the only major auto companies in Korea to have ever had a professional management system with a non-family member as its president and what appears to have ever been an amenable relationship with its unionized employees prior to insolvency. Its entry into automobile production in 1987 came about following the lifting of a rationalization policy implemented under General Park most likely at the insistence of Chung Ju-yung following a merger with a commercial vehicle manufacturer, Asia Motors previous to which it was a humble bicycle making company. Kia Motors also distinguished itself as being the only Korean car company to have ever nearly been the target of a hostile takeover as evidenced by Samsung’s attempts in 1996 and 1997 which resulted in Kia insolvency as of 1997. In 1998 the company was tendered to public auction and Hyundai offered the best terms to which it was sold for just over 1.9 billion USD and write-offs at the Korean Development Bank totaling nearly 7.5 billion USD. This merger resulted in a streamlining effect in the R&D functions of Hyundai Kia with the particularly interesting strategy of inter-company competition. The result is a shared reduction in production platforms and models which were to be reduced to 7 from 41 prior to the merger as of 2005. Similarly, engine models were to be reduced from 29 to 15 over the same period all from a very interesting paper titled “Merger and Reconfiguring of Hyundai-Kia” by Lee Byoung Hoon and Cho Sung Jae at Chung Ang University in Seoul.

Maintaining Shareholder Interest

Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors must attempt to retread a sales growth focus in non US markets possibly for the first time in their export history with a possible albatross clinging to the wheel. The 2006 Global Auto Report by Scotia Economics tabled by Carlos Gomes on December 28, 2006 predicts negative sales growth in the US auto industry and possibly one of the reasons Korean economists are collectively predicting "myeol sa bong gong," or " the abandoning of private interests to pursue public interests" for 2007 which ill bodes for the outcome of Chong’s current legal circumstances. Perhaps the predicted slap will become a rap. The Associated Press reported in mid-December 2006 that low-priced vehicles for these markets are under development according to Hyundai Motors Vice Chairman Kim Dong Jin. However direct export from Korea or The USA is limited due to import tariffs at times in excess of 100% in South East Asia and Latin America. This has not stopped Hyundai Kia North America from claiming their new Alabama production is tagged for export to South America. As of 2001 CEO Park Jung In at Hyundai Mobis technically tied component system manufacturing such as undercarriage and cockpit systems into partnerships with Textron, Daimler Chrysler, Budd, MG, MMAL, Nissan, and Daihatsu according to the Korean Auto Industries Cooperative Association (KAICA, 2007) raising stock prices from around 15,000 won to the region of 75,000 won at present and climbing (Chosun Ilbo, 2001). This agrees with predictions that half of Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers in the US may be out of business by the year 2013 (Automotive Components Analyst, 2003).

The gloomy Scotia Economics report further predicts falling 2007 Canadian and US total annual car sales, Hyundai or otherwise, to below the year 2000 figures with slight increases in global sales in portions of Mexico, Brazil, China and India. This might prove extremely difficult if the express curtailment of Hyundai Motors global expansion is maintained prior to a concrete court decision on the primacy of Chong Mong Koo. Destruction of such auto chaebol characteristics versus construction of Anglo-American corporate governance best practices appears problematic. Outside directors may have little influence over the decision making process such influence is described as, “largely illusionary” (Jeong, 2004:1). According to Corporate Finance Insights: Automotive Sector 2006 Indian and Chinese manufacturers may soon mushroom in FDI and production having a competitive advantage through cooperation and shareholder agreements to source supplier materials and spark future bidding wars due to local low costs of labor (Wylie, 2006: 3-4). Toyota acquired Fuji Heavy Industries in October 2005 only to increase vertical integration according to the same report. Nowhere in the global top were Hyundai Motors listed in vehicle manufacturers M&A transactions for 2006 where strategic logic would require them to be (Porter, 1980: 67-68).

Is Mobis a Glovis?

Salvation may indeed exist in seemingly undervalued Hyundai Mobis, on the other hand bristling with dividends and already operating assets and production subsidiaries in several Chinese locations including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Beijing as well as in Chennai at Hyundai Motor India which is seen as offering a higher quality of engineering than China despite higher costs in forgings and castings to supply engines (Sridhar: 2003) despite reports of current under capacity and few prospects of export flexibility in the domestic Indian market (Krishnan: 2007). If predictions are correct Hyundai Mobis could be a real shiny mover in the next five years. Thankfully their website now provides annual reports data as far back as 2001.

Hyundai Mobis KSE / A012330 (Investor Relations: Stock Information)
Figure Four

Figure Five

Considering the close intermingled blood relationships between these three companies and their suppliers such as INI Steel and Hyundai Hysco, Kia ended up with the first in-house sheet metal foundry in the automotive industry and explains why Chung Mong Koo would appear prudent to keep them all under his thumbs as shades of the same great creature to possibly negate import tariff requirements in India and China and conveniently shuffle leadership options at the same time. However trends in Korean corporate governance would reveal a competitive purpose as such transfers of capital are described in and among Koreans with the term “straw business” or those transfers of capital once or yet so easily made as to suck water through a straw (Hankyoreh: 2006). So perhaps Hyundai Motors 2006 announced moratorium on overseas expansions was simply the temporary pinching of that straw. 2007 sees a second Chinese factory purchase announcement and a second Indian factory in the works announcement which suggests gear changing on the terms of the phrase “moratorium” which obviously springs to life on required growth forecasts (The Korea Herald, 2007).

Hyundai Mobis Sales/Hyundai Mobis Net Income
FigureSix/Figure Seven (Corporate Information Overview)

Product Focus China

In product focus China represents a challenging arena for mid-sized sedan categories for which Hyundai has most recently been highly praised. In terms of local competitors the growth market in both China and India is paradoxically that of the lower cost to produce and easier to market sub-compact category under-represented by Hyundai Motors stables at the moment through which both major Japanese and Korean car companies found their entry niche positions in the US market possibly simply due to a quality focus and clearly redefined corporate governance procedures in the ROK. US auto spending according to Scotia Economics is contracting due to dear fuel prices and withering economic growth. Markets for which the curvaceous and starlet Sonata and by all means the Jabba-the-Hut like Opirus might prove slow movers.

A Dear Leader

It is clear that Chong Mong Koo has resisted reducing his position of leadership at Hyundai itself in the past as Hyundai Motors was a form of compensation to his loss of face following the leadership crisis with his brother prior to the death of senior Chong. In fact part of his current lack of blandness is regarding his rather overt plans for the take-over of Hyundai Kia by his own son and heir apparent Chung Eui Sun also current Chairman at KIA. However, regardless, J.D. Power and Associates ranked him as among the top Asian executives in 2005 (Barron’s, 2005). In this manner and matter of possible power transfers, business favours, write-offs and associated skull-duggery, all with the flair of chaebols of old, certain patterns of Korean business management are unwilling to go quietly into the night. Chong Mong Koo has illustrated an unwillingness to accept substantial changes to corporate governance at Hyundai Motors which might possibly reduce his control. He stands currently as the majority shareholder at the corporation and as the second richest man in Korea on Forbes lists for 2006. However the concept of separation of ownership and control of a company is a recent migrant into the Korean business world (Berle and Means 1932; Jensen and Meckling 1976 in Ahmadjian and Song 2004: 6). His unwillingness to fight the good fight would prove highly un-Korean and reverberates with his promise of “strength of character that just won’t give up!” (Chung, 2004).


Hyundai Motors benefits from starting out as the born loser and speeding its way to the top of the pack in twenty-five short years of export growth. However in the interim of those years the memory of the buying public and even their base motivations appears simplistic and advantageous to the current struggles to redefine corporate governance procedures and at the same time maintain an envious controlling family position throughout the last decade. The struggle remains extremely difficult and changes in corporate modernization, government role and leadership issues regarding regulation coupled to a clear mission of improving quality and product performance are impacting managerial effectiveness. Hyundai Motors and by extension Kia Motors as well as Hyundai Mobis are fortunately well suited to grow despite challenges in an increasingly Asian-centred competitive world of automotive sales growth, supplier channels and parts production depending on swiftness to meet current and future demands.

What can be said for reading widely of this topic through a variety of far flung resources is that the scope of analysis tends to favour and highlight trends and patterns not only of leadership behaviour in the past but suggests courses of future action the company which while not made in the theme of economical predictions could be assumed to positively effect shareholder interests. These themes should be considered an excessive fondness for seeking out the obscure and at times esoteric in attempting to make such fragments of information a cohesive contribution to the more main-stream, and thus reputable sources of econometrical data which at times appears to speculate upon the character of speculators themselves. Among these gamblers while coming in many breeds there are the occasional readers in the pack who enjoy not only raw numbers but also the raw conjecture assembled out of diffusive but connective topics. Hyundai Motors provides much form with which to reflect upon how one goes about converting mere speculators into solid investors of which time, energy and concern for details often commits an omission of informational discourse rather than anecdotal evidence.

Key recommendations for Hyundai Motors would first be to resolve union disputes nationally perhaps with incentives for transfer to middle management and training positions internationally and in China especially for those most adamantly maintaining support for corporate policies. Early retirement for those willing to take it would ease local plant closures and refigure operational costs in future. The unions will “not go quietly into the night” either; perhaps a share options purchase would increase their willingness to walk away from the fight and further finance internationalization of the company. Hyundai Motors and its affiliates are most likely to encourage and promote Chinese auto manufacturers partnerships to the similar effect of Mitsubishi involvement from the early eighties. This would capitalize upon US imports demands in particular and encourage further growth of Hyundai Mobis China. As is seen in India a conservative estimate could be made that virtually all current production capacities could be exceeded by 20%-30% of current production levels prior to completion of announced new plant grounds breakings and costs of materials will only benefit from falling commodities prices. So Hyundai’s current growth prediction is dependant much more heavily upon good employee relations and sourcing well-priced metals. Thus a final recommendation would be that the company should put the quality of its staff management to the same test as its production improvements and could foresee ably possess the best in the business staff management practices in as little as five to ten years on the basis of its own improvement record. Such a transformation would be credible to the efforts of Hyundai Motors alone and would be a welcome addition to their current sales records.

This paper began with a discussion of corporate managerial change which has proven difficult to administer in the current climate however designed from the late 1990s with the “five plus two” strategy for corporate governance reforms. But clearly evidence suggests that Hyundai Motors executives and the Chairman CEO Chong Mong Koo have demonstrated the kind of intransigence described by OECD expectations and illustrate the need for a growing concern for the effects of moral hazard on shareholder interests in Korea. The internationalization strategies partaken of at Hyundai Motors have proven successful in the production of quality well priced automobiles but at the expense of growing accountability measures and corporate transparency. However the well positioned parts supplier Hyundai Mobis and the well streamlined acquisition Kia Motors again demonstrate that much of managerial successes at Hyundai Motors can be credited to Chung Mong Koo’s familial leadership strategies since the late 1990s. The shares buying public should observe with great interest a shift in market orientation which fully serves the local Chinese, South American and Indian growth markets as plans for new models and products to serve them come online within the next three to five years. As a result, despite managerial disputes Hyundai Motors has much potential to continue sales growth into the next decade.


1. Anonymous

Anonymous (2007) “Annual Reports 2003, 2004, 2005”, Hyundai Motors, Investor Relations, Hyundai Motors, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “Annual Report & Investor Relations Data”, Hyundai Mobis Website, Hyundai Mobis, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2006) “Automotive Shareholder Value Award Winners Data 2004, 2005”, Automotive Shareholder Value Award, Price Waterhouse Coopers International Limited. , [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2007) “Automotive Awards Data”, J.D. Power Awards, J.D. Power and Associates, McCraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , ,
[Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2006) “BusinessWeek Online: Top 100 Global Brands Interactive Table”, BusinessWeek, The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (1996)“Chung Ju Yung: South Korea's original corporate visionary”, Time Asia, Golden Anniversary Issue: Tycoons, Time Inc. [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2001) “Chung Ju-Yung, 1915-2001”,, Inc. [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2005)“Chung Mong Koo: Hyundai”, The Best and Worst Managers of 2004: The Best Managers, Businessweek, January 10, 2005, McGraw-Hill Inc.

Anonymous (2006) “Chung Mong-hun”, Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2006) “Don’t Sell Parts to Hyundai Toyota Leader’s Shocking Words”, J-Cast Business News, June 16, 2006, Tokyo, Japan. [Accessed: January 7, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “Figures One, Three and Five”, Financial Charts Data, Korea Exchange Stock Market Division, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 13, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “Figure Two”, Financial Intelligence Report: The Top 5 Locked-in Profit Trends of 2006, News Max Inc., West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. [Accessed: January 13, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “History of Hyundai”, The Elantra Club, The Elantra Club. [Accessed: January 14, 2007]

Anonymous (2006) “How do Korean tycoons transfer wealth to their sons?”, The Hankyoreh, May 15, 2006, The Hankyoreh Media Company, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2003) “Hyundai Motors: Notice of AGM”, Investegate, February 25, 2003, Investegate Company, UK. [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2007) “Hyundai sees revenue surge in 2007: Some analysts skeptical”, CNN, January 2, 2007, Cable News Network LP, LLLP. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2006) “Hyundai considering more overseas plants”, Associated Press, December 14, 2006, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2005) “International Quality Recognition”, Korea IT Times Magazine (May 2005/Vol.11), Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2003) “Investment firm sees bleak future for automotive suppliers”, Automotive Components Analyst, Automotive World, Financial Times (FT), London, UK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “Korean OEM Supplier List for Worldwide Automotive Market”, Status of Export Import, Korean Auto Industries Cooperative Association [Accessed: January 14, 2006]

Anonymous (2006) “Maintenance of slush funds a risky business: Behind the Scenes: Samsung vs. Hyundai Motor (3) Conglomerates Go Through Great Measures to Conceal Illicit Cash”, The Hankyoreh, May 15, 2006, The Hankyoreh Media Company, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: December 30, 2006]

Anonymous (2006) “Major Business Trials to Begin in January”, The Dong-A Ilbo, December 26, 2006, Dong-A Company, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2001) “Park Jung-in, CEO of Hyundai Mobis”, The Chosun Ilbo, January 25, 2001, Digital Chosun Company, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Anonymous (2007) “Prosecutors seek jail term for Hyundai Motor chairman”, The Hankyoreh, January 16, 2007. [Accessed: January 18, 2007]

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2. Non-anonymous

Ahmadjian, C. & Song J.Y. (2004) “Corporate Governance in Japan and South Korea: Two paths to Globalization”, Working Paper No. 221, Working Paper Series, Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School, NYC.

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Courtenay, V. (2006) “Prosecutors Raid Hyundai, Kia” , Ward’s Auto, March 27, 2006,
Prism Business Media Inc., Stamford, Connecticut, USA. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Editors (2005) “The Next Toyota?”, Barron’s Online, May 2, 2005, Dow Jones and Co., NYC, USA. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

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[Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Frank, J. (2005) “Hyundai Motor Company Ltd.: Proxy Paper”, Free Research Samples,
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Kim, B.S. (1998) “Corruption and Anti-Corruption Policies in Korea”, The Korea Journal, Vol. No. , Korean UNESCO, Seoul, ROK.

Kim, D.H. (1998) “Rush-To Growth, Economic Crisis, Limping Modernization, and a Dual Risk Society”, The Korea Journal, Vol. No. , Korean UNESCO, Seoul, ROK.

Kim, Y.S. (2007) “Will Hyundai Roar Back?”, The Korea Times, January 1, 2007, Hankook Ilbo, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 14, 2007]

Jang, H.S. (2003) “Evolution of Corporate Governance in Korea after the Economic Crisis”, Corporate Governance from an International Perspective: Diversity or Convergence, RIETI, January 10, 2003, Tokyo, Japan. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

Jang, H.S. & Kim, J.G. (2001) “Korea Country Paper: The Role of Boards and Stakeholders in Corporate Governance”, The Third OECD Asian Roundtable on Corporate Governance, OECD, World Bank, and ADB, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Directors, and Singapore Exchange, Singapore.

Jeong, Y.C. (2004) “Corporate governance in Korea”, The Globe White Page Boardroom Advisor Series, Woo Yun Kang Jeong & Han, Seoul, ROK. [Accessed: January 4, 2007]

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Lee, J.H. (2003) “Rational Rendering of Confucian Relationships in Contemporary Korea”, The Korea Journal, Vol. No. , Korean UNESCO, Seoul, ROK.

Mobius, M. (2001) “What do investors Expect from Asian Board of Directors?” The 3rd OECD/World Bank Asian Corporate Governance Roundtable, OECD, World Bank, and ADB, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Directors, and Singapore Exchange, Singapore.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Exporter as Entrepreneur

These articles and web resources all indicate positive evidence for the possibilities available for successful small exporter as entrepreneur opportunities.

Moira Allen - May 2000

FITA: International Trade Links (Importing and Exporting)

Resource List of Organizations SupportingInternational Trade
Compiled by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association

Hickory International CouncilWeb Resource GuideOctober 2004

Dynamism of Electronic Commerce And Its System Related Issues- With Background of International Trade - (1998) International Business Working Group Electronic Commerce Promotion Council Of Japan(ECOM)

Furthering export participation in less performing developing countries: The effects of entrepreneurial orientation and managerial capacity factors (2004 Kevin I.N. Ibeh)
Senior Lecturer in International Marketing, Department of Marketing,
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Haskayne School of Business (Marian V. Jones & Nicole E. Coviello)
Department of Business and Management, University of Glasgow &
Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary

Diversification, Innovation, and Imitation off the Global Technological Frontier*
(Bailey Klinger & Daniel Lederman) 2005

Remittances in the Pacific: An Overview (John Connell & Richard P.C. Brown)
March 2005 (ADB)

Export Strategies

Collecting export strategies links and short papers here for easy access and would appreciate anyone who finds this information useful to provide links to caselets on the topic as they are rare as hen's teeth online.
Five pages pdf: Export Strategy
Canadian Government Trade Handbook
US Government Trade Handbook

International Growth:Successful Export Strategies for Manufacturing CEOs
(Stone & Associates) National Institute of Standards and Technology
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (USA)

Internationalisation strategies and globalisation: A test of the Nine Strategic Windows framework among Norwegian Exporting Firms (EIBA Conference Athens 2002) Solberg*, Kristiansen and Sl├ąttebrekk, Norwegian Scool of Managment BI, Sandvika Norway
Eastern Illinois University (MBA Lecture Notes) What is Strategy and Why Is It Important?

The marketing strategy-performance relationship in an export-driven developing economy: A Korean illustration (Chol Lee, David A. Griffith)

Export performance as an antecedent of export commitment and marketing strategy adaptation: Evidence from small and medium-sized exporters (Luis Filipe Lages, David B. Montgomery)

EXPORT-LED GROWTH IN EAST ASIA: LESSONS FOR EUROPE’S TRANSITION ECONOMIES (Ari Kokko) European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics

How Does FDI Affect Host Xountry Development? Using Industry Cases to Make Reliable Generalisations (TH Moran)

World Bank’s Seminar on Policies to Promote Export Growth and Diversification
May 9-10, 2006 (Bancomext)
Key Developments and Policy Rationales in Cross-Border Post Secondary Education (OECD)

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Entrepreneurial School (Part One)

The Entrepreneurial School (Part One)

Originators: Joseph A. Schumpeter, A.H. Cole & others
Idiom “Take us to your leader.”

Business Enterprise in its Social Setting (1959)

First Discipline

A.H. Cole was a student of entrepreneurialism and a leader of research into the topic at The Center of Entrepreneurial History at Harvard University until its closing in 1957-58. Mintzberg characterizes him as a rider of the elephant regardless of its girth or size. However as most discover young elephants have a tendancy to disregard instructions and often threaten to wade about and bask in the warm pools off of the chosen path.

His text entitled, “Business Enterprise in its Social Setting” was published in 1959 and is indicative of current interests having abandoned the topic of theoretical entrepreneurial strategies as a good first edition signed copy was acquired at for the grand total of two dollars and fifty cents with the inscription, “with thanks to a real professional – Arthur H. Cole (squiggle mark).” Such a preface to reading details the art of leadership rather than the prescriptive nature of good management in modern terms which would often appear to prefer a nice, neat set of guidelines and standards rather than an amorphous even personally inspiring message mirroring the art and artifice of entrepreneurial skills first brought to public attention by Joseph Schumpeter to define business behaviorism as beyond the calculations of profit and loss to a philosophical realm of survivalist slant, for example, how one keeps a company afloat on a sea of bubbling quicksand, how capitalist institutions manipulate and maintain structural elements of their economic strategies to the point of creating or destroying competitive advantages. Mintzberg highlights Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction as the underlying engine of capitalism and its engineer cast as the entrepreneur not only he who capitalizes but he who actually curdles the original idea.
Definition Difficulties

A.H. Cole himself illustrates that the very nature of a definitive description of what an entrepreneur actually is or should be described as being is so elusive and so antithetical to the practice of modern economics that a clear understanding is itself challenging the parameters of short-term and narrow outlooks especially his insistence that a historical perspective is not only necessary but naturally beneficial as often found in corporate cultures of the present and the past. In many corporate cases strategy remains the final assent of the chief executive, president or chairman of the board regardless of whether or not such characters embody the complexities of perspective of singular decision-making based on sound plural administration to ensure that the best possible ideas for future plans courses or options actually filter up to that actual decision maker. In many cases isolationism has only proven that independent decisions are not always the best ones and successful companies capitalize a diversity of opinions at times to prove that more plentiful frames of view are often more useful than one.

He goes on to note that a study of entrepreneurial history is not about determining a consensus on terms of effective entrepreneurialism which can easily cloak all cultures, times and societies with the same characteristics or currency of best practices. He comparatively highlights the process of self-generated policies and procedures embarked upon by entrepreneurs which quickly reveals that where one conquers another is vanquished dependent upon econometrical variables more easily understood to the present than the root sparks of vision which enabled and empowered them to come about in the first place. For such a tired old theorist he easily determines the challenges of innovation being the expense incurred and risk entailing change either in productive, service or managerial strengths which often paralyze and imperil companies of the present. For example, Cole details that political and legal limitations provide benefit and barriers to the entrepreneur in certain situations while also complicating factors of productivity and supply through additional capital considerations such as environmental standards and employee relations.
Stand Tall Young Man

His insistence that entrepreneurs stand in a world of business often on their own terms better explains perhaps the diminishment of interest especially in the west of entrepreneurial theories and studies as corporate structuralism of business has compartmentalized the terms of business so successfully that one is often preferred hammered, squeezed, cut and reduced to suit the molds and models of current favour rather than the elucidation and expression of new ones or individually determined ones. Pluralism assumes individualism to be some great chaos fraught with economic risk and an intellectual orientation on the topic which often distinguishes itself on presentation rather than substance, structure at the cost of irregularity, and conformity as opposed to uniqueness and is the exact track an entrepreneur may refine to redefine new bases of profit and reorient the market to his own illustrious heuristics.
While the topic remains hot Cole appears not to hold sway over corporate society today. However a quick review of the internet provides evidence of continued research in the topic however sometimes the best things in life cost two dollars and fifty cents.
Internet Articles of Interest
Small Business and Entrepreneurial Research: Meta-theories, Paradigms and Prejudices
Paul Grant, Lew Perren (Brighton Business School) University of Brighton
A Conceptual Framework for Describing the Phenomenon of New Venture CreationWB Gartner - The Academy of Management Review, 1985 - JSTOR

Team Leader, Policy Development and Research: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Office
(Industry Canada & Ph D Candidate HEC, Montreal, Canada)