Mr. Choi’s appointment as President of Hyundai Motorsport GmbH heralds the next phase in an illustrious career with the Korean car manufacturer that dates back to 1993. As President, his role is ultimately to manage every single aspect of Hyundai Motorsport from its Alzenau facility, co-ordinating on a daily basis with Hyundai’s headquarters.
President Choi, tell us about your role within Hyundai Motorsport.
As President, it is my job to keep an overview of all of our activities and to ensure we are meeting our ambitious targets at all times. I am also responsible for the daily liaison with our parent company, Hyundai Motor Company, in Korea and our colleagues at Hyundai Motor Europe.
You have been with the company since the early days, how do you view the progress that has been made?
We may still be relatively new in the WRC world, but we have built up a strong reputation within the community in a short space of time. We started from a blank sheet of paper; when I took on this new role we had just a factory and a bold vision. In just a few years, we have developed a rally-winning team and infrastructure, and we continue to push our own boundaries. It’s been an exciting time and with much more still to come.
How has the rally programme been received by the Hyundai family?
Hyundai Motorsport exists for two main purposes. The first is to help develop high performance technology for the benefit of the Hyundai brand globally. This is perfectly demonstrated with our contribution to the N performance brand. The main principles of N are motorsport-inspired technology, balanced performance and emotional delight, all of which can be found in our rally activities. The second goal is to enhance the global brand image of Hyundai. Rallying acts as a global sales and marketing platform, and demonstrates the dynamism, passion and values of our company. For these reasons, our programme is of great importance to Hyundai around the world.
What was your background before this role?
My career with Hyundai dates back to 1993. I have held many positions over this time and I have had the opportunity to see the company grow. My roles have included being part of the Overseas Operations Group and the Namyang R&D Centre, as well as working in the marketing department of Hyundai Motor Europe. This experience has been very beneficial in my position as President of Hyundai Motorsport.
What has been your personal highlight with the company?
The first rally in Monte-Carlo 2014 was very special because it was the result of an intense period of hard work by the entire team. To score a podium in Mexico and the 1-2 in Germany showed us that this determination could deliver strong results. 2016 was a competitive season with the New Generation i20 WRC with more wins and podiums. Together with the establishment of our Customer Racing division, we were able to show our ambition on the global stage.