HCS has its presence in 11 countries including Korea. As a global financial company with around 2,500 overseas employees, HCS is making all-out efforts to expand our business territories to the whole world. From this month, HCC/HCS Newsroom delivers stories of expats who are working hard at every corner of the world to introduce and expand HCS’s financial services. You can see vividly what is really happening in the global business of HCS aiming at Global One Company.
“G’Day, everyone?” My name is Taewoong Kim at Hyundai Capital Australia, HCAU. I’m glad to say hello to everyone from Sydney Australia as the third expat on ‘Expat Story’. Hyundai Capital entered into the Australian market by setting up a consulting entity to offer finance consulting services to our OEMs Hyundai and Kia in April 2016. I joined HCAU in 2018 and have been looking after Hyundai Motor’s brand management and finance products planning and operations support.
There are about 60 brands in the Australian auto market and most of them have their captive finance arms. Consumers have more to choose from, but the market is not easy to be in as a sales person, since the competition you have to face every day is really intense here. HCAU, however, is expanding its foundation based on expertise and global know-how that Hyundai Capital has built in the auto finance sector over the long period of time. I would like to share with you what the local car market is like here in Australia, its characteristics and also our business strategy.
Taewoong and his HCAU colleaguesBeing one year in the Australian market and facing with its volatility
Australians love nature and want to spend more time with family, having the relaxed lifestyle. The standard working week here is 38 hours per week and schools have classes teaching students the importance of ‘work and life balance’. When I first came to Sydney, I was fascinated by the relaxed lifestyle that my Aussie colleagues were having. So I tried to fit in the new culture, but was hit by the reality of how tough the local car market was and went back to the fast pace of life that I was familiar with in Seoul.
Most Australians regard car as just one of transportation tools. That is why they drive the same car for a longer period of time and are willing to buy a used car. According to some analysis, the Australian car market has already started stagnating back in 2017. It means the market creates a difficult environment where it becomes hard for car manufacturers and finance companies to sell new cars. As high labor cost of production line workers and the overall lifestyle of Australians who are happy with not owning a big car caused car production plants in the country to close. Now only imported car brands are available in the local car market.
In addition, as generations change, the demand for luxury car brands increased. There are various taxes levied on car ownership and the special consumption tax is higher on imported brands according to the country’s tax code, but competition in the auto finance market led to Australian consumers spending more on cars. The fact that about 80% of customers are financed to buy a car now shows that the Australian car market is gradually changing, too.
HCAU partnered with St. George Bank and planned Hyundai/Kia customized finance products by leveraging the partner’s infrastructure to respond to the changes in the market. St. George Bank, one of the subsidiaries of the major financial group in the country Westpac Group, has built knowledge and expertise of auto finance products for a long period of time. Hyundai Capital rolled out its own Guaranteed Future Value product which guarantees the reasonable residual value of a car and helps customers have a car which fits their individual financial status to overcome the above mentioned car market stagnation in Australia. This kind of effort created the synergy when it combined with Hyundai and Kia Motor’s competitiveness in product. Hyundai Motor’s sales ranked third in the local car market in 2017 and 2018 and Kia is expected to join the Big 5 this year.
(Left) HCAU is sitting down with St. George Bank and Allianz on a regular basis to explore how to boost sales in the recently stagnating car market. (Right) Dealer training session hosted by HCAU every month for dealer networking and knowledge sharingHello Digital! Introducing Hyundai Capital’s digital finance
HCAU is a small entity with only two expats and three local hires, but all of the five employees are auto finance experts with more than 10 years of experience. What is unique about the way we work is the fact that we don’t have our own office. We work either in Hyundai or Kia office depending on work to respond to a crisis at the right time based on close cooperation with the OEMs. Also, we started working together with Macquarie in the middle of this year on top of our partnership with St. George Bank because we required ‘online finance sales system’ as Genesis launched in the Australian market in June this year. We continue to work hard to bring Hyundai Capital’s digital finance to Australia together with Macquarie, one of the leading players in terms of online finance platform in the country.
HCAU’s goal is to make Hyundai Capital’s position even stronger in Australia by offering competitive finance products for main models in line with the popularity of small cars and SUVs in the market. We plan to engage in aggressive marketing activities for Genesis and also offer customized financial service next year. We have recently opened a Genesis flagship store on Pitt Street, major street in the center of Sydney in partnership with Hyundai Motor and plan to tap into the Australian luxury car market by expanding to Melbourne and Brisbane.
Our first overseas flagship store opening in Sydney as Genesis launched in Australia