Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Wednesday expressed hope that Hyundai Motor Group will take the lead in next-generation vehicles, during his meeting with the automotive group's vice chief.
Lee made the remark during his visit to the group's research and development (R&D) center in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, a tour aimed at gauging progress in the development of next-generation cars.
The prime minister held his first one-on-one meeting with Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun as he seeks cooperation with the country's major conglomerates in boosting the economy and creating jobs.
"(I) hope Hyundai Motor will become the leader in next-generation vehicles," Lee wrote in a guestbook at the center that focuses on R&D on such vehicles as hydrogen fuel-cell cars and self-driving cars.
During the meeting with Lee, Chung said he expects a sharp rise in the supply of hydrogen fuel-cell cars in the future.
"We are investing now because if we invest later, we will not be competitive. I hope for the government's active cooperation and support," Chung said.
President Moon Jae-in made official a move to build a so-called hydrogen economy earlier this month as the government unveiled an ambitious plan to increase the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles here to 80,000 in less than four years.
The government plans to provide subsidies for fuel cell electric taxis and trucks with a goal to increase the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the country to 1.8 million by 2030.
In the new year, the prime minister has been expanding his inspection into the economic sector in an apparent bid to help prop up the slowing economy and boost job creation.
Earlier this month, he met Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., in his first gathering with one of the chiefs of the country's four largest conglomerates since he took office in 2017. (Yonhap)