KD business in Europe, working hard!
Europe Auto Parts (KD) Biz Team

The Europe Auto Parts (KD) Biz Team is fully utilizing Hyundai Glovis’ logistics capabilities by supplying KD parts to overseas factories of group companies in Europe in a timely manner. Let’s meet the KD business team and its three key members, who are working diligently on the European stage despite the risk on the Red Sea.

Europe Auto Parts (KD) Biz Team, including team leader Lee Seung-joo (sixth from left), cheer for the team.

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The Europe Auto Parts (KD) Biz Team is responsible for the smooth supply of KD parts to Hyundai and Kia plants in Europe. The regions covered include Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech Republic (HMMC), Kia Slovakia (KaSK), Hyundai Assan Otomotive Sanayi (HAOS) and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia (HMMR).

“The most basic and important task of KD’s is the timely delivery of quality and defect-free parts for our customers’ supply requirements. Contributing to the production of local automotive plants by scheduling parts supply by plant and controlling urgent cargoes is a big part of our team’s identity”.

With a team of 12, Team Leader Lee Seung-Joo leads KD Components’ SCM operations in Europe. He is always on the lookout for any disruptions in the supply of parts due to the international unrest near the Red Sea, which has been ongoing since the end of last year. In addition, the company expects sales of electric vehicles in the European market to fall short of its business plan in 2024.

As such, team leader Lee Seung-ju sees two priorities for the first half of 2024. First, to do our best to achieve the 2024 business plan sales and profit. Second, to start winning orders and shipments through unaffiliated KD-related sales in the EMEA region. Although the situation in Europe is not good, Lee Seung-ju believes that if the team continues to work as they are, they can achieve their goals. He thanked his team members and gave them his best wishes.

“As with every department at Hyundai Glovis, KD is a job where our customers’ time is more important than our own, with time zones and requirements, line failures, etc. I really appreciate the team members who are always on the phone and interacting with customers, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than to be as attentive and responsive as they are”.


(From left) Senior Manager Kang Yong-Koo, Manager Kim Eun-Bi, Manager Kim Tae-Woong, and Manager Kim Hae-In of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech Republic (HMMC)


(From left) Senior Manager Yoo Ho-Young, and Manager Kim Chun-Soo and Manager Sung Ye-rim of Kia Motors Slovakia Plant (KaSK)

Manager Moon Jong-sik, Senior Manager Han Song-hee, Team Leader Lee Seung-ju, and Senior Manager Seo Dong-Eun of Hyundai Motor Turkey Plant (HAOS) (clockwise from top left)

3 male managers who are the mainstay of the Europe Auto Parts (KD) Biz Team

Please tell us about yourself.

Hello. I joined the company in January 2021 and have been in charge of supplying KD parts to HMMC (Hyundai Motor Czech Republic) for 4 years. I manage all aspects of KD parts SCM, from parts supply to packaging, transportation, and production of finished vehicles at overseas plants.

Hello. I’m Kim Chun-soo and I’m in charge of KaSK (Kia Motors Slovakia). I serve as a communication channel between clients and partners for KD Cargo Export. I’m responsible for supporting customers in purchasing, logistics and production.

Hello, I am in charge of the supply of KD parts to HAOS (Hyundai Motor Turkey Joint Venture) in Europe Auto Parts (KD) Biz Team.

What are the latest issues related to your work?

The biggest problem is the disruption of transportation due to the closure of the Suez Canal. Most of the KD parts I supply come from Korea and China and enter Turkey through the Suez Canal, but since they cannot normally pass through the Suez Canal and have to go around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, there are many problems such as rising logistics costs, longer transportation times, and lack of inventory at local plants.

We are in the same boat. The ongoing Red Sea shipping issues that started late last year is having a major impact on the supply of KD parts.

Bypassing Hope Peak because of the Red Sea risk is the biggest issue right now.

If you are responsible for different regions, what are the characteristics of your region or plant?

HMMC seems to have a strong first mover personality, always being the first to try new things in its parts procurement and management operations.

The Turkey plant is the smallest of the Hyundai-Kia affiliated plants that our team is responsible for. It currently produces the i10, i20, and i20 CUV. Despite the small number of vehicles we produce, we export to many countries, so the number of parts we supply varies depending on the vehicle type.

What do you care about most in your job?

I know that the Kia plant in Slovakia is among the top three automotive plants in terms of production volume. With such a large volume, we are most concerned about issues related to the export of KD cargo, such as delivery, shipment and customs clearance.

I think it’s important to get the parts we need on time. If we don’t have even one part, we risk stopping the entire production line, so I check every day to make sure there is no risk of defects.

We focus on timely delivery of KD parts and achieving targeted sales. To this end, we are constantly examining ways to improve the timely delivery of parts and reduce costs to ensure customer confidence and improve service. We also seek opportunities to obtain new business orders from affiliated and unaffiliated companies to achieve and increase sales plans.

It is important that parts are delivered on time, what are you doing to ensure this?

The first is to carefully manage incoming orders. I believe that many of the problems we encounter are caused by delivery delays due to sudden requests for parts or large orders that exceed our production capacity. As there is a saying in supply chain management, “the whip effect,” we always ask that orders be placed at a regular and predictable level.

The second is to make sure that our overseas factories have the right level of inventory, and we think about and suggest what is a reasonable level of inventory that will reduce the overall cost of the supply chain, because more inventory in overseas factories is a burden on our customers and less inventory is a burden on us.

In my case, I put most effort into communicating with customers and related departments. There are many processes involved in supplying a single KD part, from receiving an order from a customer to procuring parts, quality, packaging, shipping, and transportation, and various problems arise in proportion. To solve problems, we communicate with relevant personnel from time to time to establish solutions and achieve timely delivery of parts.

I think so. The most important thing is to communicate with hundreds of suppliers and related departments. My job itself is to have many meetings with customers and partners in charge of R&D, production management, purchasing, etc., and review them together. So I try my best to understand the pain points of different people and solve them together.

There is a time difference and several offices in Korea. How do you communicate smoothly?

I think that if you support the local line without any problems, the relationship with the local representative is bound to get better.
I think it’s a know-how to provide emergency response regardless of weekends or holidays. That’s why we have a good relationship with our customers. It’s a bit sad to say. (Laughs) Last year, our customers came to Korea for a business trip and had a face-to-face meeting and dinner, which was a good memory and had a good impact on our work.

I prioritize communication according to the work schedules of local and international managers. I also check important tasks from time to time to see if there are any misunderstandings or omissions.

I’m not a smart person, so I don’t have any tricks, I just go to work as much as I can. I think a good manager is the one who is always there.

What has been the most rewarding part of your job?

I visited HMMC at the beginning of this year. The hospitality of the expatriates and local managers, as well as their thanks for always taking care of my work, made me feel that my efforts were not in vain.

I made my first business trip to the Turkey plant last year, and I felt rewarded when I received great hospitality. They told me they wanted to see my face to thank me for helping them so much, so I felt like I hadn’t done a bad job. They also bought me a delicious meal. (laughs)

I feel a sense of accomplishment when I complete a challenging task, such as a single mountain, a new car event, or a new launch. I feel most rewarded when I receive a lot of encouragement and appreciation from overseas plant managers.

What are your goals for the first half of 2024?

As a Hyundai Glovis member, I want to achieve my professional goals and personally, I want to build a healthy body through consistent exercise.

The introduction of new cars to KaSK will start in earnest next year, so my goal is to spend the first half of the year setting up the relevant content and preparing for various meetings in the second half of the year.

Our goal is to solve the problem of delivery delays due to the impassability of the Suez Canal. Many KDs, parts companies, freight forwarders, local CCs and customer warehouses are suffering a lot right now. It’s a tough situation and we hope to resolve it quickly.

What do you think is the competitiveness of the KD business team?

I think it’s meticulousness. Everyone on the team is very diligent and does a good job.

‘The power of positivity’. It must be hard, but I haven’t seen anyone holding back, and I think it’s because we encourage each other and overcome together. I hope we can continue to be positive.

Everyone is honest and has good physical strength. Because of the time difference, we often work late at night and on weekends, and I think it’s great that we do it without showing it.

Finally, please say a few words to the employees of Hyundai Glovis.

From all of us at Hyundai Glovis, we wish you a healthy holiday season and all the best for this year!

Many employees in the European region are going through a difficult time, and I think it would be very helpful if you could give them a lot of encouragement and warm words.

I hope you’re even happier in 2024!


By Editorial Department