PASAY CITY, Manila – Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) President and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo talked at this year’s Roads & Traffic Expo Philippines last October 1, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center. This is the full text of her talk centered on “Smart Mobility Through Public Transportation.”
Our world is in a permanent state of change with technology advancing at the speed of light, and the Internet of Things disrupting the way we live and work.
As we cope with the problems of today, we also face the prospect of building more cities for 3 billion people, worldwide. The social, economic, and environmental quality of these cities will depend on the decisions that we make today, and that compels us to think differently to re-tool ourselves, upgrade and upskill.
This is not just the stuff of creative geniuses. We all need to develop critical thinking. We are here to rethink the way we do business in this era of smart mobility.
Because it is not too late to get things right — to solve the congestion, the pollution all around — while sustaining growth. The challenge is to get more and more people to buy in, so that we can all work together as one powerful movement.
A great way to start is to really listen to our stakeholders and understand what they need and want.
This is where we are:
Around 45% of the Philippine population lives in cities;
According to the World Bank, by 2050, the Filipino urban population will hit 102 million;
That’s about 65% of our total population.
Growth is concentrated in cities. Cities in the Philippines generate most of the economic growth — or over 70% of the National GDP, with Metro Manila contributing over half the total.
The presence of vehicles on the road is an indicator of growth. According to data from the Land Transportation Office, we reached a total of 11.6M registered vehicles in 2018.
One-fourth of this, or 2.8 million, is in the National Capital Region. But more vehicles also equate to urban congestion and pollution, worsened by overpopulation, lack of urban planning, and weak public infrastructure and transportation.
Studies showed that our economy loses about Php3.5B a day because of traffic congestion. According to the New York Times, there is a “wavering” relationship between consumers and cars. People are rethinking their relationship with vehicles, thus the emergence of new mobility solutions like ride hailing, on-demand delivery services, electric and hybrid cars, connected cars.
This is not surprising given all the issues we currently face.
As I try to understand what’s been happening to our industry, I realize that I still have much to learn.
Let me share 3 lessons that I’ve learned.
First: we cannot keep on doing business as usual.
So how does an automotive company like Hyundai approach the problem?
How do we rethink and improve our relationship with our consumers?
But the answer has always been there.
Hyundai innovation does not stop adapting to the call of the times.
This is Hyundai’s global vision of the future of mobility: To provide freedom of movement to everyone.
Building close relationships with leading mobility service providers.
Expanding our role beyond the automotive transportation sector.
We are no longer about going from point A to point B.
We are not only in the business of cars.
We are in the business of mobility.
Of shared mobility. Connected mobility. Clean mobility.
We are here to do the right thing for humanity.
By thinking different. By innovating.
But innovation doesn’t have to be grand or earth-shaking.
It may be just about doing something small to make life easier for people.
HARI started out selling only passenger cars.
In February 2016, we were awarded the official distributorship of Hyundai commercial vehicles.
Never was the timing so right! It was a win-win situation.
The government was bent on launching its nationwide program to improve our infrastructure and public transport system.
Now, with a complete vehicle portfolio, we are geared to move people and businesses on a nationwide scale.
Considering that Metro Manila nowadays isn’t the only place to be.
Business has never been as vibrant and as promising with the rise of the next wave cities and the emerging cities -- as identified by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP)
That is why, confident in the potential of the regions, we continue our aggressive expansion to the country’s strategic growth areas backed by our strong dealership network – now totaling 42 passenger car dealerships and 11 commercial vehicle dealerships.
For example, why did we invest in launching our Baliwag Commercial Vehicle dealership?
Because it is already a first-class municipality and making its way to become a city. Bulacan itself is a hub for expanding SMEs, where Hyundai can truly be a partner of business, considering that 99% of Philippine businesses is made up of SMEs.
By providing these enterprises adequate and appropriate mobility solutions, we can contribute to inclusive growth.
We are not stopping here. Because we know that urban areas are becoming more concerned about public transport, we offer our contribution to the PUV modernization program… our version of the Modern Jeepney: Class 1 and Class 2, which have been making the rounds in several government-organized PUV expos. And are getting warm reception from government agencies and local transport groups alike because their new look and features promise to take the local mass transport industry to the next level.
Moving on, the second insight or lesson that I have learned is this: Stay connected
Sustain communication with government and private institutions that promote growth.
And more importantly, maintain open lines to the wider public by harnessing the power of digital to get to know the pulse of the market in real time.
That is why we regularly hold dialogue with key sectors to understand the current situation and explore possible solutions to make life better for the vast majority.
I am happy to share with you that we are already a partner of the Department of Transportation and local transport groups in advancing the modernization of public transportation and to push the sustainable mobility agenda.
My third and last lesson: Consider new perspectives.
Engage less than obvious partners, rooting in the success of the other to achieve greater productivity and growth for all stakeholders.
Hyundai in the Philippines has built a solid reputation in this regard.
There is always a Hyundai vehicle to suit everyone’s purpose and need.
You cannot underestimate the versatility of our vehicles.
Take the H-100. It has undergone numerous “incarnations” through the years, serving a wide range of sectors…
As a mobile library for Haribon Foundation’s advocacy for the environment,
As Gawad Kalinga’s Kusina ng Kalinga van which delivers daily meals to children in Marawi,
Our passenger cars are already a common sight in the TNVS scene. And we hope to see our electric and hybrid cars moving this segment further in the near future. But even now, with Lalamove, we are redefining TNVS this way: To New Ventures and Success!
Not to be outdone, our Starex and Elantra have been customized into patrol vans for the Philippine National Police. You can also see that the Starex also serves as an ambulance for a growing number of LGUs.
While our luxury van the H350 is now a state of the art mobile diagnostic clinic that is making the rounds of barangays as a result of our partnership with the up Philippine General Hospital.
And soon, we will have an HD truck moving around greater Tanay to deliver potable water to more and more communities. The water comes from the rainwater harvesting facility that we installed in 2017 at Rawang Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal. Through our corporate social initiatives, we are also redefining mobility as moving to change lives for the better.
We have been talking all the while about vehicles and technology, but we must consider the importance of the people behind the hardware… as we want to advance our shared goal of an inclusive and innovation-led industry. I now want to share with you our winning partnership with Hyundai Motor Group and plan international in putting up the Hyundai Dream Centre Philippines in Calamba City, Laguna.
Since its inauguration on April 10, 2018, we have graduated close to 100 underprivileged male and female scholars, trained in Hyundai’s cutting edge automotive technology. We are optimistic that modules in e-vehicle maintenance would soon be incorporated in the curriculum.
Going back to our first question, how can an automotive firm, like Hyundai, enhance its relationship with customers, given that people are reevaluating their attitudes towards car ownership?
Building relationships, in general, takes a lot of work.
It’s not easy to get things right.
It doesn’t come overnight.
But I believe that Hyundai in the Philippines has it covered.
More than just delivering innovative products, we continue to rethink our business model, connect with people and relevant institutions, and are open to new perspectives and to new ways of doing things…engaging in productive partnerships, exchanging information and best practices with the most unlikely partners.
Against a business landscape that is in a permanent state of transition, it is hard to predict the shape of future mobility.
I am often asked at the end of every quarter and at yearend to give my outlook on the auto industry.
But the truth is, you can only give an intelligent assessment of what you have in the here and now.
To quote a digital guru from Apple: "the best way to predict the future is to invent it!"
How? By creating the best conditions that will make our shared vision happen.
And I am confident that with the audience that we have here today, we can make it happen.