All the Hyundai Motor Group employees put their effort to improve GV70 until the very last minute. The Genesis brand created the GV70 Test Driver program, where the employees experience the GV70 themselves before the launch, and gather their opinions to improve the quality of the model. Here’s the detailed story from the two people who were in charge, Park Yong-il, manager of the Corporate Culture Innovation Team, and Zeon HyoungWoo, manager of the Service Quality Information Team 3, and the three employees who participated as testers.
Employees enhancing quality: GV70 Test Driver
The GV70 test driver program is meaningful in that Hyundai Motor Group’s employees themselves monitored the quality of the new car from the customer’s perspective while driving the car on the roads. This is thanks to the format of a program in which employees from various departments who have not developed the model directly experience the new car before launch and present their opinions. Manager Park Yong-Il, who is in charge of the program, explains the GV70 Test Driver program as follows: “GV70 Test Driver is an effective program to monitor and further improve the quality of the vehicle in a variety of usage environments before the vehicle is delivered to the customer. In addition, I think it will have a positive effect in that all employees share the idea that how important it is to maintain the quality.”
Various participants to cover all types of customers
The GV70 Test Driver program lasted from November 17th to December 8th for about three weeks. A total of 150 were selected out of the 1,100 Hyundai Motor Group employees who wish to participate in the program. Participants were organized by considering driving routes, driving time, driving tendency, family members, and motivation – in order to cover all types of customers. “We tried to ensure the diversity of the participants; there were employees who stick to cruise driving, those who enjoy sports driving, those who commute using the highway, those who commute using a winding road on a hill, those who love camping, and those who plan long trips with large families, regardless of age or usage pattern,” explained Park Yong-Il, about the process of selecting participants.
What was so important about securing the diversity of the participants? “Not only ordinary drivers but also those with a history of winning motorsports competitions such as KSF (Korea Speed Festival) or Gymkhana, and those working in specific departments such as infotainment systems and product-related departments also joined the program. And that is how we were able to verify the GV70’s performance in harsh conditions and features that required professional testing. As a result, it has been an opportunity to monitor the quality in various driving environments,” answered Zeon HyoungWoo.
The participants were divided into two groups; one drove the car for 3 days on weekdays and the other for 4 days on weekends. The participants drove the Genesis GV70 on all schedules, including commuting, business trips, and personal use, just like regular customers. What drove them to apply for this GV70 Test Driver program? Lee JiHoon, senior manager of the global business operation team, Kwak InSeop of the overseas policy team, and Pyeon HaGyeong, manager of the business support strategy team answered why they participated in the GV70 Test Driver program.
Senior manager Lee JiHoon first said, “as being in a part of the vehicle production department, I have always felt the importance of quality; if the employees before launching show could verify the quality and even improve it further, it would be more rewarding for all of us to work at an auto company.
Kwak InSeop, manager of the Genesis brand’s domestic marketing affairs until recently, said that his great love for Genesis has made him join the program. “I have been in charge of domestic marketing for about 4 years since the Genesis brand was launched. And obviously, I had a lot of love and interest in Genesis. I was thinking of purchasing a medium-sized SUV myself, but then I heard the news that the Genesis GV70 is about to be released. I hoped that if I could contribute to improving the quality of GV70 even just a little, it could attract our customers even more.”
Unlike the previous two, manager Pyeon HaGyeong is in the staff welfare department, which is not directly related to automobiles, and she also has a relatively short driving experience. “I work for a car company, but my job is not really about cars. Although some of our customers know and love cars so well, there would probably be many who don’t know much about cars like me. I volunteered for the program because I wanted to experience the GV70 from a general customer’s perspective and share my opinion.”
63 carefully designed checklist items
Participants monitored the vehicle by completing a daily checklist consisting of a total of 63 items, including performance, assembly, and finishing, and shared their opinions. The checklist included; 40 items related to major features such as steering wheel, seat, climate control, door trim, infotainment system, HUD, sunroof; 13 items related to exterior elements such as doors, lamps, wiper blades, wheels, tires; and lastly, 10 items related to emotional quality including abnormal noise and vibration. In addition, detailed driving conditions such as time, temperature, and driving mode were shared to increase accuracy, and photos and videos were mandatory so that the department in charge could quickly identify the cause.
In addition to what’s in the checklist, they pointed out what they did not like about the car from the customer’s point of view and what they wished to be added. Senior manager Lee JiHoon says that he especially looked carefully through the emotional quality. “We closely observed the seamlessness of the interior materials, the feel of the buttons, how it feels when opening and closing the door, and the sound of the wiper blades. In addition, we tried to see the details of the infotainment features, the vehicle image displayed on the dashboard, and even the image of the All-Wheel Drive warning tow truck sticker, which could seem trivial but could satisfy our customers.”
Manager Kwak InSeop looked through the checklist items more thoroughly, using his job experience with the Genesis brand. “I checked for the same thing that I had experienced with the previous Genesis model. I also thoroughly tested overall driving feel while in various driving conditions.”
The employees who participated closely observed the GV70 from various perspectives. “I think the employees are similar to our customers at some point. Most of the participants did not get involved in developing the GV70. I think that is why they were able to evaluate the vehicle objectively. Also, through this opportunity, the quality control department was able to correctly recognize the Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) by customers and apply them. Above all, I think it has narrowed the distance between what customers expect and what managers think they expect,” said manager Park Yong-Il who planned the GV70 Test Driver program.
Immediate modification after monitoring
So, how did the participants delivered their feedbacks during the GV70 Test Driver program? “When there is a specific issue or a suggestion, the participants registered their opinions through a mobile system called Mobile-Quality Information Report (M-QIR) in real-time. The quality control department then delivers them to each department. They examine the vehicle and immediately try to find ways to improve quality based on the feedback. In doing so, they update all the test vehicles for the final monitoring.”
The charm of GV70 that employees think
What was the most satisfying factor about the GV70? Senior manager Lee JiHoon chose the design and the spacious rear-seat space. “I was satisfied with the unique design identity of the Genesis brand and its soft impression. I drive my children to school and private academies on weekdays, and I drive long distances on weekends. With plenty of space in the rear seat, GV70 was an excellent family car.”
Manager Kwak InSeop said that the design and convenience were excellent. “GV70 has the unique charm of the Genesis brand. I especially liked the refined interior and the dynamic-looking exterior. In addition, I was satisfied with the dynamic driving performance and various features that are easy to control.”
Manager Pyeon HaGyeong said that the GV70 was exceptionally comfortable in long-distance driving. “The GV70 in Mauna Red that I was given had a vivid red color. I really liked the strong power and stable driving performance that I felt on the highway. What I liked the most was the comfortable seat. Even on long-distance trips, the driver’s seat comfortably supported my body, making me much less tired.”
Not every employee of Hyundai Motor Group does not have the opportunity to test-drive a vehicle before launch unless they are in the vehicle development department. Participants said that they enjoyed every one bit during the test drive. Senior manager Lee JiHoon shared his story first; “I had to put a cover on the car every day after the test drive for security reasons. One day it was very windy and I was having a hard time putting the cover on the test car by myself. Then, someone passing by recognized the GV70 and helped me.” Manager Kwak InSeop shared similar experiences. “Whenever I park the car in the city, people would recognize the GV70 and showed a lot of interest with many questions.”
All employees sharing the importance of quality management
This program shows how the employees of Hyundai Motor Group improved the quality of the vehicles. Manager Zeon HyoungWoo said that the GV70 Test Driver program established a more open work environment; “I got much more satisfying results than I expected. To be honest, I was worried that it would be a burden for the participants to go through all the 60 items on the checklist every day especially with no job experience related to automobile development. However, the participants actively delivered meaningful outcomes and opinions as well as an accurate evaluation based on the checklist. The employees pretty much liked the program, too. It was a valuable experience in that all of our employees realized the importance of quality and became proud of contributing to the quality of new cars.”
Senior manager Lee JiHoon also shared his feelings as a participant; “I hope that our sincere efforts impress every customer. And the GV70 Test Driver program would detect any single problem, hence a better quality car. I am looking forward to other opportunities like this in the future.”
Manager Pyeon HaGyeong also said that she was personally satisfied with participating in GV70 Test Driver; “I believe that these opportunities for small and large communication will gather to increase trust and affection for our vehicles. It has been only 5 years since I joined the company, but there have been many changes. I look forward to the future of our company.”
How will manager Park Yong-Il, who planned this program, evaluate the outcome? “We always put our customers first. We will continue to make various attempts so that we can provide our customers with better quality cars.”
The program was able to improve the quality of the vehicle in various areas, thanks to their active participation. Their opinions were shared in real-time with design departments and quality control departments, and they used the data to create more complete vehicles through quick evaluation and application. The positive effects they learned from this program will be used again as an excellent resource for future vehicle development.