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Hyundai America Technical Center Reviews

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2.9
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SungHwan Cho
9 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great Work. Lousy Location."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer
    Former Employee - Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The work at Hyundai was always very interesting. Good pay. Great benefits. Low stress.

    Cons

    The location isn't that great if you're at the proving grounds (the other locations are great). You have to travel at least 30 min if you want to live anywhere decent.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Life at Hyundai America Technical Center"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ann Arbor, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ann Arbor, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits package. Most engineers and technicians are talented and try their best, and are easy to get along with.

    Cons

    Management is by remote control from Korea. Local American staff mostly just puppets of local Korean staff. Very bad morale.

    Advice to Management

    Develop a meaningful long tern outlook for HATCI and stick with it. Respect your employees - empower them and some give them some real hope for career advancement.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Engineer 1"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time

    Pros

    loving being in the middle of nowhere. Relaxed environment. A lot of freedom. Great first foot in the door to the auto Industry

    Cons

    Being in the middle of nowhere if your not into that. Could use more structured leadership from management. Often deal with communication issues from Korean team

    Advice to Management

    Formulate more concrete plans and stick to them. Try to improve the functional relationship with Korean designers, although I am not sure what can be done to improve this. It feels as if they do not respect or trust the American testing


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Working at HATCI Michigan"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Superior Township, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Superior Township, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time

    Pros

    Healthcare premiums paid by company not employee
    Kind and helpful staff members from diverse backgrounds (Less backstabbers here than other places I have worked)
    Can develop own project and receive money to fund development with reasonable business case
    If employees have energy and drive to push through projects with good engineering, it is likely you will succeed here.
    Diverse projects, not just one small part can work on functional areas (i.e. powertrain, engineering design, Materials, etc.)
    Small group so have to be involved in more than one item at a given time, which means that a particular staff member can potentially be the main contact for a vast number of automotive parts.
    Korea is investing in HATCI future with American staff now in highest position to direct the future.
    High exposure potential for projects to senior staff members at HATCI Michigan and Hyundai Korea.
    Employee generates own project ideas with only general direction from management. (Could be an issue if you have been told what to work on and how to work on it in past Employers) This is one of the reasons for turnover within 1-2 years. If you can adjust, this can become a great benefit as the manager looks to you for guidance on your area of specialty and you can work on almost anything you want in your area of expertise. Have never seen this in other companies.
    Employees are only expected to work 40hours per week normally, but this can increase if projects need more time to complete within the set timeline.

    Cons

    Oversight and tracking of employee output can be a bit much vs. other companies. (Weekly powerpoint updates on projects presented to your direct manager for potential review by president in weekly meeting)
    Can be difficult to move from one group to another say from Engineering Design to Powertrain, but this is improving.
    Initial communication with Korea can be difficult but that is why there are Korean Staff coordinators to help you get introduced to a good contact. After that it is great.
    Employee generates own project ideas with only general direction from management. (Could be an issue if you have been told what to work on and how to work on it in past Employers) This is one of the reasons for turnover within 1-2 years. If you can adjust this can become a great benefit as the manager looks to you for guidance on your area of specialty.
    Engineering employee owns entirely too much of the purchasing and finance function. For instance say you want to buy some item or outsource testing. First you get the quote fill out the paperwork for purchasing and make sure the seller is an approved vendor. Then you work with the purchasing agent to get all of the documentation needed to complete the purchase. Next you work with the seller to install equipment or work on the project, Then you get the invoice for the work, obtain a stamp from purchasing and submit it into the system to get your vendor paid. The lead Director for finance and purchasing is working to improve this but it is improving slowly.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to advance the American work style at HATCI


  5. "Extreme micromanagement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, job security, under the umbrella of larger parent company.

    Cons

    Extreme micromanagement. No empowerment. No processes, directionless.


  6. "Good opportunity if you are not passionate."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Decent compensation with many opportunities to travel (mainly domestic).
    Ability to learn about the Korean culture.
    Loyal employer.

    Cons

    Poor management, top to bottom.
    Paranoid security practices.
    Promotions based on seniority not merit.
    Low level of integrity throughout the organization.

    Advice to Management

    You made a good choice in choosing your NA president. He is a good person. Trust him and watch the turnover rate plummet.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Tons of opportunities, if you know your stuff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Superior Township, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Superior Township, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - HATCI is the North America R&D arm of Korean automotive company with $76B revenue. HATCI itself appears to be a small/mid size company, but it’s really not.
    - Opportunities to involve in very wide range of engineering works, from concept to product, even for entry level engineers.
    - Opportunities to experience diverse engineering areas, from simulation to test (not really a pro if you wanted to stick to a specific area).
    - Relatively easy to obtain budget support to create new projects and realize your ideas.
    - Very fast and dynamic work environment.

    Cons

    - Upper management doesn’t seem to have any clear vision or long-term business strategy. Maybe they don’t even know what those mean. Some people complain about lack of communication from the upper management. They may not have anything to communicate in the first place.
    - Korean headquarter seems concerned of this situation, but they don’t take much action to fix the problem either.
    - Only a handful of engineering managers know exactly who pays their salary and what needs to be done to grow their teams. The others are just free riders at best.
    - In very optimistic estimate, the workforce consists of 30% of who know their stuffs and 70% of who would most likely never be qualified for any serious positions in major automotive companies (but this can be an opportunity for you if you can be the upper 30%).
    - You have to work with those 70% of dumb people and bear to hear them blame the system and cultural difference for not getting their job done on time.
    - The worst IT support ever (HATCI IT has nothing to do with development work. Why not outsourcing it?).
    - HR, GA, Purchasing/Financing drag things down in many occasions. They are not there to support but to control.
    - Too many layers in approval chain, even for very minor things

    Advice to Management

    To upper management -
    If the business model of HATCI was just to do the jobs given by Korea R&D center, that’s fine. But then, at least establish a solid plan to get the jobs done more efficiently. When you require tangible metrics to measure individual’s performance, you also should have such metrics to evaluate yourselves. Don’t just say you will increase the capacity. Come up with some numbers such as x% by x year, with plans and strategies to achieve those goals. If you can’t do this, step down from your position and let more capable person do the job for the sake of HATCI’s future, before HQ forces you to do so.

    To those people who think Namyang (Korean R&D center) doesn’t trust you or doesn’t share information you needed –
    Stop whining and ask yourself. Are you really a reliable counterpart for Namyang engineers? Are you really keeping up with their speed? Have you been delivering results to them on time? Did you build good relationship and network with them so they can trust you? Did you know the relationship/network is the key to success in most of other companies out there too? If you’re not sure, a very simple and easy way to find the answers is to see how you get along with Korean coordinators. I’m not saying they are 100% right all the time, and that’s not the point here. If the coordinators think you’re useless, Namyang engineers will think the same way, and they will not share anything with you since you’re just a roadblock to them. If you thought they were just coordinators, you’re doomed already. They are reflections of Namyang’s expectations. They are Namyang, who eventually pays your salary. They are elite engineers from the R&D center filled with ten thousands of engineers working more than 10 hours a day (that doesn’t mean you’re required to do the same in HATCI though). Working from a remote site like HATCI, the best way to build your network is to leverage coordinators in your team. They know how to get the data you want, they know who you should talk to, they can even communicate with Namyang on behalf of you.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time

    Pros

    Good group of people to work with, at lower levels. Large variety of work, even if mostly meaningless

    Cons

    Management doesnt understand people skills. Korean staff and company very reluctant to give any power or authority to American work force


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Challenging Environment with the Occasional Reward"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Superior Township, MI
    Current Employee - Senior Engineer in Superior Township, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A smaller organization (subsidiary of parent company Hyundai Motor Group) that is full of opportunities. In general, the employees of this organization are what truly make it a great place to work. If you can find a way to make a positive impact and impress the upper management and/or Korean staff, you can really succeed here.

    Cons

    Cultural differences are a big challenge in this organization. Also, departments like Purchasing/Finance, IT, and General Affairs, do not live up to their supporting role by helping make the rest of the organization operate efficiently. Too many levels of approval, to many rigid processes, policies and procedures...and security, security, security. There is a very low level of trust and empowerment offered to the employees of the organization. Also, as a result of this low trust level, the Korean headquarters is very reluctant to provide data, information, or tools which are typically required to complete our jobs. Challenges are abundant here...but refer back to the Pro above (its the general population of great employees working together to get through these challenges that helps make most days worth coming in.)

    Advice to Management

    Management really needs to focus on empowering the local employees and the organization as a whole. Work on streamlining processes, minimizing the overwhelming number of approvals required (especially for insignificant things), and ensure that policies are not restricting employees capability to perform their duties. Finally, management and Korean staff need to make sure that they are building internal capability and ensuring the engineers have both the tools and knowledge to get the job done.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Full-time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Detroit, MI

    I have been working at Hyundai America Technical Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Paid time off/ able to manipulate current structure/competitive benefits

    Cons

    Performance review/competency assessment not consistent with promotions. No explanation given from management

    Advice to Management

    Be fair and get to the core of problem


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