Hyundai is a massive organisation with a big presence across the world in the automotive and industrial sectors. The South Korean brand has become somewhat of a household name, not just in South Africa but all over the globe.
Very few people say Hyundai correctly as it should be pronounced like Monday but that hasn’t stopped them from reaching great success. So, the question on many lips is where did Hyundai come from and where do they build their award-winning cars?
The History Of Hyundai Group
To fully comprehend the story, we have to go back to 1947 where it all began. Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Group which consisted of several companies, the first being a construction company. With some government assistance, Chung and his family expanded rapidly into various industries where they became South Korea’s second Enterprise Group.
The group sold off many of its better-known businesses after the 1997 financial crisis in Asia including Hyundai Automotive Group, Hyundai Department Store Group and Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.
Currently, the Hyundai Group focuses on elevators, container services and tourism to Mount Kumgang. In March 2007, Hyundai Engineering and Construction became the main shareholder of Hyundai Merchant Marine, the holding company of Hyundai Group.
Hyundai Motor Company
In 1967, Ching established the Hyundai Motor Company and by 1968, Hyundai joined forces with the Ford Motor Company to produce the Ford Cortina. However, when Hyundai was ready to build its own car, they called on the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland and five other top British car engineers for expertise and guidance.
Hyundai released Korea’s first vehicle called the Pony in 1975 with styling from Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and engine technology courtesy of Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors. One year later, Hyundai started exporting the Pony to Equador but never to the US because of their emissions laws. That did not deter Hyundai from continuing their efforts and by 1984, they exported the Pony to Canada as it met their emissions regulations. In fact, it was the best-selling vehicle in Canada for quite some time.
Hyundai built its 1 millionth car in 1985 and started selling cars in the United States in 1986. They started to manufacture vehicles using their own technology in 1988 as was first seen on the Hyundai Sonata. In 1998 came the acquisition of rival, Kia Motors and that same year Hyundai transformed their image to establish themselves as a world-class automotive brand. They focused heavily on design and quality which was evident when they added a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty to all cars sold in America.
Where Is Hyundai Based?
Hyundai Motor Company manufactures Hyundai branded vehicles which, along with Kia, makes up the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai operates in Ulsan which is the world’s largest integrated vehicle manufacturing facility capable of producing 1.6 million cars per year. They employ approximately 75 000 people around the world as Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through more than 6 000 dealerships and showrooms.
There are also manufacturing facilities in Mexico and Alabama which serve the North American market. Mexico produces the Hyundai Accent while Alabama is responsible for the Santa Fe, Elantra and Sonata.
Hyundai is a truly international auto manufacturer with plants in North America, India, China, Pakistan and the Czech Republic. Hyundai has been ranked as one of the top 5 largest automobile manufacturers in the world and they’re also one of the fastest growing brands.