The History of Hyundai
Though very few could pronounce it at first, Hyundai (like Monday) has become a household name not just in South Africa, but also across the globe. How exactly did this South Korean auto brand achieve success?.
Hyundai’s early years
Back in 1947 Chung Ju-Yung created the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company. Later in 1967 he established the Hyundai Motor Company and by 1968 Hyundai joined forces with Ford Motor Company to produce its first vehicle, the Cortina. However, when Hyundai was ready to manufacture its own car, it called on the expertise of the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland and five other top British car engineers. In 1975 Hyundai released Korea’s first vehicle, the Pony, featuring styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology from Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors.
Hyundai & the global market
In 1976 Hyundai started exporting the Pony to Equador and by 1984 also to Canada where it was the top-selling vehicle for a while. In 1985 Hyundai built its 1 millionth vehicle and in the following year, started selling cars in the States. In 1988 Hyundai started producing vehicles using its own technology, seen first in the Sonata. In 1998 Hyundai acquired rival, Kia Motors. The same year Hyundai started to overhaul its image to establish itself as a world-class brand, focusing heavily on design and quality, even adding a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty to vehicles sold in the U.S. It paid off. In 2004 it ranked second in the renowned J.D. Power and Associates initial quality survey and has also made it into the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide, evident in its sponsorship of global sporting events.
With soaring international sales during the last decade, Hyundai has been ranked as one of the top 5 largest automobile manufacturers in the world plus it’s also one of the fastest growing brands with the stats to prove it. Hyundai has sold over 3.6 million vehicles globally. It has research and development centres in Asia, North America and Europe as well as plants in North America, India, China, Pakistan and Czech Republic, with one of the world’s largest auto manufacturing facilities in Ulsan, which has the capacity to produce 1.6 million units per year. Furthermore the company employs more than 75,000 staff and has about 6,000 dealerships and showrooms in 193 countries worldwide.And with Hyundai’s award-winning vehicle line-up, its investment in the development of electric vehicles and its interest in social responsibility, the sky’s the limit for this popular auto brand.