Hyundai Motor Company is a South Korean multinational automaker headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Hyundai was founded in 1967 and it, along with Kia, together comprise the Hyundai Motor Group, which is the world's fourth largest automobile manufacturer, as of 2009. As of 2011, it is the world's fastest growing automaker for two years running. In 2008, Hyundai (without Kia) ranked as the eighth largest automaker. In 2010, Hyundai sold over 3.6 million vehicles worldwide.
Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, which is capable of producing 1.6 million units annually. The company employs about 75,000 persons worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and showrooms.
Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947. Hyundai Motor Company was later established in 1967. The company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull, the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland. He in turn hired five other top British car engineers.They were Kenneth Barnett body design, engineers John Simpson and Edward Chapman, John Crosthwaite ex-BRM as chassis engineer and Peter Slater as chief development engineer. In 1975, the Pony, the first Korean car, was released, with styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology provided by Japan's Mitsubishi Motors. Exports began in the following year to Ecuador and soon thereafter to the Benelux countries. In 1991, the company succeeded in developing its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, and transmission, thus paving the way for technological independence.
In 1986, Hyundai exported the Pony to Canada, but not to the United States, because the Pony didn't pass emissions standards there. Canadian sales greatly exceeded expectations, and it was at one point the top-selling car on the Canadian market. The Pony afforded a much higher degree of quality and refinement in the lowest price auto segment than the Eastern-bloc imports of the period then available.
In 1986, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, and the Excel was nominated as "Best Product #10" by Fortune magazine, largely because of its affordability. The company began to produce models with its own technology in 1988, beginning with the midsize Sonata.
In 1996, Hyundai Motor India Limited was established with a production plant in Irungattukottai near Chennai, India.
In 1998, Hyundai began to overhaul its image in an attempt to establish itself as a world-class brand. Chung Ju Yung transferred leadership of Hyundai Motor to his son, Chung Mong Koo, in 1999. Hyundai's parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, invested heavily in the quality, design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles. It added a 10-year or 100,000-mile (160,000 km) warranty to cars sold in the United States and launched an aggressive marketing campaign.
In 2004, Hyundai was ranked second in "initial quality" in a survey/study by J.D. Power and Associates. Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide. Since 2002, Hyundai has also been one of the worldwide official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup.
In 2006, the South Korean government initiated an investigation of Chung Mong Koo's practices as head of Hyundai, suspecting him of corruption. On April 28, 2006, Chung was arrested, and charged for embezzlement of 100 billion South Korean won (US$106 million). As a result, Hyundai Vice Chairman and CEO, Kim Dong-jin, replaced him as head of the company.
On September 30, 2011, Yang Seung Suk announced his retirement as CEO of Hyundai Motor Co. In the interim replacement period, Chung Mong-koo and Kim Eok-jo will divide the duties of the CEO position.
Research and Development
Hyundai has 6 centres worldwide, located in Korea (three offices), Germany, Japan and India. Additionally, there is an American design center in California that develops designs for US markets.
In 1998, after a shake-up in the Korean auto industry caused by overambitious expansion and the Asian financial crisis, Hyundai acquired rival Kia Motors. In 2000, the company established a strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler and severed its partnership with the Hyundai Group. In 2001, the Daimler-Hyundai Truck Corporation was formed. In 2004, however, DaimlerChrysler divested its interest in the company by selling its 10.5% stake for $900 million.
Hyundai has invested in manufacturing plants in the North America, India, Czech Republic, Pakistan, China and Turkey as well as research and development centers in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Pacific Rim. In 2004, Hyundai Motor Company had $57.2 billion in sales in South Korea making it the country's second largest corporation, or chaebol. Worldwide sales in 2005 reached 2,533,695 units, an 11 percent increase over the previous year. Hyundai has set as its 2006 target worldwide sales of 2.7 million units (excluding exports of CKD kits). In 2007 it reached 3,961,629 worldwide vehicle sales—surpassing Fiat, Chrysler, PSA/Peugeot, Nissan, and Honda.
Hyundai motor vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships and showrooms. After a recent survey of global automotive sales, Hyundai is now the fourth largest automaker in the world as of 2009.
Hyundai Motor Company's brand power continues to rise as it was ranked 65th in the 2007 Best Global Brands by Interbrand and BusinessWeek survey, with brand value estimated at $5.0 billion. Public perception of the Hyundai brand has been transformed as a result of dramatic improvements in the quality of Hyundai vehicles.
Hyundai in North America
Hyundai began selling cars in the United States on February 20, 1986, with a single model, the Hyundai Excel. The Excel was offered in a variety of trims and body styles. That year, Hyundai set a record of selling the most automobiles in its first year of business in the United States compared to any other car brand; total sales in 1986 were 168,882.
Initially well received, the Excel's faults soon became apparent; cost-cutting measures caused reliability to suffer. With an increasingly poor reputation for quality, Hyundai sales plummeted, and many dealerships either earned their profits on repairs or abandoned the product. At one point, Hyundai became the butt of many jokes (i.e. Hyundai stands for "Hope you understand nothing's driveable and inexpensive") and even made David Letterman's Top Ten Hilarious Mischief Night Pranks To Play In Space: No.8 – Paste a "Hyundai" logo on the main control panel.
In response, Hyundai began investing heavily in the quality, design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles. It added a 10-year or 100,000-mile (160,000 km) powertrain warranty (known as the Hyundai challenge) to its vehicles sold in the United States. By 2004, sales had dramatically increased, and the reputation of Hyundai cars improved. In 2004, Hyundai tied with Honda for initial brand quality in a survey/study from J.D. Power and Associates, for having 102 problems per 1000 vehicles. This made Hyundai second in the industry, only behind Toyota, for initial vehicle quality. The company continued this tradition by placing third overall in J.D. Power's 2006 Initial Quality Survey, behind only Porsche and Lexus. Hyundai is ranked number 4 in World's Most Admired Companies under the motor vehicles section of CNN, after BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke), Volkswagen, and Daimler in 2011.
Hyundai continues to invest heavily in its American operations as its cars grow in popularity. In 1990, Hyundai established the Hyundai Design Center in Fountain Valley, California. The center moved to a new $30 million facility in Irvine, California in 2003, and was renamed the Hyundai Kia Motors Design and Technical Center. Besides the design studio, the facility also housed Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI, established in 1986), a subsidiary responsible for all engineering activities in the U.S. for Hyundai. Hyundai America Technical Center moved to its new 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2), $117 million headquarters in Superior Township, Michigan (near Ann Arbor) in 2005. Later that same year, HATCI announced that it would be expanding its technical operations in Michigan and hiring 600 additional engineers and other technical employees over a period of five years. The center also has employees in California and Alabama.
Hyundai America Technical Center completed construction of its Hyundai/Kia proving ground in California City, California in 2004. The 4,300-acre (17 km2) facility is located in the Mojave Desert and features a 6.4-mile (10.3 km) oval track, a Vehicle Dynamics Area, a vehicle-handling course inside the oval track, a paved hill road, and several special surface roads. A 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) complex featuring offices and indoor testing areas is located on the premises as well. The facility was built at a cost of $50 million. An aerial view can be found here. Hyundai completed an assembly plant just outside Montgomery, Alabama in 2004, with a grand opening on May 20, 2005, at a cost of $1.1 billion. At full capacity, the plant will employ 2,000 workers. Currently, the plant assembles the Hyundai Sonata and the Hyundai Santa Fe. It is Hyundai's second attempt at producing cars in North America since Hyundai Auto Canada Inc.'s plant in Quebec closed in 1993.
In 2003, Consumer Reports, based on complaints about 2002 model new cars that in general are less than one year usage, ranked Hyundai's reliability tied with Honda's; however, J.D. Power and Associates put Hyundai's 2002 vehicles below the industry average according to its annual Initial Quality Survey, which looks at problems in the first 90 days of ownership.
In 2006, J.D. Power and Associates' quality ranking, overall the Hyundai brand ranked 3rd, just behind Porsche and Lexus, and beating longtime rival Toyota. But Hyundai's ranking fell to twelfth in 2007. However, in 2009, Hyundai was the Highest Ranked Non-Premium Nameplate in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study.
In the 2007 Strategic Vision Total Quality Awards, Hyundai Motor leads the most vehicle segments in Strategic Vision's Total Quality Index, measuring the ownership experience. They attempt to measure more than just the number of problems per vehicle. Hyundai tops in Strategic Vision Total Quality Awards. For the first time ever, Hyundai has risen to share the position of having the most models leading a segment. three models with the top Total Quality Index (TQI) score in their segments, including the Hyundai Azera, Entourage, Santa Fe.
In 2007 at the New York International Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled its V8 rear-drive luxury sedan called the Concept Genesis to be slotted above the Azera in the Hyundai line-up. This concept made its American debut in mid-2008. The Genesis reintroduced rear-wheel drive to the Hyundai range following a long period of only producing front-wheel drive cars.
In 2007 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled its second rear-drive concept car, the Concept Genesis Coupe, will be Hyundai's first sports car due to make its debut in early 2009.
In 2008, Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Elantra were awarded 2008 Consumer Reports "top picks". The magazine's annual ratings, based on road tests and predicted safety and reliability are considered highly influential among consumers. The Hyundai Elantra was Consumer Reports' top-ranked 2008 vehicle among 19 other compacts and small family cars, beating out the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Prius.
In 2008, at the North American International Auto Show, the production version of the luxury & performance-oriented Hyundai Genesis sedan made its debut, dealerships will have the Genesis as soon as summer 2008. In 2008, at the New York International Auto Show, Hyundai debuted its production version of the performance-oriented rear-drive Hyundai Genesis Coupe, slated to hit dealerships in early 2009.
On January 6, Hyundai reported sales of December 2008 fell to 24,037, from 46,487 in previous year and sales for the year dropped 14%, a day after the company launched 'Hyundai Assurance' in order to spark sales amid tough economic conditions.
In 2009 Hyundai announced the five-door hatchback variant of the Elantra compact sedan will carry the name Elantra Touring when it goes on sale in the spring as a 2009 model.
In 2009, the Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan was named 2009 North American Car of the Year, the first for Hyundai. The Genesis has received a number of well-recognized automobile awards worldwide. It also won the 2009 Canadian Car of the Year after winning its category of Best New Luxury Car under $50,000. The Hyundai's V8 Tau engine in the Genesis, which develops 375 hp (280 kW) on premium fuel and 368 hp (274 kW) on regular fuel, received 2009 Ward's 10 Best Engines award.
In 2009, 4 models from Hyundai and two from Kia, earned the Top Safety Award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In 2009, Hyundai/Kia vehicles were named as "least expensive vehicles to insure". Hyundai/Kia vehicles were the least expensive to insure and occupied the 'top five' least expensive slots, said Insure.com.
In 2009, According to a preliminary report from the Environmental Protection Agency published in November 2009, which is based on 2009 pre-model year production projections provided by automakers, Hyundai, at an average of 23.4 mpg-US (10.1 L/100 km; 28.1 mpg-imp), is the second most fuel-efficient automaker in America, after Honda's combined U.S. fleet of Honda and Acura models at an average of 23.6 mpg-US (9.97 L/100 km; 28.3 mpg-imp).
In 2010, a Consumer Reports reliability survey ranked Hyundai (including Kia) as the fourth-best automaker. The ratings reflect the performance, comfort, utility and reliability of more than 280 vehicles that the magazine recently tested.
In 2010, the Hyundai Equus made its North American debut at the North American International Auto Show
In January 2012, the Hyundai Elantra was named the North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show, selling more than 200,000 cars since the model's redesigned debut.
Hyundai in Canada
In 1989, Hyundai Auto Canada Inc. opened a stamping and assembly plant in Bromont, Quebec, employing 800. The plant cost $387.7 million, with Quebec and Canadian federal government subsidies of $131 million. The plant was designed to manufacture approximately 2000 Hyundai Sonatas per week. Subsequently, Chrysler and Hyundai considered a joint venture that would have Chrysler rebranding the Sonata manufactured at Bromont – only to later announce the deal had failed. The Bromont plant was operational for four years before it closed – with Hyundai's sales unable to support the plant. With boost in Sales in 2009, Hyundai Auto Canada Inc. is currently planning to build a new plant in Canada and resume production in Canada. Hyundai subsequently sold the plant, which was eventually purchased by Olymbec inc, a Quebec real estate developer.
Hyundai In India
Hyundai Motor India Limited is currently the second largest auto exporter in India. It is making India the global manufacturing base for small cars. Hyundai sells several models in India, the most popular being the Santro Xing, i10 and the i20. Other models include Getz Prime, Accent, Terracan, Elantra (Discontinued), second generation Verna, Tucson, Santa Fe and the Sonata Transform. Hyundai has two manufacturing plants in India located at Sriperumbudur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Both plants have a combined annual capacity of 600,000 units.In the year 2007 Hyundai opened its R&D facility in Hyderabad Andhra pradesh, employing now nearly 450 engineers from different parts of the country. Hyundai Motor India Engineering (HMIE) gives technical & engineering support in Vehicle development and CAD & CAE support to Hyundai's main R&D center in Namyang Korea. In 2010, Hyundai started its design activities at Hyderabad R&D Center with Styling, Digital Design & Skin CAD Teams.
South Korean car maker Hyundai, which as per reports is also world’s fastest growing automaker and fourth largest car manufacturer across the globe, has launched a new car, Hyundai EON in October in India. Eon is an entry-level car but at the same time it is very spacious with a large boot. The car has 814 cc engine, promising to deliver the mileage of over 20 km per litre.
Hyundai in Europe
On November 2008, Hyundai opened its European plant in Nošovice, Czech Republic, following an investment of over 1 billion euros and over two years of construction. The plant, which mainly manufactures the i30 for the European market, has an annual capacity of 300,000 cars. The new Hyundai plant is 90 kilometers north of Kia Motors' Žilina Plant in Slovakia.
Hyundai in Turkey
The opening of the first manufacturing plant in Turkey, located in İzmit, was done on the September 20, 1997 and due to the unexpectedly high demand a second plant was opened later in Kozyatağı, in collaboration with Isuzu Anadol, for CKD assembling only. The joint venture in Turkey is called Hyundai Assan Otomotiv.
Hyundai in Egypt
Hyundai cars are manufactured in Egypt also, the local manufacturer of these vehicles is the Ghabbour Group, which is located in Cairo. They have a big model range and offers sports models of some car models which are only offered on the Egypt market. Formerly, the company had assembled vehicles from the GM concern.
Hyundai In Russia
In Russia the production of Hyundai Accent, Sonata, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Santa Fe cars is taking place at TagAZ plant under contract till 2010 in Taganrog, and continued afterwards. In 2007 started construction of car plant in Saint Petersburg with yearly capacity of 100,000 cars, and it has been completed in 2010.
Hyundai in China
Hyundai models sell well in China. Hyundai is currently working with its Chinese partner Beijing Automobile Industry Holding Co. to develop an electric car for sale only in China.
In September 2011, it was announced that Korean celebrity Lee Min Ho, who is popular in China, will promote Hyundai's new 'Veloster' in China.
A joint venture with Beijing Automotive Group, Beijing Hyundai Motor manufactures many Hyundai vehicles, as well as a few models which are exclusive to the Chinese market. This company sold 700,000 passenger cars in 2010. Hyundai-branded SUVs were sold by a different company.
Between 2002-2010 Hawtai Motor made Chinese-market versions of the Hyundai Matrix, the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Hyundai Terracan. The Santa Fe was the fifth most-purchased SUV in China in 2010, and some of Hawtai's versions may greatly differ from those sold in other markets.
In October 2010, Hyundai signed agreement with Sichuan Nanjun Automobile on setting up a commercial vehicle joint venture—Sichuan Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd.
Hyundai in Japan
Despite having growing sales worldwide, Hyundai struggled in Japan, having sold only 15,000 passenger cars from 2001 to 2009. Following an announcement on November 2009, Hyundai pulled their passenger car division out of the Japanese market and focused on their commercial vehicle division instead. The company said that it is possible for them to come back to Japan fully if market conditions continue to improve.
Hyundai in the Philippines
Hyundai continues to dominate the Philippine automobile market through their newly introduced models. Hyundai is currently the third top selling automotive brand in the country. Hyundai's Getz, i10, Accent, SantaFe, Sonata, and Grand Starex were among the models which brought Hyundai to the 3rd spot. Hyundai almost doubled its sales in 2010 with 11,086 in 2009 to a whopping 20,712. Hyundai becomes the fastest growing automotive brand in the country.
Hyundai in New Zealand
A growing market for Hyundai's cars, sales in New Zealand were up 27% in late 2011, compared to 2010 sales.
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