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The History of Hyundai Cars

The Hyundai Car Company is a South Korean auto-manufacturer giant originally established during the 1960’s. Over the last few decades the company has experienced tremendous growth and penetrated both the American and European international markets. Their current manufacturing facilities in South Korea are one of the largest in the car industry, with the ability to crank out over 1.6 million units annually. Now to understand just how they rose to such popularity we must venture back down the history of Hyundai.

The Man Responsible

The original fonder of Hyundai was Chung Ju-Yung, a man born during 1915 in North Korea. Although he was born into a poor farming background he had bigger dreams. At the humble age of 18 he decided to venture down to Seoul with hopes of finding more opportunities to succeed.

Yung first experienced success whilst running the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company during 1947. Since the company had became highly profitable it allowed him to fund other ventures, thus leading to his automotive future.

Early Opportunities Seized

Yung’s move to the automotive field was fuelled by the opportunity to fill a gap that appeared in the market. The grounds for building a car manufacturing company in Korea had become very fertile due to post war politics. Using this to his advantage he decided to set up the Hyundai Motor Company in 1967.

By 1968 the company had finished and released their first car, the Cortina. The car was born as a result of collaboration with the Ford Motor Company. After gaining access to many of Ford’s valuable automotive during development, Hyundai then went on to its own car, the 1975 Pony. However, to facilitate this Hyundai still needed to employ a number of top British Engineers and used a Japanese design from Mitsubishi Motors for the drivetrain.

First International Exports

The Pony became the first true Hyundai model to be shipped overseas, namely to Ecuador and the Benelux countries. By 1984 the “Pony” was being shipped into Canada but had not yet reached the United States due to emission standards. Nevertheless, the Pony was wildly successful in Canada, at one point it was even named the best selling car on the market. By 1985 Hyundai had hit a true benchmark at one million cars built.

Hitting the American Market

Hyundai had finally made it to American soil in 1986 with their compact “Excel” model. The car was initially very well received due to its high affordability compared to other cars in the market.

During 1988 Hyundai started to change its focus to towards developing their own design and technology, then releasing the medium sized Sonata. By 1990 the company’s production had hit four million units, but to keep making progress they would need to double their efforts.                    

Brand Image Overhaul

In the 1990’s the reputation of Hyundai was in danger. Many consumers began to voice concerns over the quality and reliability of Hyundai’s cars. In order to keep making ground in the industry, massive investments were placed in their design and technology fields.

Fortunately this was successful, leading to quality manufacturing and restored confidence in the company. Aggressive marketing combined with unbeatable 10-year warranties for US cars finally earned Hyundai a top position in the industry.

Hyundai Today

As it now stands, Hyundai operates around 193 different countries, selling vehicles through over 5,000 dealerships.

The brand has gone from strength to strength, remarkable sales figures have highlighted Hyundai as one of the most important brands of today. The major investments, technological advances and marketing campaigns have been the true driving force behind the success of this company.


published: 12/01/2015 09:08:37

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