Hyundai Motor Company has the distinction of owning the largest facility for automobile manufacturing in Ulsan, South Korea. This integrated facility produces an astounding 1.6 million units per year. Hyundai employs about 75, 000 employees worldwide and its vehicles are marketed in 193 countries by 6000 franchises and showrooms. Annual sales in 2012 placed Hyundai Motor Group at 5th place in the world.
This South Korean multinational has its head office in Seoul, South Korea and it was founded in 1967 with a 32.8% ownership of Kia Motors. These two companies make up the Hyundai Motor Group. Founded by Chung Ju-Yung the company is managed by the Chairman & CEO, Chung Mong-Koo. The company had sold over 3.6 million vehicles as of 2010.
In the year 1947 Chung Ju-Yung established Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company and Hyundai Motor Company was commissioned in 1967. The first car model of the company was Cortina which was released in collaboration with Ford Motor Company in the year 1968. When the company wanted to manufacture its own vehicle it approached the services of George Turnbull who earlier worked with British Leyland as Managing Director. The first car manufactured independently by Hyundai was released in 1975 and was named Pony. The Powertrain technology was taken from Mitsubishi Motors and the car design was created by Giorgio Giugiaro from ItalDesign. The first export was for Ecuador and Benelux countries thereafter.
The pony was exported to Canada in 1984 but not for US because the car did not pass the emission norms of the country. The car achieved highest sales and achieved the top selling car slot in Canada. Hyundai started selling its car Excel in the US in 1986 and earned the Best Product distinction due to its low price. The company employed its own technology in making the cars and started producing midsize car Sonata in 1988. In 1990 it achieved the four million mark and in 1991 Hyundai made the breakthrough with its own gasoline engine, the 4-cylinder Alpha and its own transmission thus achieving the technological freedom to make its own cars. Hyundai started production in Chennai, India in 1996.
Company leadership was transferred to the son, Chung Mong Koo in 1998 and Hyundai started investing on quality design to become a world class brand. It did aggressive marketing and added a warranty fo 10-year or 100,000 miles for the cars sold in the US. Survey for “initial quality” in 2004 ranked Hyundai at second place and the company is among the 100 best brands in the world. Hyundai has been among the official sponsors FIFA world cup since 2002. Its Indian manufacturing plant is the second largest exporter of small cars from the country.
Hyundai produces passenger cars, SUVs, Vans, commercial vehicles and concept cars. The car model lineup includes Accent/Verna, Atos/Atoz/Santro, Tiburn/Coupe/Tuscani, Dynasty, Avante/Lantra/Elantra, Excel, Eon, Equus, ix20, Scoupe, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Grandeur/Azera/XG, Getz, Getz Prime/Click/TB, i10, i20, i30, i30cw/Elantra Touring, Hyundai i40, Pony, Lavita/Matrix, Sonata, Santamo, Veloster and Stellar.
Hyundai is also into motor sports and it entered the F2 class World Rally Championship way back in 1998 and 1999. The company announced that it would be entering the world championship rally with its Hyundai i20 WRC in 2014 to compete with its rival Ford Fiesta, Citroen DS3 and Mini Countryman. Hyundai has earned a revenue of US$84 billion by 2012 and had 57, 105 employees on its roll in 2011.