Top 10 Car Manufacturers: Hyundai Motor Corporation
#10: Hyundai Motor Corporation
A brief history
Hyundai’s origins can be traced back to 1947, when Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company, although the Hyundai Motor Company wasn’t established until 20 years later in 1967.
The company’s first model was the Cortina, which was released in cooperation with Ford in 1968. In 1976 Hyundai began mass production of its first own design car, the Pony, which was also the first Korean passenger car. In 1984 it began exports to Canada, where at one point it became the country’s best-selling car. It was not exported to the U.S. as it failed emission standards there, but by 1985 Hyundai had produced over 1 million vehicles.
The Excel model was launched in 1984, and became the first Hyundai to be exported to America in 1986. By 1989 overseas exports of Excel’s had topped 1 million units. In 1988 Hyundai launched the Sonata, which was the first model produced with its own technology. Later, in 1991, the company developed its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, which paved the way for technological independence. By the start of the 1990’s Hyundai had produced over 4 million cars.
In the early 1990’s Hyundai launched a number of new models including Elantra, Scoupe, Galloper, Sonata II, Accent, and the HCD-I and HCD-II concept cars. By 1994 annual production had surpassed 1 million units, and by 1996 total cumulative production topped 10 million units.
In the late 1990’s Hyundai began to overhaul its image, and invested heavily in the quality, design and manufacturing of its vehicles. As part of an aggressive marketing campaign, it offered a 10-year or 100,000 mile warranty on vehicles sold in the USA. By the end of the decade Hyundai had developed its own high-performance V6 Delta engine, launched the Equus, and introduced the Santa Fe SUV. It also acquired Kia Motors in 1998 after the Korean automotive industry was hit by the Asian financial crisis.
During the 2000’s, Hyundai continued to expand its global operations, investing in manufacturing plants in America, India, Czech Republic, Pakistan, China, and Turkey. It also opened research and development centres in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Pacific Rim. By the end of the decade cumulative sales in the U.S. had surpassed 5 million units, exports to Africa had exceeded 1 million units, and Hyundai Beijing had reached the 1 million vehicle production milestone in record time.
|Headquarters||Seoul, South Korea|
|Revenue (2013)||$86.2 Billion|
|Pre-tax profit (2013)||$11.54 Billion|
|Vehicle sales (2013)||4.73 Million|
|CEO||Mong Koo Chung|
Mong Koo Chung was appointed Chairman of the Hyundai Group in 1996, and in 1999 appointed CEO of Hyundai Motor Corporation and Kia Motors Corporation. He has held several senior positions in the company, and served for 24 years running the after-sales service unit for the company. In 1977 he was Chief Executive of Hyundai Precision and Industry, in 1981 he served as Chief Executive Hyundai Pipe, and in 1986 he became Chief Executive of Incheon Iron and Steel. Prior to the appointment as CEO, he served for 11 years as Chief Executive of Hyundai Motor Service.
One of Chung’s promises as CEO was to boost the quality of Hyundai’s products; bring them in line with its competitor Toyota. As part of this promise he scrapped the prototype for the Genesis Luxury Sedan in 2004, and decided to give the prototype a more ‘athletic’ look. He also recruited Peter Schreyer, the lead designer for Audi’s Coupe, to revamp Kia’s products. As a result of his management, Hyundai’s profits in 2004 were 17% up on 2003, and sales figures were tripled from the previous year.
In an interview in 2012, Chung expressed his intention not to pursue mergers as part of the company’s policy, saying, "We will go our ‘Hyundai way’ alone. We are not interested in takeovers and mergers." His strategy also involves greater investment in environmental alternatives and focuses on sustainable competitiveness, with plug-in hybrids, pure electric vehicles and fuel cell technology high on Hyundai’s agenda.
Hyundai’s management philosophy is to: ‘Realize the dream of mankind by creating a new future through ingenious thinking and continuously challenging new frontiers’. Its vision to carry the company through until 2020 and beyond is: ‘To become a trusted lifetime partner of our customers, we will bring a new perspective to automobiles through innovative mobility solutions based on human-centric, eco-friendly technologies and services’.