INFOGRAPHIC: History of Hyundai
Big things come from small beginnings is one of the clichés you can attribute to every success stories. Why not? The said phrase proves true in the real world because you have to work your way up the ladder to achieve success. Hyundai is among the many companies in the world that have believed and worked hard to make its vision a success. In fact, this South Korean automaker is now one of the top brands in the world and it still continues to develop and introduce innovative products. In the Philippines, Hyundai offers a wide range of brand-new vehicles from a subcompact hatchback to trucks and buses. Indeed, Hyundai is a global brand and this is the story of its humble beginnings. Chung Ju-Yung is the founding chairman of Hyundai but it was not initially a car company. Ju-Yung founded a small business named Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947 in order to help South Korea’s rebuild in the aftermath of World War II.
However, things didn’t play out well for the Hyundai Engineering and Construction company because of the outbreak of the Korean War. As a result, Ju-Yung channeled his efforts into working with the Korean Ministry of Transportation and the forces of the United Nations.
In 1967, using his experience in repairing vehicles during Japan’s occupation of Korea before and during World War II, Ju-Yung established the Hyundai Motor Company. It appears that Ju-Yung was an individual who believes and doesn’t give up on his vision easily. Of note, Hyundai comes from the Korean word that means modernity.
Hyundai introduced its first car in 1968. The Korean automaker teamed up with Ford Motor Company and released the Cortina. The said car was assembled in Hyundai’s Ulsan plant in South Korea, which is regarded as the world’s largest integrated automotive manufacturing facility.
In 1969, Hyundai produced the Ford 20M, a midsize sedan. The Ford 20M was also produced in Hyundai’s Ulsan plant since the two companies were under a strategic alliance.
By 1974, Hyundai debuted its first independently developed model at the Torino Motor Show in Italy. The car, dubbed Pony, was designed by the Italian designer Giogetto Giugiaro. The Pony was manufactured in 1976 and also became Hyundai’s first exported car model as it managed to make its way to Ecuador and Canada.
The Pony was a success for Hyundai. As such, the Korean automaker introduced the Pony Excel for the overseas market in 1985. The Pony Excel entered the United States market in 1986 and 26,000 units were sold within a year.
In 1983, the Stellar midsize sedan was born. It was designed by Giugiaro once again and is the second independently developed car by Hyundai. Along the years, Hyundai introduced more cars such as the Presto and the Sporty, a hatchback that features a “sporty” design.
By 1986, Hyundai launched the Grace minivan that features an 85 hp turbo diesel engine. The said diesel engine is regarded by Hyundai as the world’s first. The Korean automaker also introduced an ambulance version of the Grace minivan.
One of the longest-running Hyundai model was introduced in 1987–the H100 pickup truck, which continues to be produced today.
In 1988, the midsize Sonata sedan was launched. The model has proven to be popular for Hyundai as the third-generation Sonata achieved over 1 million unit sales.
In 1990, Hyundai launched another popular model–the compact Elantra sedan. Since its launch, the Elantra has recorded a cumulative sales of 8.6 million units globally.
With its development and milestones, Hyundai didn’t want to slow down its pace. In 1994, Hyundai launched the Accent, a car with parts that were 100% independently developed by Hyundai. The Accent managed–and continues–to be a popular car in the United States, Russia, China, India, Philippines, among others.
In 1996, Hyundai wanted to shake things up as it introduced the Tiburon, a vehicle that features a McPherson strut type suspension which was developed in collaboration with Porsche. Subsequently, Hyundai opened the Namyang Technology Research Center, a testing facility with an oval test track and an aeroacoustic wind tunnel.
In 1997, the world saw the debut of another iconic Hyundai car–the Starex minivan (also known as H-1).
By 2000, Hyundai introduced its first independently developed SUV, the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe is equipped with an advanced monocoque chassis that allows the vehicle to deliver optimized stability and maximum comfort. The Santa Fe achieved a record-breaking sale of 500,000 units in 2009.
Two years later, the Korean automaker debuted the Getz, a subcompact hatchback. This car won several awards, including Australia’s Best Small Car in 2003 and 2005. It also managed to get a four-star safety rating in 2004 (Euro NCAP) and 2008 (Australasian NCAP).
Hyundai introduced the Tucson in 2004, a compact SUV that redefined Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design language. The Tucson won the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada award in the Best Crossover Vehicle category and won the Good Design Award in Japan on the year of its release.
In 2008, Hyundai gave birth to the Genesis, a car that showed the Korean automaker’s take on how a premium sedan should be. The Genesis was awarded the North American Car of the Year in January 2009.
On the same year, in 2008, the Genesis Coupe was launched by the Korean automaker. The Genesis Coupe is Hyundai’s first rear-wheel drive sports coupe.
In 2011, Hyundai launched the Veloster and the Veloster Turbo. It is a car that’s known for its unconventional two right door and one left door configuration. During the same year, Hyundai introduced the Eon, a mini subcompact hatchback.
In 2014, the Hyundai H350 was launched. It is a light commercial vehicle that was developed in collaboration between Namyang Technology Research Center and Hyundai Motor’s Europe Technical Center.
Today, Hyundai is the leader in the Korean domestic market and exports vehicles to about 190 countries. In the Philippines, Hyundai is one of the popular brands. The Accent is regarded as the top selling Hyundai car in the local market while some of the famous cars of the Korean automaker in the Philippines include the Starex, Tucson, and the Eon.
Click this link to know more about the brand-new 2018 Hyundai cars in the Philippines.