History of Hyundai
Hyundai Motor Corporation, generally referred to as Hyundai or Hyundai Motors is a South Korean multinational automaker with headquarters in Seoul. Hyundai Engineering and Construction Corporation was established in 1947 by Chung Ju-Yung. Later, in 1967, Hyundai Motor Corporation was founded, and in 1968, in conjunction with Ford Motor Company, Hyundai debuted its first vehicle, the Cortina.
When Hyundai first started selling automobiles in the United States in 1986, Fortune magazine named Excel the tenth best product of that year, in large part due to its low price.
Once the South Korean car sector was shaken up by overzealous growth and the Asian financial crisis in 1998, Hyundai bought up its main competitor, Kia Motors.
The firm ended its cooperation with the Hyundai Group in 2000 and formed a strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler. Founded in 2001, the Daimler-Hyundai Truck Company is a joint venture between the two automakers. However, DaimlerChrysler sold its 10.5% stake in the firm for $900 million in 2004, so it's no longer a shareholder.
When it comes to "initial quality," a survey/study conducted by J.D. Power & Associates in 2004 put Hyundai as the number two automaker in North America. Interbrand lists Hyundai as one of the top 100 most valuable companies worldwide today. Hyundai has been one of the official FIFA World Cup sponsors since 2002.
The company's long-term goal is to dominate the ride-and-handling technology market by making cars that are the most fun to drive in their categories. Hyundai recruited Albert Biermann, formerly the Vice President of Engineering at BMW M, to lead chassis development for Hyundai cars as part of a push to improve vehicle dynamics that was launched in 2014.
Hyundai Motor Group has purchased a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics, a robotics manufacturer, by the end of June 2021. Hyundai Motor Group has acquired a majority stake in the business (80%).
At present, the firm wholly controls two brands—luxury automotive subsidiary Genesis Motor and electric vehicle sub-brand Ioniq—as well as 33.88 percent of Kia Corporation. The Hyundai Motor Group is made up of these three separate companies.
Manufacturer plants and facilities
Established in 1996, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. operates a plant in Irungattukottai, a city near Chennai in southern India. In addition to research and development facilities throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and the Pacific Rim, Hyundai has invested in production facilities in the Czech Republic, China, India, Turkey, North America, and the Czech Republic. Hyundai Motor Corporation was South Korea's second-largest firm, or chaebol, behind Samsung in 2004, with $57.2 billion in revenue. 2,533,695 units were sold globally in 2005, an increase of 11% over the previous year. Hyundai sold 4.05 million vehicles globally in 2011, making the Hyundai Motor Group the fourth-largest carmaker in the world behind General Motors, Volkswagen, and Toyota.
At Ulsan, South Korea, Hyundai runs the biggest integrated vehicle manufacturing complex in the world, with a 1.6 million-unit production capacity per year. Over 75,000 employees work for the firm internationally. Hyundai sells cars via 5,000 dealerships and showrooms in 193 different countries.
Hyundai announced the construction of a new car plant in South Korea in July 2022. The facility will only produce electric vehicles, and production is scheduled to start in 2025. Since 1996, there has not been a new Hyundai facility in South Korea.
With several factories across the globe, Hyundai manufactures sedans, hatchbacks, crossover SUVs, vans, pickups, heavy vehicles, and buses.
Hyundai has six different R&D facilities: three in South Korea and one each in Germany, Japan, and India. As an added bonus, the United States' designs are developed in a facility in California.
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area community of Fountain Valley, the Hyundai Design Center has been serving the company's global design needs since 1990. In 2003, the factory was relocated to a new $30 million location in Irvine, California, where it now operates under the name Hyundai Kia Motors Design and Technical Center. Inside the same building was Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc, a wholly-owned corporation in charge of all engineering operations in the United States.
In 1998 and 1999, Hyundai made its debut in racing by entering the World Rally Championship's F2 class. To compete in the World Rally Championship, Hyundai introduced the Accent WRC in September 1999. The Hyundai World Rally Team debuted the vehicle in the 2000 Swedish Rally, and the same year, Alister McRae and Kenneth Eriksson finished seventh and eighth, respectively, at the Rally Argentina, marking the team's first top-ten performance. Later, when driving in New Zealand and Australia, Eriksson took sixth and fourth, respectively. Although the 2001 debut of the Accent WRC's new generation was an improvement in terms of dependability, it still couldn't compete with the four powerhouse teams (Ford, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Subaru). McRae placed fourth and Eriksson placed sixth in the season-ending Rally G.B., the team's best performance of the year.
Hyundai brought in Juha Kankkunen, a four-time world champion, together with Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz for the 2002 season. The highest finish the team had was Kankkunen's fifth in New Zealand, but they still managed to beat off Skoda and Mitsubishi by a single point in the race for fourth place in the manufacturers' world championship. After a 2003 season marred by financial difficulties, Hyundai announced its resignation from the WRC in September. The company had hoped to rejoin the series in 2006.
Upon hearing that Korea would be awarded a Formula One Grand Prix in 2006, Hyundai intended to join the market that year. While the first Korean Grand Prix took place in 2010, Hyundai has yet to compete in the series. Hyundai has revealed that it will be unveiling its future rally plans on February 9 at the 2011 Chicago Motor Show. Rallying plans are now centred on Hyundai's most recent offering, the Veloster. Hyundai announced in September 2012 that a rally version of the i20 would participate in the World Rally Championship the following year, joining cars like the Ford Fiesta, Citroen DS3, and Mini Countryman.
Hyundai biggest competitors
Hyundai has earned a solid reputation in the car business, but it is facing tough competition from brands like Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Kia, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW.
Pros and cons of the Hyundai models
Most popular Hyundai models
- 1975 – 1990 Hyundai Pony: It was the first automobile to be developed and manufactured in South Korea, and it embodied many of the defining characteristics of the firm. It met all my requirements: being inexpensive, quick, dependable, and enjoyable to drive. Since it was the Mustang of South Korea, its prominence here is not surprising. Because of restrictions on pollution, the Hyundai Pony was never sold in America. Yet, you could buy it in Canada.
- 1985 – present Hyundai Sonata: The Stellar received a luxurious makeover, and although it was a competent car in its own right, the original Stellar and the early Sonatas were essentially the same cars with different appearances. Yet Hyundai, like the Elantra, continued to improve, always with an eye on the price point and a will to compete with the best. A record-breaking 130,365 Hyundai Sonatas were purchased in 2005, marking the model's entry into the new century.
- 1986 – 2019 Hyundai Grandeur: Hyundai's flagship executive vehicle, based on the Ford Granada that Hyundai themselves manufactured, is a classic. The Grandeur was Hyundai's first attempt at luxury, setting the standard for the rest of the Genesis lineup. In part, Hyundai deserves the accolades because of the Mitsubishi Debonair it manufactured in South Korea; at the time, Hyundai specialised in producing vehicles for the South Korean Market that were originally designed and manufactured by other companies.
- 1988 – 1995 Hyundai Stellar: When South Korea was ready to escape the Cortina's shadow, they turned to Italian automotive great Giorgetto Giugiaro for help, and the resulting Hyundai Stellar was the result. The Hyundai Stellar was never offered for sale in the United States because it was unable to conform to applicable emissions regulations.
- 1990 – present Hyundai Elantra: The Hyundai Elantra is the company's flagship small sedan, and it, like many of Hyundai's other top offerings, would provide competitive or superior performance at far cheaper pricing than Ford's rivals. Hyundai's ability to constantly refine its designs was another area in which it excelled, and this was most evident with the Elantra. After defeating the Ford Focus in Detroit's North American Car of the Year competition in 2012, the Elantra U.D. took home the trophy.
- 1994 – present Hyundai Accent: The affordable subcompact car whose name stands for "Advanced Compact Vehicle of Epoch-making New Technology" (thus, presumably, revolutionary). If you think that Hyundai's latest Excel is revolutionary, you'd be correct. It's impossible to tell whether or not the Accent really succeeded in creating any epochs, but it has proven to be a terrific automobile for those who desire an upmarket driving experience on a budget.
- 2000 – 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe: An SUV for the new century - Hyundai saw a need for more reasonably priced and fuel-efficient SUVs, and the Santa Fe became an influential part of the class's evolution during the 2000s. The Santa Fe would steadily improve, eventually becoming the most reliable vehicle on the market while ever being too expensive. In 2019, a rebranding event occurred, and the Palisade name was adopted instead.
- 2004 – present Hyundai Tucson: A popular South Korean SUV/crossover in Canada - The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover SUV that shares its Elantra platform architecture with the Kia Sportage and is hence named after the city of Tucson, Arizona. After receiving top marks for safety from the NHTSA in 2009, Tucson quickly became a favourite among families that like exploring new territory with their vehicles.
- 2008 – 2016 Hyundai Genesis: A really decent luxury vehicle - The Genesis was the first Hyundai vehicle to have a domestic V8. In 2010, Genesis' 0-to-60 time was reported by various tests to be under 6 seconds. It wasn't a fascinating design—it was basically simply a knockoff of the BMW 5 Series—but it was far cheaper, making it attractive to those who valued speed above luxury. From here on out, inexpensive speed would be a hallmark of Hyundai's creations, while Genesis would emerge as a standalone company to serve as Hyundai's opulent arm.
- 2012 – present Hyundai Veloster: Funnest Hyundai - Although being just over a decade old and so just qualifying for our list, the Veloster is undoubtedly the most entertaining Hyundai to drive. Its hatchback coupé design and tiny size make it a joy to manoeuvre through traffic. Although the Hyundai Tiburon was a financial disaster, the Veloster showed that the company could produce a thrilling sports vehicle.
The worst models and their imperfections
- 1986 Hyundai Excel - Hyundai's first vehicle sold in the United States was Excel. Around 150,000 Excels were purchased in its first year of the sale, putting it ahead of American automobiles despite Hyundai's competitive pricing. Unfortunately, buyers quickly discovered that Hyundai's aggressive attempts to save costs resulted in a severely flawed vehicle. Predictably, sales plunged, and people started making fun of Hyundai as a brand going forward.
- 1998 Hyundai Accent - Due to falling sales, Hyundai pulled Excel out of the American market and replaced it with the Accent in 1994. In 1998, just four years later, the Accent was deemed unsafe in collision testing. Passenger safety in the 1998 Hyundai Accent was determined to be severely compromised in the event of an accident. Hence, passengers were more likely to have serious chest injuries in the event of a side impact. That it fell short of certification standards to the point that the Service was illegal. Because of this, Hyundai discontinued the Accent in 1999, and it joined the ranks of other unsuccessful cars that had the potential to improve upon the dismal Excel but ultimately did not.
- 2003 Hyundai Tiburon - The Hyundai Tiburon 2003 was just a poorly made vehicle overall. In any case, the fact that nine separate references were made to remembering it is indicative of its significance. The front lower control arms of the Tiburon rusted from road salt, which caused the suspension to break. This weakened and punctured the control arms, increasing the risk of an accident and subsequent injuries to the passengers.
- 2004 Hyundai Accent - Even before reaching 100,000 miles on the road, Hyundai Accent 2004 owners experienced total gearbox failure. It was necessary to replace the transmission entirely as the only option. This was not only a waste of money but also did little to improve the company's reputation as an untrustworthy foreign brand, which persisted throughout the decade of the 2000s. The overdrive on the 2004 Hyundai Accent reportedly failed certain customers.
- 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe - The 2008 Santa Fe was recalled eight times due to problems with the airbag deployment mechanism not detecting individuals of smaller sizes. Almost every owner has had problems with the fuel level sensor, and the fuel gauge itself has consistently been wrong. When you include the stalled engine and the leaky gaskets, Hyundai and its unfortunate customers were stuck with a dreadful vehicle.
- 2011 Hyundai Sonata - The Hyundai Sonata, which was first launched to the U.S. market in 1989, has not fared particularly well in recent years. Yet 2011 was the worst year ever for the automobile, with hundreds of buyers complaining about the car's temperamental motor. The 2011 Hyundai Sonata's engine randomly stopped and seized in the midst of the drive while also making an annoying amount of noise and guzzling oil like there was no tomorrow. Several of the models really started burning.
- 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe - For a while, it seemed like the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe was the next in a long series of Hyundai automobiles plagued by engine issues. Unfortunately, the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe often had total engine failure. There was a significant increase in the likelihood of crashing when the engine suddenly froze and halted. Electrical issues, including the key fob often failing to unlock the doors, were also noted with the car.
- 2013 Hyundai Elantra - Even though the current edition of the Hyundai Elantra is one of the company's strongest models, the previous generation was a disaster for buyers and Hyundai's reputation. It wasn't only that the engine often stopped working altogether; it also ticked noisily and constantly. Owners also noted severe shaking and vibrations coming from the powertrain. A number of 2013 Elantra owners complained that their vehicles lacked acceleration and that even tyres with minimal usage wore out quickly and blew.
- 2013 Hyundai Elantra G.T. - When it was out in 2013, the Hyundai Elantra GT was the newest model available from Hyundai. However, it meant the automobile wasn't very refined, and it showed. The engine, the handling, and the electrics of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra G.T. were problematic. In addition to the constant and obnoxious ticking sounds emanating from the engine, owners have other complaints. The engine itself was jerky and regularly stopped.
- 2015 Hyundai Genesis - In spite of the fact that the current Genesis is among the top vehicles offered by the manufacturer, the 2015 model year wasn't quite as fantastic as its predecessors. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis had several electrical and battery problems, and many owners reported that the engine would not turn over or start. If you're pleased with the current Genesis and were considering settling for an earlier model, you'll be devastated to learn that the 2015 Genesis had a slew of problems with its interior accessories and its gearbox.
The first South Korean automobile, the Pony, was introduced in 1975. Its design was penned by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign, while its motor was developed by Mitsubishi Motors of Japan.
In 1988, with the production of the midsize Sonata, the business started making vehicles using its own technologies. The business made significant strides towards technical autonomy in 1991 when it unveiled its first unique gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, and its own gearbox.
Safety and reliability
While earlier Hyundai models had questionable quality and dependability, they are now among the most dependable cars on the market.
Early Hyundai models are not well regarded for their dependability. Prior to now, Hyundai was hardly a notable automaker. However, over the last ten years, Hyundai has reversed this trend by introducing luxurious but reasonably priced automobiles. In addition, Hyundai keeps upsetting the industry with high safety rankings.
Hyundai is rated fourth out of 32 auto manufacturers, with a dependability score of 4.0 out of 5.0, by RepairPal. Hyundai ownership is also quite affordable, with yearly repair expenditures for both planned and unscheduled maintenance totalling $468. That's a lot less than the $652 national average for all car models.
Elantra, Santa Fe, and Sonata are three of the Hyundai vehicles with the highest complaints on CarComplaints.com. Each of the three vehicles has received over a thousand NHTSA complaints. That being said, it's also possible that they are well-liked Hyundai models.
During the 1995 Seoul Motor Show, the brand-new hybrid-electric FGV-1 with full-time electric propulsion technology was presented. Hyundai's first tests with hybrid propulsion systems in 1994 led to the 1995 FGV-1. The second vehicle manufactured was the FGV-2. The business employs a "parallel" design that makes use of either an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. Others include the Hyundai Accent HEV and Elantra HEV, which were introduced in 1999 and 2000, respectively.
The Sonata Electric Vehicle, created by Hyundai in 1991, was the industry's first all-electric vehicle. The vehicle was initially based on the Sonata saloon.
2008 saw the start of Hyundai's mass production of hybrid electric automobiles. Instead of lithium-ion batteries, the business uses the hybrid blue drive, which uses lithium polymer batteries.
Hyundai unveiled the Ioniq five-door liftback to compete with the Toyota Prius in 2016. Ion and unique are combined to form the name Ioniq. Being the first car without a "standard" internal combustion engine only version, it is available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric versions.
The Ioniq 5, a midsize crossover, will debut in early 2021 as the first of the three new worldwide models, according to the company. The Ioniq 6 sedan and the Ioniq 7, a large SUV, will come after it in late 2022 and early 2024, respectively. Numbers will be used to identify new models, with even numbers designating sedans and odd numbers designating SUVs.
The Ioniq 6, which will make its European debut in the second half of 2022, and the Ioniq 7, which is anticipated to enter production in 2024, are presently being added to Hyundai's full-electric portfolio.