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Hyundai: Humble Beginnings, Proud History

Manufacturers  ·  September 3, 2020

Hyundai: Humble Beginnings, Proud History

Hyundai has built itself a formidable reputation in the global car industry. The South Korean automaker began as a company that produced cheap cars, relying heavily on other carmakers for their engines and most car parts.

After decades in the industry, Hyundai vehicles can now be found all over the world and are loved for offering high value for money. Hyundai's current reputation among car buyers comes from how their cars include features typically found only in high-end vehicles. That includes things like heated seats and leather interiors, but without the sky-high price tags.

In this article, we're going to give this car company the recognition it deserves by taking a closer look at Hyundai’s history and achievements in the global car industry. 

Hyundai's Proud History

Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Motor Company in 1967. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, the multinational car company leads the Hyundai Motor Group.

One reason why you can find Hyundai cars on streets worldwide is that the company runs regional operations covering most parts of the world. Their reach spans North America (US & Canada), South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania (Australia & New Zealand).

Hyundai also has an extensive manufacturing network across the world. Three of its plants are located domestically in South Korea. Beyond the country's borders, Hyundai has also set up manufacturing plants in the United States, China, India, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia, and even as far as Brazil. Each plant focuses on producing what they call 'strategic models'. These are Hyundai models that are in-demand for particular countries.

The company has invested immensely into pursuing environmentally friendlier automotive practices. For instance, they have collaborated with Chevron Corporation to build hydrogen fueling stations in California. It has also worked on an environmental project called the 'Hyundai Green Zone' somewhere north of Beijing, China.

More importantly, Hyundai continues to produce electric and hybrid vehicles through the brands owned by Hyundai. Today, the company is said to be the third biggest vehicle manufacturer in the world, right after Toyota and Volkswagen.

Hyundai Cars

There are so many Hyundai models on the road, consisting both personal and commercial vehicles. They come in all types - hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, vans, and even sports cars. Some of the popular nameplates you must have heard of are the SonataSanta FeTucson, and so many more.

Depending on which part of the world you're from, you may have even seen Hyundai's commercial vehicles in the form of buses and heavy trucks.

In terms of its ‘green’ offerings, Hyundai has been producing pure electric cars since 1991. Recently, it launched the Ioniq EV brand, a spin-off of its Ioniq model. Under this EV brand, the South Korean carmaker will be releasing three newer models in 2021, 2022, and 2024.

The Hyundai Conglomerate

The Hyundai Motor Company is part of a much larger conglomerate. You can find the Hyundai name on other companies such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, Hyundai Development Company, Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance, and even Hyundai Department Store Group.

Together, they form Korea's second-largest conglomerate, right next to Samsung Group.

Hyundai Makes Its Own Engines

Even though Hyundai had been producing cars for a long time, it only started building its own engines in 1991. Back when they first started doing that, they were only building simple four-cylinder engines. That was done for their cars so that they didn't have to license or buy engines from Japanese manufacturers like Mitsubishi.

Hyundai now builds several four and six-cylinder engines for passenger cars and also its modern version of the V8 engine. This is a significant achievement, considering that only a few decades ago, it had to rely on other carmakers. 

Today, Hyundai enjoys a very different status in the global car industry, where it supplies engine technology to the likes of Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, and yes, even its previous engine-supplier Mitsubishi.

Hyundai in Motorsports

As with many other major car companies, Hyundai also has a presence in the motorsport world.

In the late 90s, Hyundai began competing in the F2 class of the World Rally Championship. The company began by racing a rally car they built based on the subcompact Hyundai Accent.

Since then, Hyundai has been competing in the World Rally Championship around the world.

So, there you have it, a brief introduction to Hyundai's impressive history. To learn more about Hyundai and other car brands, check out 

By Ray Hasbollah

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