A Brief History About Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai Genesis Concept car 2014

2014 Hyundai Genesis Concept Car

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Motor Group, which was ranked as the world’s fifth-largest automaker since 2007 and includes over two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates.

Hyundai Motor, which exported its first independently-made vehicle, the Pony, in 1976, now exports over one million high-quality vehicles ranging from sedans, SUVs, trucks and buses.

In 2010, Hyundai Motor sold about 3.6 million cars worldwide, up 16.3 percent from 2009.

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s largest automaker, sold 659,565 cars in the Korean domestic market in 2010, reaching a market share of about 45 percent. Outside Korea, the company sold about 2.9 million cars in 2010 in over 186 countries through some 5,300 dealers.

Global Operations

Employing over 78,000 people worldwide, Hyundai Motor is implementing a new global policy aimed at localization. This includes product development, design, sales, marketing, and consumer services to satisfy local customers’ tastes as well as that of the global market.

Currently Hyundai Motor has six overseas plants in the U.S., India, China, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Russia. The company will add a seventh plant by 2012, in Brazil. Hyundai Motor today has a combined global production capacity of about 3.91 million units a year (Korea Domestic: 1.86 million / Overseas: 2.05 million).Koo

Korea Production

Hyundai has three plants in Korea that have a combined capacity of about 1.86 million units a year. The plants are located in Ulsan, Asan and Jeonju.

The Ulsan plant is the world’s single largest automobile plant. The mammoth-sized Ulsan complex sits on 1,200 acres and is Hyundai Motor’s main production plant, comprising five independent plants. It employs over 34,000 workers capable of producing 5,600 vehicles daily. The plant also has its own port where up to three 42,000 ton ships can anchor at the same time. The plant is the birthplace of the Korean automobile industry and is a self-contained facility that operates its own fire station, hospital and security vehicles. The plant is also equipped with cutting-edge facilities to protect the environment, such as a waste water and sewage treatment facilities securing Hyundai Motor’s position as an eco-friendly company.

The Asan Plant, which mainly produces passenger vehicles for export, rests on 440 acres with a 4 million sq. ft. building that consists of production lines for machine press, auto frames, paint, assembly, engine and a materials plant. It is an entirely self-contained, independent automobile production complex that is capable of producing 260,000 mid- to large-size passenger vehicles annually.

The Jeonju Plant occupies a total of 317 acres of land and has 4.3 million sq. ft. in production space. It specializes in producing mid- to large-sized buses of 2.5 tons or more, trucks, and specialty vehicles. The Jeonju plant is capable of producing 70,000 units per year and in terms of the plant’s scale, it is deemed to be the world’s largest commercial vehicle production plant.

Overseas Production


Hyundai Motor Alabama PlantIn May 2005, Hyundai Motor opened a $1.1 billion plant in Alabama, the company’s first North American manufacturing facility, which is also its most technologically advanced. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), which has a maximum capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year, began operations in 2006 with the production of the Sonata sedan. The plant started producing Santa Fe sport utility vehicles in the spring of 2006.

Within one year, HMMA reached 10th place in the product quality category among 37 plants in North America. In 2008, HMMA was chosen as the most productive plant in North America in the Midsize CUV category, for its Santa Fe model. HMMA took 22.6 hours to complete a Santa Fe, one of Hyundai’s best-selling SUVs. The Santa Fe is now produced at the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia facility in West Point, Georgia. Currently, HMMA produces the all-new Sonata and Elantra.

HMMA brings Hyundai Motor’s commitment to the North American market full circle. Since 2001, Hyundai Motor has invested more than $200 million in design and testing facilities throughout the U.S. With a $30 million design center in Irvine, Calif., a $60 million proving ground in the Mojave Desert in California, and a $117 million technical center in Ann Arbor, Mich., Hyundai Motor is able to bring vehicles to life from design, to testing and now to production, in the United States.


Hyundai Motor India (HMI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor, is the second-largest carmaker in India. Hyundai opened its second plant in India in February 2008, a decade after it began operations in the country. The US$1 billion new plant, which was completed in a record 13 months, doubles Hyundai Motor’s capacity in India to 600,000 units a year. The new plant is located within the same 525 acre plot in Sriperumbudur, in the state of Tamil Nadu, adjacent to the first plant.

The new plant is dedicated largely to the production of Hyundai Motor’s latest offerings in India — the i20 and the i10, winner of the most prestigious ‘Car of the Year’ awards from the leading automotive magazines and TV channels like Business Standard Motoring, CNBC-TV18, NDTV Car & Bike and Overdrive magazine.

Building the i10 (A-segment) and i20 (B-segment) cars for world markets, the Indian subsidiary is Hyundai’s de facto global hub for small car production.

In 2009, Hyundai opened a US$25 million R&D center in HITECH City in Hyderabad, India. The new facility will enable Hyundai to respond even more quickly to changing customer needs across the world and will serve as an important platform for the development of compact cars.


Beijing Hyundai Motor Company (BHMC), a 50-50 joint venture between Hyundai Motor and Beijing Automotive Holdings, was established in 2002. It began operations in China by producing Sonata in December 2002 and in 2003, its first full year of sales reached 52,129 units, making Beijing Hyundai China’s thirteenth largest automaker. Sales soared to 144,088 units in 2004 and by 2005, sales had catapulted to 233,668 units making Beijing Hyundai China’s fourth best selling brand.

In February 2008, Beijing Hyundai Motor Company (BHMC) set a record by surpassing one million units in cumulative production in just five years and two months, the shortest period among automobile companies in China. In the same year, Hyundai added a second plant to BHMC, doubling its production capacity to 600,000 units and is now in the process of building its No. 3 plant, which will boost production to 1 million units by 2012.

In 2010, Beijing Hyundai’s sales rose 23.3 percent to 704,441 units from 571,234 units in 2009. Beijing Hyundai currently builds nine models: EF Sonata, Ling Xiang (NF Sonata), Elantra, Yuedong (China-exclusive Elantra model), i30, Tucson, ix35, Accent and Verna.


Hyundai Motor began operations at its Turkey plant, located in northwestern Turkey, from July 1997. The plant, Hyundai Assan Otomotive Sanayi Ve Ticaret (HAOS), was expanded in 2006 and produces the Accent and Matrix vehicles. Starting from May 2010, the plant also began production of the i20. The facilities’ maximum capacity is 100,000 units per year.


Hyundai Motor began construction of its 1.1 billion euro manufacturing plant in Nosovice, Czech Republic in April 2007 and began production in November 2008. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech (HMMC), a fully-owned subsidiary of Seoul-based Hyundai Motor, has a production capacity of 300,000 units per year. The plant manufactures Hyundai’s first exclusive European model, the i30 and i30 CW (Cross Wagon).

As part of its preparations to better serve the needs of its European customers, Hyundai Motor invested $50 million Euros in a European Design and Technical Center in Russelsheim, Germany which designed the i30 and estate wagon. In 2007, it opened a new European sales and marketing headquarters in Offenbach, Germany to better support local sales. The Czech plant is the final link in the chain providing Hyundai Motor with the full range of local capabilities to serve the European market from design and engineering, to production, marketing, sales and after-service.


Hyundai MotHyundai Motor Russia Plantor in June 2008 began construction of its plant in St. Petersburg to establish a local production and sales base in Russia, which will be a stepping stone to expansion in the CIS and Eastern Europe.

Hyundai invested a total of US$500 million in Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Russia (HMMR), which officially began production in January 2011. HMMR, the first by a foreign automaker in Russia to employ “full-cycle” manufacturing, will reach a maximum capacity of 200,000 units by 2012. The plant, which will include storage facilities and a shipping area, was built on an area of about 2 million square meters. The floor space takes up about 83,000 square meters.

HMMR currently produces the Solaris, which features Hyundai’s eye-catching fluidic-sculpture design and innovative features to meet Russia’s demanding climate.


Hyundai will start construction on its seventh overseas plant in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo state in February 2011, to bring its manufacturing presence in so-called BRIC countries to full circle.

Hyundai, which is investing a total of US$600 million in Hyundai Motor Brazil (HMB), aims to start production at its new plant in the second half of 2012, eventually reaching a maximum capacity of 150,000 units annually. The first model to be produced at HMB will be a new B-segment car specifically designed for the Central & South American markets, while other models will be added according to market conditions.

The plant, which is located 160 km northwest of Sao Paulo city, will be built on a 1.39 million square meter site, while the plant will have a floor space of 69,000 square meters, featuring complete vehicle production facilities such as stamping, welding, painting, assembly and module lines.

The Hyundai Motor Company Founding Chairman

The Hyundai Motor Company Founding Chairman

Hyundai’s Founding Chairman
Chung Ju-Yung – 1915 – 2001

Chung Ju-Yung was born in North Korea in 1915 as the eldest son of a poor peasant farming family. At the age of 18, he set off for good to Seoul with hopes of finding a better life.

Success was not immediate. He worked in various jobs, such as railway construction, bookkeeping and dock work. Mr. Chung’s first experience as an entrepreneur came in 1938 when he started his own rice store. However, he was forced to close his business a year later because of the policies of the Japanese occupation forces. After the liberation of Korea in World War II, Mr. Chung went into business repairing trucks for U.S. Armed Forces. He then went into the engineering and construction business, eventually building multibillion-dollar mega-projects around the world.

His venture into the shipbuilding business is legendary. Despite a lack of experience in shipbuilding, he persuaded a customer to give him an order to build a ship for tens of millions of dollars. Now the company that he started is the largest shipbuilder in the world.

By sheer force of effort and creativity, Mr. Chung built businesses that helped make Korea the economic powerhouse that it is today. From humble beginnings, he rose to great heights. But even at the peak of his success, he remained disciplined, lived simply and worked hard.

In his final years, he turned his efforts toward the reunification of Korea. This son of a farmer sought to open avenues of communication between the North and South Korean governments and between the people, north and south. In private talks with leaders, in cross-border business ventures and in grand gestures, such as driving 1000 cattle back to North Korea, he helped bring hope back to the most cherished goal of reuniting the Korean people. It may well be that this final act of kindness and concern, while acting as an ambassador of peace, may be viewed by history as Mr. Chung’s greatest achievement.

Our Honorary Founding Chairman had many great philosophies that he lived by, but the one that we should all remember is: “It is failures rather than successes that teach us invaluable lessons – It is not necessary to remember one’s success. That should be remembered by others instead. Rather, we should remember our losses and failures – Those who forget their failures will fail again and again.”

A Look Back – Hyundai Enters the U.S. Market

The timing of Hyundai’s entry into the U.S. market in 1986 was ideal. At that time, most automobile manufacturers had abandoned the entry-level market in favor of high-end, high-priced vehicles, leaving a large void in the market. First-time car buyers such as college students and young families were not able to find adequate, value-equipped cars that met their needs, yet were priced within their economic means.

In February 1986, Hyundai launched its subcompact Excel model in the U.S. market. Customer response was immediate; in just seven months Hyundai Motor America had sold its 100,000th Excel. Total 1986 sales numbered 168,882 – an industry record for an import car distributor in its first year. Hyundai sales averaged 1,431 units per dealer, another sales record. In 1987, Hyundai sales continued to soar, reaching a record of 263,610 units.

What makes this sales performance even more remarkable is that it was done with dealers located in only 31 of the 50 states. In the early years, Hyundai concentrated its sales efforts primarily on the West and East coasts, as well as in the southern states. In 1987, Hyundai expanded into the central portion of the United States, opening a central region office near Chicago. Today there are four regions and nearly 600 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Motor America

As the presence of Hyundai automobiles and Hyundai Motor America continued to grow in America, the company began to expand its operations and service networks nationwide to more effectively serve the needs of dealers and customers. In 1988, HMA opened a $21 million, 300,000 square-foot parts distribution center in Ontario, CA, to facilitate parts deliveries to Hyundai’s expanding dealer body. The next year, HMA opened a $16.6 million, 342,000 square-foot office complex and parts distribution center in Aurora, IL. There is an additional parts distribution center in Lawrenceville, GA and a Warranty Technical Center in Fountain Valley, CA.

Today, Hyundai also has regional offices in Jamesburg, N.J., Austell, GA, Aurora, IL and Coppell, TX. In addition, the New Jersey facility also incorporates a parts distribution center.

In 1990, Hyundai Motor America moved its national headquarters from Garden Grove, CA, to a new 18-acre site in nearby Fountain Valley, CA – an investment of $18 million. In addition to corporate offices, this facility also houses HMA’s western regional office, Hyundai’s California Design Center, the National Service Center and the National Headquarters of Hyundai Motor Finance Co.

Hyundai Motor Finance Co. (HMFC) launched in 1990 with a capital investment of $15 million and 22 employees. HMFC now employs nearly 200 people and has accumulated a portfolio of nearly $500 million. Hyundai Motor Finance Co. serves Hyundai dealers nationwide with individual customer financing and dealer inventory financing. Also in 1990, HMA opened a $12.2 million port facility in Portland, Oregon. It features a large dock area, a 45,000 square-foot processing building, a holding lot for incoming cars, as well as an area for rail car and vehicle transport. Other Hyundai port facilities are located in Wilmington, CA; Brunswick, GA; Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD; and Fort Worth, TX.

A new corporation called HK Logistics America (HKLA), formed in March 2003, is now responsible for all vehicle logistics management for Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America in the U.S. HKLA is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif. and has 11 port operations (nine water ports and two inland processing centers) located in eight U.S. states.

In April of 2002, Hyundai broke ground in Montgomery, Alabama for its first U.S. automobile assembly plant, a $1 billion investment that is scheduled to open in 2005 and employ nearly 2,000 people. The facility, to be built on 1,600 acres, is expected to assemble 300,000 vehicles per year. The first two vehicles scheduled to be produced in the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) assembly plant are the revised Sonata and Santa Fe models.

In February of 2003, the new $25 million state-of-the-art Hyundai-Kia Motors Design & Research Center opened in Irvine, California. The 90,000 square foot design and technical center houses 100 auto designers, engineers, model makers and technicians, many who were responsible for design successes such as Hyundai’s Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle and its HCD-6 and HCD-7 concept vehicles, as well as Kia’s KCD-1/Slice concept vehicle.

Also in early 2003, a ceremonial groundbreaking event was held for the new Hyundai/Kia proving ground in the California desert near Edwards Air Force Base. This testing facility is scheduled to be constructed in the next two years.

After 25 years in the U.S. automobile market, Hyundai continues to reinforce its commitment to sell innovative, high-quality vehicles at the most affordable prices.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 800 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

Source: Hyundai  Motor Company