Interesting facts about Hyundai

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Hyundai is the biggest South Korean automobile manufacturer and one of the top five biggest automobile companies in the world, and it has established a solid presence in the past few decades. Much like its cars, the story of Hyundai is one of robust engineering, visionary leadership, and an unwavering commitment to quality. In this post, we unveil some of the most interesting and lesser-known facts about Hyundai.

Hyundai was founded in South Korea in 1967

The Hyundai Motor Company was founded in 1967, marking the beginning of South Korea’s foray into the automotive manufacturing industry. This step represented a significant move towards technological advancement and industrial growth in the nation.

The first Hyundai model was a collaboration

Ford Cortina

Hyundai’s initial venture into car manufacturing started with the Cortina, which was produced in collaboration with Ford Motor Company in 1968. This partnership provided Hyundai with crucial insights into automotive production, paving the way for future independent designs.

Hyundai Introduced Its first independent car in 1975

Hyundai Pony

In 1975, Hyundai unveiled the Pony, its first independently designed and manufactured car. This milestone not only boosted Hyundai’s reputation in the automotive world but also put South Korea on the map as a competitive car-producing nation.

Hyundai entered the global market in the 1980s

During the 1980s, Hyundai expanded its reach beyond South Korea, beginning to export cars to international markets. This move was pivotal in establishing Hyundai as a global automotive brand known for its affordability and reliability.

The Hyundai Excel excelled in America

The Hyundai Excel, launched in the mid-1980s, became a popular choice in the U.S. market. In 2020, Hyundai was the seventh-best-selling car manufacturer in the country, ahead of brands like BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, GMC, and the like. Its success was due to its affordability and efficient performance, setting the stage for Hyundai’s growing influence in the American automotive industry.

Hyundai’s name and badge have a special meaning

Hyundai logo on a Hyundai car

The name Hyundai translates to “modernity” in Korean, a fitting title for a brand dedicated to cutting-edge technology. The slanted ‘H’ badge symbolizes a handshake between a company representative and a satisfied customer, underscoring trust and customer satisfaction.

Hyundai embraces eco-friendly technologies

Demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability, Hyundai has been at the forefront of developing eco-friendly vehicles. Their range includes electric, hybrid, and fuel cell models, reflecting a dedication to reducing environmental impact.

Hyundai has a luxury brand

Hyundai Genesis G90

Hyundai is known as a reliable, affordable brand, but do you know they also have high-end offerings? In 2015, Hyundai introduced the Genesis luxury brand, marking its entry into the premium vehicle market. This expansion showcased Hyundai’s ability to diversify and compete in various car segments, including luxury models.

Since the debut of the G90, Genesis has been synonymous with luxury and was recognized for its superior quality by J.D. Power in 2018, highlighting Hyundai’s versatility in vehicle manufacturing.

Hyundai owns the world’s largest car manufacturing plant

Hyundai’s Ulsan Factory in South Korea is a real giant in the car manufacturing world. Covering 54 million square feet, it’s the world’s largest automobile factory, churning out 1.6 million vehicles each year across more than twelve models. It’s a bustling place, too, with over 34,000 employees. While VW’s factory in Wolfsburg is bigger in size at 70 million square feet, it doesn’t match Hyundai’s Ulsan Factory in vehicle production numbers.

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Hyundai manufactures its own steel

Hyundai sets itself apart in the automotive industry by producing its own high-quality steel in South Korea. This unique capability allows the company to maintain quality control and reduce costs.

Hyundai’s first export was to Canada

Hyundai began its global expansion by exporting the Pony to Canada in 1984. This move marked the start of its journey to becoming a global automotive brand.

Hyundai is popular in Europe

Despite being an Asian brand, Hyundai vehicles are extremely popular in Europe. European markets embraced the brand, with around 90% of their cars sold there. This success has been expanding to North America as well.

They made the first mass-produced fuel-cell car

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell crossover SUV

In 2013, Hyundai launched the ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle, the world’s first commercially mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, affirming its commitment to sustainable automotive solutions.

Hyundai had a famous designer

Most people are not aware that the first model of the Hyundai Excel was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the same man who designed some famous cars, such as the BMW M1 and the Delorean DMC-12. Giorgetto has designed over 200 car models as well as firearms and cameras.

Hyundai’s cars are featured in popular video games

The Hyundai Coupe, also known as Tiburon, gained popularity as it was featured in the ‘Need for Speed’ video game series. This helped boost its appeal, especially among younger audiences.

Hyundai is the first and only automaker that uses lithium polymer batteries

Hyundai, in collaboration with Kia, stands out for using lithium polymer batteries in its electric vehicles, as opposed to the standard lithium-ion batteries used by most automakers. This technology offers higher energy content per cell and makes the batteries lighter and more compact.

Hyundai pioneered the hybrid and electric vehicle market

Hyundai’s journey into eco-friendly vehicles began in 1991 with the development of its first hybrid electric vehicle. This dedication culminated in the launch of Hyundai’s first production petrol-hybrid in 2009, marking a significant milestone in sustainable automotive technology.

Annually producing around 6 million vehicles, Hyundai is increasing its focus on hybrid, electric, and hydrogen-powered models. With this shift, Hyundai is poised to become a dominant force in the European eco-friendly vehicle market.

Sonata and Elantra lead sales

Hyundai Sonata

Despite Hyundai’s solid crossover lineup, it introduced the first generation of a popular sedan, the Hyundai Sonata, which was considered the first model to be created from scratch. However, it used a 3.0-liter V6 engine based on the Mitsubishi 6G72 that arrived in 1990. Surprisingly, it emerged as one of the company’s top sellers. The Sonata and Elantra have a combined 50% of Hyundai’s total sales – their strongest showing in the past five years.

The Hyundai Genesis and Elantra became “The North American Car of the Year”

The North American Road International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, named the Hyundai Genesis as the “North American Car of the Year” in 2009. It defeated the Ford Flex and Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Meanwhile, in 2012, Hyundai Elantra was given the same title.

Hyundai has a history with the Ford Motor Company

In 1968, Hyundai and Ford Motor Company signed an agreement to manufacture Ford vehicles in Korea, sharing the production technology of light trucks and passenger cars. This collaboration played a vital role in Hyundai’s early automotive ventures.

Hyundai broke the 10 million sales mark in the US in 2015

After under three decades, Hyundai achieved over 10 million vehicle sales in the US Hyundai first entered the US market in 1986 with the subcompact Excel. This milestone showed how Hyundai impressed many car buyers in the competitive American market, where so many brands have been established longer than Hyundai.

Hyundai’s entered motorsports in 1998

Hyundai’s motorsport journey began with the World Rally Championship in 1998. The brand has since been active in touring car championships globally, linking its racing and road car technologies.

Hyundai has production facilities all around the world

Hyundai has established production and assembly facilities in various countries, including Turkey, China, North America, India, and Brazil, showcasing its vast global reach.

Hyundai helps fight cancer

Hyundai has a nonprofit initiative, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, whose purpose is to raise money to fight and console children with pediatric cancer. In the beginning, the organization was a local initiative among New England Hyundai dealerships in 1998. Today, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has been raising over $100 million for pediatric cancer patients.

Hyundai offers numerous sponsorships

Hyundai takes part in a number of sponsorships across the globe, including the National Football League (NFL), FIFA World Cup, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Football, the Korea Football Association, UEFA Euro, the PGA Tour, and World Archery.

Hyundai’s diverse portfolio includes Kia

In a strategic move in 1997, Hyundai acquired Kia during its bankruptcy, expanding its market reach.

Global R&D centers fuel Hyundai’s innovation

To rival industry giants like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, Hyundai heavily invests in research and development. With seven R&D Centers worldwide, including three in Korea and others in Germany, Japan, India, and the USA, Hyundai ensures each center caters to specific market needs, particularly the US-exclusive facility.

Hyundai invests in future automotive innovations

Hyundai is committed to investing in future automotive technologies, such as autonomous driving and advanced safety systems. This forward-thinking approach ensures Hyundai remains a leader in automotive innovation.

Hyundai employs over 100,000 people around the world

Hyundai’s commitment to innovation and global reach is supported by its substantial workforce, employing over 100,000 people worldwide. This extensive team plays a crucial role in Hyundai’s ongoing success and international expansion.

Hyundai ranks as a top global corporation

As the second-largest company in South Korea, following Samsung, Hyundai stands tall in the global corporate arena. In 2020, Fortune Global 500 ranked Hyundai as the 84th largest corporation worldwide, a testament to its significant impact and presence in the international market.

Final Words

As we go through these facts, it’s evident that Hyundai has become a powerhouse that transcended from its humble origins to a symbol of automotive excellence. Hyundai continues to drive forward, propelled by its dedication to quality, sustainability, and technological ingenuity. As one of the world’s most influential automakers, Hyundai’s story is not just about cars – it’s about a relentless pursuit of excellence that resonates across borders and generations.

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