Hyundai History: Driving Forces of Innovation and Reliability

Discover Hyundai’s Legacy: Hyundai History:

1967-1970 – The birth

In 1967 Hyundai Motor Company was founded. A year later, the company began to work under Ford’s license with its technology and development in the assembly of the Cortina model.

1971-1981 – Production and first exports

In 1975 the Pony, the first 100% Hyundai vehicle, was presented at the Turin Motor Show. Designed and developed by the Korean brand in collaboration with Mitsubishi and Italdesign bodybuilder, it has rear-wheel drive. A year later, the company acquired Asia Motors and began to export its first model to Ecuador. Already in 1977, the export extended to El Salvador and Guatemala.

1981-1990 – The Ulsan track was created.

The manufacturer signed a collaboration agreement with Mitsubishi in 1981 for technological development. Two years later, it began exports to Canada and inaugurated the Ulsan test track (1984). Subsequently, Hyundai Motor America was founded (1985), which made it possible for Excel to enter the North American market. The launch of the front-wheel-drive subcompact coincides with that of the Grandeur in Korea. Two years later, in 1988, the Sonata was born.

1991-2000 – The brand arrives in Spain.

After the launch of the Lantra and the presentation of Sonata Electric (the brand’s first 100% electric car) in March 1992, the importation of Hyundai into Spain began. The models available at the 18 service points are Lantra, S-Coupe, and Sonata. Two years later, the Accent replaced the Pony, and the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles began. In this sense, the California Design Center unveiled the HCD2 prototype (1993), and a year later, it developed the brand’s first solar car. 1996 saw the launch of the Hyundai Coupé, one of the brand’s most significant commercial successes.

In Spain, the brand reaches 14,000 units sold and opens a modern after-sales centre in San Agustín de Guadalix (Madrid) to improve customer service (1997). The manufacturer opens a plant in Turkey and launches the Atos, a vehicle that it considers conceptually revolutionary. Likewise, it creates the one-brand Hyundai Festival circuit cup in Spain, with the Accent as the protagonist.

The following year begins with the development of the aluminum V6 Delta engine. The company continues its international expansion: it opens another factory in India. It acquires Kia Motors to be among the five most prominent automakers in the world in 10 years.

The inauguration of the aeroacoustic wind tunnel -one of the largest globally- and the launch of the Hyundai Trajet -the brand’s first minivan to compete in Europe- took place in 1999. The decade closes with two notable events: the departure of the Santa Fe (Hyundai’s first SUV) and a strategic agreement with Daimler-Chrysler.

2001-2009 – International Consolidation

The Chicago Motor Show (2001) serves as the platform for the launch of the HCD-VI prototype. In addition, the alternative energy-powered Santa Fe is developed, and the Matrix is ​​launched, introducing the brand into the compact minivan segment. The Terracan is the first SUV designed and produced entirely by Hyundai.

A year later, two new models appeared in Spain (Sonata and Getz). In 2003, Hyundai Motor Europe opened its new offices near Frankfurt (Germany) and merged its Research and Development (R&D) centers with Kia.

In the national territory, Hyundai currently has 190 assistance points and sells 13 different models. At the Detroit show (2004), the Korean firm presented the HCD8, the last generation coupe, and launched the Tucson. In addition, it exhibits the E3 in Geneva, a prototype that will serve as the basis for its future C segment. The Sonata then makes an appearance in Korea. The automotive multinational continues its solid growth in foreign markets, where it increases sales substantially (2.5% in the United States and 2.1% in Europe).

The year 2005 began with the launch of a renewed Hyundai Coupe in Spain. Likewise, in response to demand, its most emblematic model, the Getz, undergoes numerous aesthetic and mechanical improvements. The ARNEJS concept car, the future C segment for the European market, is presented in Paris.

Following the inauguration of the European facilities, Hyundai – Kia Automotive Group has established itself as the sixth-largest manufacturer globally. In addition, it debuts the new Santa Fe and, in the middle of the year, the Accent (versions of three and four doors). In 2007, the successful i30, the new Coupe, and the i-blue prototype (ecological electric vehicle with zero emissions) were presented.

Finally, in 2008 Hyundai celebrated its 40th anniversary: ​​to celebrate it, take advantage of the launch of Genesis in the United States and worldwide.

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