Hyundai Motor Company is a South Korean multinational organization that engages in the development, manufacture, and distribution of motorized vehicles. Hyundai forms the Hyundai Motor Group, together with partly-owned subsidiary Kia Motors and wholly-owned subsidiary Genesis Motor, a luxury car brand. With more than five decades experience under its belt, the organization is one of the biggest car producers globally, catering to more than 200 countries.
The organization currently operates eight research centers in Korea and four facilities overseas, including Hyundai California Design Center and Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. Hyundai invests a lot in these centers, which use the services of more than 4,000 researchers. It also operates one of the largest integrated car manufacturing facilities, located in Ulsan, Korea.
Hyundai did not start off as an automobile company. It traces its roots to the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company, a South Korea firm founded by Chung Ju-Yung in 1947 to help in the post-World War II rebuilding efforts in the country. The outbreak of the Korean War, however, pushed the entrepreneur to focus on working with the Korean Ministry of Transportation and the United Nations forces, instead.
Armed with experience gathered from repairing vehicles before and during the war, Ju-Yung established the Hyundai Motor Company in 1967. The following year saw the release of the brand's first model – the Cortina, which was based off the U.S. version of the Ford Cortina. It was not until 1974 that the company was finally able to produce its own vehicle – the "Pony," which used Mitsubishi Motor's powertrain technology. It was first offered as a four-door sedan, but Hyundai later released a pickup, three-door hatchback, and estate versions.
They Pony proved to be a success, and it eventually found its way to Canada and Ecuador. In 1986, the Pony Excel, which was marketed for the overseas market, was released in the United States. The Pony Excel lasted three generations, eventually reaching end-of-life in 2000.
During the 1980s, Hyundai started developing its own technology, with a lot of them introduced in the Hyundai Sonata. This model packed several innovative features such as a trip computer, cruise control, power seats, and headlamp washers. Hyundai would then continue producing cars with exclusive capabilities. With the continued rise in sales, Hyundai set its sights to becoming a prominent brand in the global market place, opening the Hyundai Design Center in California in 1990. It also joined the FIFA World Cup as one of the official sponsors to further boost its mind share in overseas markets.
During the 1990s, Hyundai endeavored to manufacture its very own engine. The Hyundai Scoupe, which was launched in 1993, carried the company's very first motor – a 1.3-liter four-cylinder unit. The South Korean automaker would then produce its own transmission. In the ensuing years, Hyundai would release several models that use independently manufactured Hyundai parts.
By the early 2000s, Hyundai was recognized as one of the prominent car makers worldwide. However, the company's stellar history is not without controversies. Such include the Environmental Protection Agency's discovery that 35% of Hyundai's automobiles produced from 2011 to 2013 had inflated fuel economy scores. This led Hyundai to reimburse customers who had bought the said vehicles.
Hyundai successfully overcame the controversies and to this day continues to be a major global player in automobile manufacturing.
Hyundai Motor Company (MHC) was established in 2001 by the Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc., as the official distributor of Hyundai Vehicles in the Philippines. The organization currently has a network of 42 dealerships scattered around the archipelago. About 13 dealerships are in Metro Manila, 18 are in other parts of Luzon, seven are in Visayas, and four are in Mindanao. Additionally, Hyundai Philippines maintains 10 dealerships located across the country for the brand's lineup of trucks and buses.
For the Philippine market, Hyundai makes available a comprehensive lineup of different types of automobiles. This includes the Reina, the Accent, the Veloster, and the Elantra in the passenger car space; the Santa Fe, the Tucson, and the Kona in the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment; and the Grand Starex Urban, the H-100, and the H350 in the van category. It also offers a wide range of large vehicles, namely the County, Super Aero City, and Universe buses; the HD65/72/78 and HD120 trucks, as well as the Cargo, Dump, Mixer, Tractor, Van, Construction, and Garbage trucks.
Hyundai's most popular models in the country include the Accent, H-100, the Grand Starex, and the Tucson.
The Philippines Is the first Southeast Asian nation to get the 2019 Hyundai Accent, a passenger car that comes in sedan and hatchback forms. The sedan version is available in six variants with two engine types to choose from – a 1.4 liter dual CVVT petrol attached to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission or a 1.6-liter CRDI VGT diesel powertrain paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. The hatchback, on the other hand, uses a 1.6 CRDi GL diesel engine with a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The H-100 is lightweight truck known for its generous space and affordable price tag. It sports a single multi-cab that can seat up to three people and can carry up to 1,000 kg of cargo. It is offered in two variants – one that comes with air-conditioning and another without. Both options run on 2.6-liter natural aspirated diesel engine that is attached to a five-speed manual transmission.
The Grand Starex is a versatile van that can be used as a favorite family van or for business purposes. It is spacious enough to carry up to ten passengers, with the latest iteration carrying several features aimed at improving comfort and ride quality for passengers. This model comes with two engine options. One is a 2.5-liter TCI engine that is available only in a five-speed manual transmission. The other is a 2.5-liter CRDi powertrain that is attached to a five-speed automatic transmission. The Tucson is a compact SUV that boasts of great build quality, attractive styling and powerful hardware. It comes in two engine variants – a 2.0-liter CRDi diesel unit offered in either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox and a Nu 2.0-liter Mpi gasoline engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Some may have reservations about its limited safety features in the base model, although more advanced measures such as Electronic Stability Control, rear parking system and Immobilizer are available in the top trip.
Worth mentioning too is the Eon, which was one Hyundai's best sellers in the Philippines in 2018, although it does not appear as part of the organization's product lineup anymore. It is one of the smallest cars that the automaker has ever produced, making it an ideal daily commuter to navigate the Metro Manila city traffic. With an affordable price tag, it has been one of the most popular nameplates in the Philippines. This diminutive car uses a three-cylinder 814cc petrol-powered engine that delivers decent fuel efficiency in most driving situations.
For the full year 2018, Hyundai had a global car sales of 1.7 million units, a four percent increment from the preceding year. Of this figure, about 58 percent represented exports. Passenger cars were the biggest contributor, generating 44.8% of the total sales volume. Within this segment, the Avante (AD) sold the most number at more 200,000 units. These figures exclude complete knocked-down (CKD) products.
Recreational vehicles were Hyundai's second biggest car segment, making up 41% of the total sales volume. Tucson TL which chipped in close to 300,000 cars followed closely by Kona which generated more than 200,000 units were the top sellers in this space.
Commercial vehicles comprised 15 percent of the total sales volume, with LCV as the more popular model. In the Philippines, Hyundai had an automobile sales volume of 25,440 units for the first nine months of 2018. This reflects a 7.3% drop from a year-on-year standpoint, largely due to the imposition of higher excise tax on motorized vehicles and fuel in accordance with the TRAIN law. Much of the drop stemmed from passenger cars, which contributed 60% of the total sales. Interestingly, sales of light commercial vehicles, which include the Kona, the Tucson, the Santa Fe, the Grand Starex, and the H-100, was on a positive trajectory, reflecting the local car buyers' shift in preference. The best selling model during the period was the Accent, which sold more than 11,172 units. Meanwhile, the H-100 topped in the light commercial vehicle segment.
As a forward-looking organization, Hyundai has adopted a design philosophy that it will apply to its future vehicles. Based on a principle which it dubs as "Sensuous Sportiness," the design direction applies Hyundai's specific preferences when it comes to proportion, styling, architecture, and technology. Such was demonstrated by a concept car called "Le Fil Rouge," which was presented at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
Hyundai allocates five percent of revenues for research and development purposes. Current endeavors include low-emission gasoline engines, electric-powered vehicles, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles, solar-powered cars, and other alternative fuel vehicles.
It also conducts intense research surrounding vehicle safety, among other things. Such studies cover development of a monitoring system for driver distraction, parking collision warning – reverse warning system, autonomous emergency stop system, and pedestrian active warning system. It also researches on car-to-car frontal impact, bumper structure development, and pedestrian protection, among other things.