History of Hyundai Motor Company in the U.S.

Hyundai sold its first car, the Excel, in the U.S. in 1986. From that small foothold, the company continued to develop vehicles with improved quality, performance, and ultimately acceptance. Today, Hyundai Motor Company has about two percent of the U.S. market in the first thirty-five years of business.

The Hyundai Motor Company Story

Founded in 1947 by Chung Ju-Yung as the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company the Hyundai Motor Company was officially formed in 1967 from the original beginning of the parent Hyundai company. Hyundai Motor Company grew to be the auto sales leader in the Korean market and now exports to 190 countries.

Hyundai's timing to enter the U.S. market in 1986 was a stroke of luck. The U.S. automobile manufacturers were focusing on high-priced vehicles leaving the entry-level market wide open. Many first-time car buyers included young families and college students who found the Hyundai Excel within their economic means. The Excel attained astonishing sales of 100,000 vehicles in the first seven months of introduction. Quite a remarkable accomplishment when considering Hyundai only had dealers in 31 states.

Today, the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing company is operated by Hyundai Motor Company in Korea. The 2.8-mile oval test track was completed in 1996. Also, at that same time, a new $40 million wind tunnel testing facility was completed. That year was a benchmark year for Hyundai Motor Company when production began at the state-of-the-art plant.

Hyundai Motor Company now operates multiple research centers in Korea as well as across the world. Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. is located in Ann Arbor, MI, and California is the Hyundai California Design Center location in Fountain Valley, CA.

The Hyundai technology centers have an annual budget based upon 5 percent of revenues and employ about 4,000 employees. These technology centers' research projects include:

  • Low-emission gasoline engines.

  • Solar-powered vehicles.

  • Electric-powered vehicles.

  • Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.

The California Design Center began in 1990 and focused on cutting-edge design concepts and actual production vehicle designs. The design center created the first generation Tiburon sport coupe and the Santa Fe SUV. These production vehicles were built after design concepts, including the HCD-6 hybrid sport utility vehicle and the HCD-7 luxury sedan.

Visit our dealership to discover more about the exciting models offered today by Hyundai Motor Company. You will be glad you did, and take one for a test drive.