Beginning. Hyundai Motor (the entire group also includes companies from other sectors) was established in 1967. Eight years later, the Pony model left the manufacturing facilities. The car was created in cooperation with Italians (Italdesign designed its appearance) and the Japanese (Mitsubishi provided the drive system).
Development. In 1991, the company developed independently a four-cylinder petrol engine called Alpha, which opened the door to technological independence. In 1998, Hyundai began working on changing the company's image. Since that time, this make was to be associated with the high middle class segment. A year later, Chung Mong Koo, who became the chairman of the company, made quality the company's priority. Each Hyundai car sold in the United States had a 10-year warranty (with a mileage limit of 160,000 km). In the same year, Hyundai acquired the Kia make. In 2000, the Koreans allied with DaimlerChrysler and ended their cooperation with the Hyundai Group. In 2004, DaimlerChrysler sold its shares in Hyundai.
Present. In 2006, Chung Mong Koo was charged with embezzlement and other corruption charges, which he was suspected of committing while he was Hyundai's boss. On 28 April 2006, Chung was arrested and accused of embezzling an equivalent of 106 million dollars. The world sales of the group were 2.5 million cars in 2005 and reached nearly 4 million cars in 2007 — more than Fiat, Chrysler, PSA / Peugeot, Nissan and Honda. In 2009, Hyundai sold over 3 million cars, of which nearly 2.5 million were exported (including 570,000 to China). In 2009, sales went up by approximately 23% in South Korea (up to 701,000 cars). In 2010, the company sold 5.4 million cars globally and it is planning on increasing its manufacturing capacity to 6.5 million cars. At present, Hyundai cars are sold in 193 countries from approximately 5,000 dealer showrooms. According to a 2009 study, Hyundai is currently the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world. Its brand value is estimated at 4.5 billion dollars. The public perception of the Hyundai brand has been considerably changed owing to the quality on which the company focused.
Trivia. Since 2002, Hyundai has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup.
The most popular models are: Hyundai Pony, Hyundai Atos/Atoz/Santro, Hyundai Click/Getz/Getz Prime/TB, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Sonata/i45, Hyundai Elantra/Avante/Lantra, Hyundai i10/i20/i30.
Tyres. Hyundai, as one of the largest car manufacturers in the world, cooperates with a large number of tyre manufacturers. It uses Bridgestone, Hankook and Michelin tyres, amongst others. A few examples: The Hyundai i10 was equipped with Hankook K715 and K415 tyres, the Hyundai i30 was equipped with Hankook K415 and S400 tyres, the Hyundai Elantra was equipped with Hankook K415 and S400 tyres, the Hyundai Sonata was equipped with Hankook K406 tyres, and the Hyundai Accent was equipped with Michelin Energy tyres, just like the Hyundai Lantra or Verna.