The beginning of Hyundai Motor Company dates to April 1946 when founder, Ju-Yung Chung established Hyundai Auto Service in Seoul, South Korea at the age of 31 years. The name Hyundai was chosen for its meaning which in English translates to “modern.” The Hyundai logo is symbolic of the company's desire to expand. The oval shape represents the company's global expansion and the stylized "H" is symbolic of two people (the company and customer) shaking hands
Hyundai Motor Company was founded by Ju-Yung Chung and younger brother Se-Yung Chung in December 1967. In 1968 the company entered into a contract with Ford motor company to assemble the Ford Cortina and Granada for the South Korean market and continued to produce them until 1976. Hyundai completed construction of the Ulsan plant in six months and achieved the shortest groundbreaking to first commercial production of any of Ford’s 118 plants. The eight year journey provided Hyundai with assembly knowledge, blueprints, technical specifications, production manuals, and trained Hyundai engineers.
CHUNG JU YUNG was the founder and honorary chairman of Korea's HYUNDAI BUSINESS GROUP. He was instrumental in promoting economic development and business cooperation between South and North Korea. In 1977, Chung Ju Yung established the Asan Foundation, a non-profit social welfare organization, as part of his philanthropic commitment to the improvement of social welfare services in Korea. Since its establishment, the Foundation has provided medical services for those living in areas with limited access to medical facilities, supported social welfare organizations by providing care for senior citizens and disabled children, awarded scholarships to talented students and scholars, and provided financial support for research and development programs in science and technology. In 1995, Chung Ju Yung was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University. He died in March 2001 at the age of 86.
The Hyundai Motor Company, a division of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, is the world’s fifth largest automaker in terms of units sold per year. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai operates the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, which is capable of producing 1.6 million units annually. The Hyundai logo, a slanted, stylized 'H', is said to be symbolic of two people (the company and customer) shaking hands. Hyundai means "modernity" in Korean.
Hyundai refers to a group of companies and related organizations founded by Chung Ju-yung in South Korea. The first Hyundai company was founded in 1947 as a construction company, and the Hyundai Group eventually became South Korea's largest conglomerate company (chaebol).
The best well-known Hyundai organization is the Hyundai Motor Company, the world's 5th largest automaker selling mid-sized sedans, coupes,SUVs and large vans like the Sonata, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, and the Grand Starex(Starex or H-1). Hyundai Heavy Industries is the world's largest shipbuilder, and Hynix is a top semiconductor producer. Other companies currently or formerly controlled by members of Chung's extended family may be loosely referred to as a part of the Hyundai chaebol.
The Hyundai Group underwent massive restructuring following the 1997 East Asian financial crisis and the founder's death in 2001. Today, many companies bearing the Hyundai name are legally unrelated, with each company having a different chairman. Former components include Hyundai Group, Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, Hyundai Department Store Group, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, and Hyundai Development Group. After the separation, Hyundai Group focuses on elevators, container services, and tourism to Mount Kumgang.
Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company in 1947. Hyundai Motor Company was later established in 1967. The company’s first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. In 1975, the Pony, the first Korean car, was released, with styling by Giorgio Giugiaro of ItalDesign and powertrain technology provided by Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors. Exports began in the following year to Ecuador and soon thereafter to the Benelux countries. In 1991, the company succeeded in developing its first proprietary gasoline engine, the four-cylinder Alpha, and transmission, thus paving the way for technological independence.
In 1986, Hyundai began to sell cars in the United States, and the Excel was nominated as "Best Product #10" by Fortune magazine, largely because of its affordability. The company began to produce models with its own technology in 1988, beginning with the midsize Sonata.
In 1996, Hyundai Motors India Limited was established with a production plant in Irrungattukatoi near Chennai, India.
In 1998, Hyundai began to overhaul its image in an attempt to establish itself as a world-class brand. Chung Ju Yung transferred leadership of Hyundai Motor to his son, Chung Mong Koo, in 1999. Hyundai's parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, invested heavily in the quality, design, manufacturing, and long-term research of its vehicles. It added a 10-year or 100,000-mile (160,000 km) warranty to cars sold in the United States and launched an aggressive marketing campaign.
In 2004, Hyundai was ranked second in "initial quality" in a survey/study by J.D. Power and Associates. Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands worldwide. Since 2002, Hyundai has also been one of the worldwide official sponsors of the FIFA World Cup.
In 2006, the South Korean government initiated an investigation of Chung Mong Koo's practices as head of Hyundai, suspecting him of corruption. On April 28, 2006, Chung was arrested, and charged for embezzlement of 100 billion won (US$106 million), with Hyundai Vice Chairman and CEO, Kim Dong-jin, taking over as head of the company.