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The Hyundai Motor Company (Hangul: 현대자동차; hanja: 現代自動車; RR: Hyeondae Jadongcha listen; Hangul: 현대; hanja: 現代; MR: Hyŏndae, IPA: [hjə́ːndɛ], modernity; KRX: 005380) is a South Korean multinational automotivemanufacturer headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The company was founded in 1967 and, along with its 32.8% owned subsidiary, Kia Motors, together comprise the Hyundai Motor Group, which is the world’s fifth largest automaker based on annual vehicle sales in 2012.[needs update] In 2008, Hyundai Motor (without Kia) was ranked as the eighth largest automaker. As of 2012, the Company sold over 4.4 million vehicles worldwide in that year, and together with Kia, total sales were 7.12 million.
Hyundai is currently the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. Hyundai operates the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea, which has an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units. The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships and showrooms.
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. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull in February 1974, the former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland. He in turn hired five other top British car engineers. They were Kenneth Barnett body design, engineers John Simpson and Edward Chapman, John Crosthwaite ex-BRM as chassis engineer and Peter Slater as chief development engineer. 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 1984, Hyundai exported the Pony to Canada, but not to the United States, because the Pony didn’t pass emissions standards there. Canadian sales greatly exceeded expectations, and it was at one point the top-selling car on the Canadian market. In 1985, the one millionth Hyundai car was built.