Hyundai: Green Innovation
When Japan exited Korea after the Second World War, that's when Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung entered the picture. As you know, Korea was under Japanese rule before the war ended. Naturally, Koreans didn't like it since Japan imposed a lot of restrictions on the nation, which limited its growth. The end of the war signaled Korea's liberation. It also opened the door for reconstruction and industrialization, which Chung Ju-yung was heavily involved in since Hyundai was initially an engineering and construction company. After attaining success due to several key projects, Chung expanded his business in 1967 by establishing the Hyundai Motor Company. Hyundai released its first car in the following year and the company has been manufacturing automobiles ever since.
Through key innovations, Hyundai has transformed itself from being known as a
cheap automotive brand into one of the world's best automotive brands. Hyundai was even ranked second in initial automotive quality by a study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates in 2004. The company also belongs to the prestigious list of the top 100 most valuable brands in the world.
Hyundai's more notable innovations in the past few years involve of eco technology. As you're aware, the world is getting more and more environmentally conscious by the day, and Hyundai knows that it has to do its part in protecting the environment. Described below are some of Hyundai's
Low Emission Vehicles
One of Hyundai's main goals is to be able to produce cars that generate zero carbon dioxide. For the meantime, Hyundai offers a variety of fuel-efficient, hybrid, and electric vehicles. The Hyundai Elantra LPI Hybrid, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and the Hyundai BlueOn are examples of those.
Aside from its goal of building zero emission automobiles, Hyundai also strives to produce vehicles that are as recyclable as possible. In fact, recycling is now part of the design process of Hyundai cars. The company continues to work not only on improving recyclable materials, but also on technology that makes recycling old car components more efficient. Needless to say, the brand has shied away from materials that are known to be dangerous to both the human health and the environment.
How Hyundai Charmed America
When Hyundai first came to American shores in 1986, it didn't exactly "wow" the automotive market. The Hyundai Excel, the brand's first offering in the U.S., sold very well though because of its cheap price tag. However, the Excel's sales gradually dipped after more and more Americans became aware of its reliability issues. Excels breaking down was very common back then, you see. Naturally, this hurt Hyundai's reputation. Dealerships started abandoning the brand. Hyundai even became the butt of jokes during this time-yes, that's what happens when you're known as a
Turning It Around
cheap car brand.
America's initial perception of Hyundai didn't dampen the brand's spirits though. Instead, it caused the opposite of that. As a response to all the negative feedback, Hyundai turned its attention on research. The company heavily invested in the development of its vehicles-both performance-wise and design-wise-and in the improvement of its manufacturing processes.
Of course, Hyundai's hard work paid off as Americans started to forget the brand's old reputation. The
cheap car image was erased and Hyundai slowly started to become known for affordable quality vehicles. In fact, the brand eventually became a perennial fixture in the top end of J.D. Power and Associates' quality rankings.
After addressing quality issues, Hyundai concentrated on its marketing. After all, the brand's development efforts would be put to waste if no one knew about its line of automobiles. In order to encourage consumer purchase, Hyundai started offering a 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty, which was otherwise known as the
Hyundai Challenge. Many regard this as one of the main reasons why Hyundai rose to the top.
When America's economy wasn't doing so well in the late 2000s, Hyundai instituted a rather unique return policy. The policy allowed buyers who were laid off due to the poor economy to return their recently purchased Hyundai cars-no extra payment or whatnot involved. That move endeared Hyundai to Americans even more and translated to record sales figures amidst the bad economy.