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Hyundai Motor Company was established in 1967 by Chung Ju-Yung. The company's first model, the Cortina (picture on right), was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. When Hyundai wanted to develop their own car, they hired George Turnbull, 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 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.
Hyundai was founded as a small construction firm by Chung Ju-yung in 1947. Hyundai Construction began operating outside of South Korea in 1965, initially entering the markets of Guam, Thailand and Vietnam. Hyundai Motor Company was founded in 1967. Hyundai Heavy Industries was founded in 1973, and completed the construction of its first ships in June 1974. In 1983 Hyundai entered the semiconductor industry through the establishment of Hyundai Electronics (renamed Hynix in 2001). Hyundai announced a major management restructuring in December 1995, affecting 404 executives.
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In April 1999 Hyundai announced a major corporate restructuring, involving a two-thirds reduction of the number of business units and a plan to break up the group into five independent business groups by 2003.
In 1998, after a shake-up in the Korean auto industry caused by overambitious expansion and the Asian financial crisis, Hyundai acquired rival Kia Motors. In 2000, the company established a strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler and severed its partnership with the Hyundai Group. In 2001, the Daimler-Hyundai Truck Corporation was formed. In 2004, however, DaimlerChrysler divested its interest in the company by selling its 10.5% stake for $900 million. Hyundai has invested in manufacturing plants in the North America, India, Czech Republic, Pakistan, China and Turkey as well as research and development centers in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Pacific Rim. In 2004, Hyundai Motor Company had $57.2 billion in sales in South Korea making it the country's second largest corporation, or chaebol. Worldwide sales in 2005 reached 2,533,695 units, an 11 percent increase over the previous year. In 2011, Hyundai sold 4.05 million cars worldwide and the Hyundai Motor Group was the world's fourth largest automaker behind GM, Volkswagen and Toyota - a distinction it earned when it surpassed Ford Auto Group in 2009. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships. The Hyundai brand power continues to rise as it was ranked 65th in the 2007 Best Global Brands by Interbrand and BusinessWeek survey, with brand value estimated at $5.0 billion. Public perception of the Hyundai brand has been transformed as a result of dramatic improvements in the quality of Hyundai vehicles. As of 2011, it is the world's fastest growing car brand for two years running.
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The Hyundai Genesis is a full-size luxury car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai since 2008. It was initially introduced as a concept car in the 2007 New York International Auto Show. Hyundai has introduced the vehicle worldwide, known internally as the BH model, and markets the Genesis as a...