Hyundai – A Story of Success!


Hyundai is on the run! A decade ago the South Korean carmaker was known for cheap, unreliable and unattractive cars. Its market share in Europe was low. Germans decided to buy a Volkswagen and their French neighbors made their choice between Renault and Peugeot. But since a couple of years Hyundai has improved a lot in terms of quality and attractiveness. One must state that in recent years Hyundai has come up with stylish cars along with a competitive quality and technology.

The german magazine “Autobild” ranked Hyundai at the top of its annual quality report in 2011 after already winning in 2010. It remains yet to be seen how Hyundai will do this year, but it is unlikely that they will not be among the best carmakers again.

According to Interbrand, the world’s biggest brand consultancy, Hyundai is among the top 100 brands worldwide. They first appeared in their “Best Global Brands Report” in 2005 placing 84. From there they placed 72 (2007), 69 (2009) and 61 (2011). In 2012 they have made an enormous jump finishing 53. Just a side note here: Hyundai launched his first own produced car in 1975.

Focusing on Core Competencies and Marketing – A Story of Success!

According to Hyung Je Jo Professor of Sociology at the University of Ulsan, South Korea, Hyundai has also become successful because of applying modular production: Hyundai outsources a significant high percentage to specialized part makers. Furthermore many of the outsourced parts are sub-assembled before they are used in the final assembly line. By applying modular production Hyundai not only reduced their expenses, they also improved their quality and productivity. Moreover it has provided them the possible to focus more on product development and marketing.

Justin Hyde states in an interesting post about Hyundai that they implemented high-concept incentives in the US market for example. Hyundai tried to attract potential buyers with the promise to buy back their car in case of involuntary unemployment within one year after purchasing it.

Credit and Recognition – VW becomes jealous!

Hyundai also has also attracted attention of European carmakers and earns big compliments including jealous glances. Hyundai managers will probably never forget what happened during the IAA (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt in 2011. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen, examined the all new Hyundai i30. At first from the outside, then he took a seat inside, grabbed the adjuster of the steering wheel and pulled on it. He obviously was waiting for an annoying noise he was used to from Volkswagen – but nothing happened: “Da scheppert nichts”, he said, referring to the steering wheel which did not rattle. He continued saying: “BMW kanns nicht, wir könnens nicht…das Scheppern…warum kanns der”. Volkswagen was not able to avoid the rattle, neither was BMW. But the Korean carmaker Hyundai managed to do that!

It reveals a small piece but it has a deep meaning: Hyundai has come a quiet successful way in a rather short period of time.