2009 Hyundai GenesisEnlarge Photo
From its founding in 1967 to its much more recent entry into the United States in 1986, Hyundai has steadily grown and improved, pushing to the forefront of the industry. In the last handful of years in particular, quality and design at Hyundai has advanced by leaps and bounds, and now, as the 4th largest carmaker on Earth, the company is taking on century-old giants like GM, Chysler, Daimler and Ford.
The Hyundai Genesis Sedan has been the company's media darling since its unveiling, even nabbing the 2009 North American Car of The Year Award during January's Detroit Motor Show. Rightfully so - the car is an incredible value. And Hyundai's getting ready to raise the bar even further with its 2011 Equus sedan. Check out our 'Not A First Drive' report for more on that car.
But what has people talking lately is the success Hyundai and affiliate Kia saw under the recently-ended cash for clunkers program. August ales at Hyundai shot up 47%, while Kia surged 60%, pushing their share of the market to 8% collectively, surpassing Chrysler's 7% hold.
The government subsidies for new-car purchases and old-car trade-ins definitely drove the rise, but Hyundai and Kia proved they have the mettle and the marketing to cash in on such opportunities - a key skill in a weak economy.
Affordable pricing and high comparative feature sets no doubt also contributed to the sales figures, as did the 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty program that puts the company's money where its mouth is. Hyundai expects those factors to continue driving market share upward, with a gain of 3.5% on the charts for the next four years - an increase of almost 50% from its current year-to-date of share of 7.5%.