Readers of this website know that I’m a big fan of the Hyundai Motor Company. When I was Internet Manager for a major car dealer, it was well-known in the industry that Hyundai was the up-and-coming auto maker in the U.S. They were no longer making cheap cars that didn’t last. Instead, Hyundai’s vehicles were stylish, well built, had great warranty programs, and most important, consumers both here in the U.S and around the world were drawn to this Korean car maker in bigger and bigger numbers.
One reason for the growing consumer confidence in Hyundai, is that—as a corporation—it made a deliberate decision in 1998 to change its reputation from that of a mediocre car maker to one that built a product that could stand the test of time. An initial, yet significant change was to ramp up its quality control. Then it extended its warranty program. As a result, the Hyundai warranty is now longer than almost any other car maker in the world. It was a turning point for Hyundai sales, a trend which continues its upward surge to this day.
Follow the Money
Hyundai recorded a whopping 48-percent increase in fourth-quarter profits last year. Net income reached $1.3 billion dollars for the last three months of 2010. The figures reflect rising demand in the United States, China, and around the world.
U.S. sales increased the most: up 38-percent. The large increase was due in part to redesigning three models, including the Sonata sedan, the smaller Elantra, and the Tucson SUV. Sales in China increased 22 percent. They were up 6.5 percent in Europe.
Hyundai is expected to continue its growth spurt into 2011. It currently has a global market share of 5.2 percent and expects to sell 3.9 million vehicles this year.