10 Fun Facts About Hyundai That You Never Knew
In the few decades it’s been in the American automotive market, Korean company Hyundai has established a solid presence. But, most people don’t know very much about this intriguing off-shore brand. If you think you knew everything about Hyundai, there’s still more to learn. Here are 10 fun facts about the automaker.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hyundai
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A Modern Brand
The word “Hyundai” is the Korean 現代 (“hanja”), which means “modernity.” An exact transliteration into English would be “Hyeondae.” It’s a fitting name considering the brand’s current slogan: New Thinking. New Possibilities.
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The Hidden Message
Hyundai’s slanted ‘H’ badge is actually a stylized silhouette of two individuals shaking hands: a company representative and a satisfied customer. Their exchange is a handshake of trust and satisfaction between company and consumer. The surrounding oval symbolizes the goal to make such deals around the world.
A Game-Changing Warranty
Hyundai was the first automaker to offer 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, the most substantial coverage any automaker had offered up to that point. The automaker first offered it in response to criticism in the late 1980s over its vehicles when they were first introduced in the USA. It didn’t take long for public perception of Hyundai’s quality to change.
An Important Designer
Hyundai’s first model released in the USA was the Excel, a low-cost subcompact car. The model sold well but was accused of being “cheap” (leading to the aforementioned warranty). What most people don’t know is that the Excel was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the same person who designed the BMW M1 and the Delorean DMC-12. He designed models for over 40 automakers, as well as cameras and firearms.
While most automakers purchase their steel from suppliers, Hyundai makes its own steel in South Korea. The Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd allows the automaker to produce and utilize high-quality steel in its vehicles at a low cost, rather than buying sub-par steel for cheap from a supplier.
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While other automakers use a standard lithium-ion battery in their electric vehicles, Hyundai is the first and only (in collaboration with Kia) automaker to use lithium polymer batteries in its EVs. Due to its use of a polymer electrolyte instead of a liquid one, this battery is lighter and more compact, resulting in higher energy content per cell.
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The Biggest Factory
Hyundai’s 54-million square foot Ulsan Factory in South Korea is the biggest automotive factory in the world, producing 1.6 million vehicles every year in over a dozen different models. The plant employs over 34,000 workers. The Hyundai’s plant’s size is outdone by VW‘s 70-million square foot factory in Wolsburg, but the VW plant doesn’t produce nearly as many vehicles.
So Many Sponsorships
Hyundai sponsors numerous sports leagues and teams across the globe. A handful of them includes the National Football League (NFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football, FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro, the Korea Football Association, the PGA Tour, and World Archery.
Hyundai has a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Hyundai Hope on Wheels that aims to raise money to fight and console children facing pediatric cancer. The organization began as a local initiative among New England Hyundai dealerships in 1998. In the 20 years since then, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has raised over $100 million for pediatric cancer research.
Hyundai was founded in 1967 by Chung Ju-yung, meaning this year is the company’s 50th anniversary!
Sources: Hyundai, Auto Guide