There was a time in America not all that long ago that Detroit was the auto industry hub and Ford reigned supreme, but companies like Hyundai have changed that radically. Now the auto industry is a crowded market full of international companies all vying for supremacy.
Focus on Customers, Not Cars
Hyundai believes that they’re different from other auto manufacturers in that they place a great deal of emphasis on the people associated with their brand (both employees at the retail and manufacturing levels as well as customers), in addition to focusing on the performance of the cars themselves. This originates from the assertion that putting people first will have a sort of “trickle-down” effect on the products they produce.
With a number of vehicle offerings from traditional SUVs to hybrid and electric sedans, Hyundai has more than dipped their toe into the emerging trend of sustainability within the auto industry, while also holding on to the traditional customer base that has made them so successful.
South Korean Sensation
Hyundai started out as one of the only South Korean car brands in 1967. In fact, they produced the very first Korean passenger car just 9 years later, and began exporting that model to South America. In 1985, Hyundai established their American subsidiary and achieved almost immediate success in the United States.
Over the next few decades, Hyundai produced many new models, and made technological innovations in the field of sustainability. By the start of the 21st century, Hyundai had produced more than 10 million individual units.
Since then, Hyundai has established themselves as a major player in the global auto industry, consistently ranking highly in customer satisfaction, and recently taking on innovations like autopilot driving tests and unveiling electric SUVs.
Running with the Herd
Hyundai is generally considered a mid-level manufacturer, meaning they appeal to a wide range of clientele. This is both a good and a bad thing, because a multitude of other brands rank in the same range. Some of Hyundai’s biggest competitors are other foreign manufacturers like Honda, Toyota (the largest auto manufacturer in the world), and Nissan.
In terms of innovation, Hyundai also has to contend with up-and-coming Tesla for the most popular electric vehicles, as well as autonomous driving advancements.
Promoting its Customer Focus
Consistent with the overall brand message, Hyundai has made great efforts to promote its shopper assurance program, which provides potential customers with a few options before they settle on a vehicle from Hyundai. They partnered with Jason Bateman for their 2019 Superbowl ad.
This focus on customer satisfaction is necessary after the brand was found to have inflated their MPG ranges for the years 2011 through 2013, ending in a settlement that cost the company tens of millions. Other concerns over safety have surfaced in recent years, but by and large Hyundai has faced far fewer PR nightmares than most other auto manufacturers.
This didn’t seem to affect the company’s dominance all that much, though, given the fact that they remained at number 78 on the Fortune Global 500 in 2018, which is the same position they had held the previous year despite a profit decrease.
With a history of rapid growth and innovation, Hyundai may just be able to prove themselves a fierce competitor in the changing world of the auto industry.