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Founded in 1947 by Chung Ju-yung, Hyundai was originally a construction firm in Seoul, South Korea. As a construction firm, Hyundai expanded outside of South Korea in 1965, before founding Hyundai Motor Company in 1967. Hyundai released their first model under collaboration with Ford Motor Company in 1968. Having released the Cortina, Hyundai moved onto designing their own cars. The first Korean model, the Pony, was designed by a number of top British car engineers, some of them with backgrounds in other high-performing automotive brands.The Pony was styled by Giorgio Giugiaro, with technological additions provided by Mitsubishi. Initially released in Korea in 1975, Hyundai began to export the Pony the following year. Its 1984 release in Canada performed better than expected, with the car dominating the market for a brief period. Although the Pony wasn’t released in the US, the Hyundai Excel did well stateside, being recognised as great value for money.The Sonata was the first Hyundai car to feature original technology, being released in 1988. Hyundai’s dependence on other companies for technological advancement ceased during the early nineties. In 1991, Hyundai developed its first gasoline engine, as well as its own transmission. Business continued to flourish, with a plant opening in India in 1996.The next year, the East Asian financial crisis put strain on a great deal of businesses. The resulting fallout caused Hyundai to divide their various ventures into separate businesses, such as the Hyundai Department Store Group, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and of course the Hyundai Motor Group.In 1998, Hyundai began to update its image to fit the mould of a leading automotive brand. Leadership of Hyundai Motor Company was transferred to Chung Ju-yung’s son in 1999. Chung Mong Koo benefitted from Hyundai’s investment in Hyundai Motor Group, with the Hyundai Group providing long-term research and manufacturing of their vehicles, alongside a tenacious marketing campaign that focused on great value and a lengthy warranty.
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