Nearly three decades after selling its first vehicle in the United States, Hyundai recently sold its 10 millionth unit in the country. The South Korean carmaker commenced its sales operation in the US in 1986 with just a single nameplate – the Hyundai Excel subcompact.
Although US consumers are not very aware of the brand or its products, quite a number of them went on to purchase the subcompact. In fact, Hyundai sold its 100,000th Excels within just seven months and a total of 168,882 units of the subcompact right out of the gate.
Back then, Hyundai was able to set an industry record for the most first-year sales for an import carmaker. Years and decades gone by, Hyundai continually expanded its product offerings in the US.
Accordingly, the South Korean brand currently boasts of a vehicle lineup that includes the Accent, Azera, Elantra, Equus, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Sonata PHEV, Tucson and Veloster.
For the past seven straight years, Hyundai was also able to post year-over-year sales increases, a demonstration of the carmaker’s performance in terms of vehicle value, quality, safety and luxury.
Derrick Hatami, vice president of national sales at Hyundai Motor America, remarked that the US has been a “key region” for the carmaker since 1986, adding that the sales milestone came after years of accelerated growth as well as Hyundai’s strategic product rollout.
He also remarked that the sales milestone is a testament to the design, quality and value of the carmakers’ products. Hatami noted that since the US car market is expected to rise to over 17 million new car sales this year, Hyundai would be able to achieve further growth in the market.
Hyundai’s sales expansion in the US is a result of the carmaker’s offerings and investment. In 1998, Hyundai introduced its warranty program -- known currently as Hyundai Assurance or America’s Best Warranty – covering all Hyundai vehicles sold in the US.
This Hyundai Assurance program includes the five-year/60,000 mile fully transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty as well as Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The program also includes a five-year complimentary Roadside Assistance.
In 2005, Hyundai expanded its US business to include vehicle production by commencing operations of the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) site. To date, HMMA has produced 2,660,314 vehicles.
HMMA is home to Hyundai’s best-selling models in the US – the Sonata and Elantra, which comprises 64 percent and 23 percent of total production at HMMA, respectively. In 2011, Hyundai introduced its Blue Link telematics platform that is exclusive to its models.
According to Dave Zuchowski, president and chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, the sales milestone in the US exemplifies that Hyundai is part of the “American fabric.” He noted that HMMA provides jobs to around 3,000 Alabama residents while contributing about $4 billion annually to the state’s economy.