What a difference 30 years makes. Hyundai entered the U.S. market in 1986 with the Excel, a car whose biggest selling point was its low selling price. The largest Korean carmaker may have gained momentum with affordable vehicles and an unbeatable warranty, but it was Hyundai’s award-winning lineup of vehicles that allowed them to sell their 10 millionth vehicle in the United States last month.
Nearly half of those sales have come from the Sonata and Elantra, cars that have improved and evolved for nearly as long as Hyundai has. Both were introduced into the North American market as little more than bare-bones sedans, yet both now offer quality and technology that put most sedans on the road to shame. The 2015 Sonata was the first vehicle to come with Android Auto, which allows the Android smartphone operating system to run through the car’s infotainment screen.
Fittingly, Hyundai’s milestone in the American market would not have been possible without the 2005 opening of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), whose Montgomery automotive assembly and manufacturing plant has accounted for 2.66 million of the Hyundai’s 10 million vehicles sold in the United States. At present, over 50% of Hyundai’s sold in the U.S. are manufactured at HMMA.
This is a very exciting time for Hyundai, and it’s clear that the company will reach the 20 million vehicle mark much faster than they reached the 10 million mark. We’ve come a long way from the Excel, and those changes are felt not just in the quality of our vehicles, but also in Hyundai’s overall philosophy. Hyundai kept its industry-leading warranty program, but started making vehicles with an eye towards exceptional quality, not just exceptional value. There has never been a better time to buy a Hyundai, and we look forward to whatever comes next from this incredible company!