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Hyundai celebrates 25 years in the U.S.

The Fountain Valley-based automaker launched in America in 1986 with the Excel model.

By Kristen SchottPublished: February 21, 2011 01:51 PM

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America on Sunday celebrated its 25th anniversary in the U.S., and the company is gearing up for a number of new developments in its future, including the completion of its state-of-the-art headquarters and its plan to boost its fuel economy by 2025.

"As far as we've come since 1986, we still feel we're in the early stages of connecting the Hyundai brand to the U.S. consumer," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

Since launching in the U.S. with its Excel model 25 years ago, some 6.6 million American drivers have purchased the automaker's cars. Last year, Hyundai's sales totaled more than 538,000, making it the sixth best-selling brand in the country, according to the company.

In addition, Hyundai has grown its U.S. production capacity to more than 400,000 Sonata, Elantra and Santa Fe models, which are manufactured in Alabama and Georgia, and total employment – including suppliers and dealers – comes in at more than 45,000. Currently, the company offers 12 cars and crossovers, and its U.S. investments total $1.7 billion.

The company attributes some of its success to its 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and its five-year, 60,000-mile vehicle warranty, as well as its Hyundai Assurance program, which offers five years of unlimited mileage roadside assistance and a job-loss protection offering, among other features.

"We've always challenged convention – from our powertrain strategies, to our consumer partnership programs, to our unique Genesis and Equus retail approach," said Krafcik.

Moving forward, the company plans to introduce three new models in showrooms through the summer: its three-door Veloster coupe, and four- and five-door Accent models. And, its Genesis car is set to get new engines and transmissions.

Late next year, Hyundai expects its new, expanded headquarters in Fountain Valley to be complete. The space doubles the size and capacity of its current building. (Click here for more on that story.) And, by 2025, the company has set a goal to average a minimum of 50 miles per gallon for its lineup of cars and trucks. The plan falls under Hyundai's umbrella of green efforts – aka the BlueDrive program – and includes the use of new technologies and the development of fuel cell and battery solutions. (Click here to read more about Hyundai's green initiatives.)

"It's authentically Hyundai to question the status quo and pursue our own vision of how things should be in order to best serve our customers," said Krafcik. "This willingness to challenge convention will continue to guide us these next 25 years."

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