Vision and history

Our vision of the future

Hyundai Motor Company strives for freedom of movement for all. This is to be achieved by investing in mobility services, building close relationships with leading mobility providers and extending its role beyond the automotive sector. Society will play a leading role in transforming a global society into clean energy by contributing to making hydrogen an economically viable energy source.

 

Our vision is progress for humanity

Humanity is what unites us and makes us stronger.

It enables us to strengthen our relationships, feel connected and enjoy our lives more.

“We are here to do the right things for mankind”

Our vision of tomorrow’s mobility is based on a strong commitment we give to society. We are here to do the right things for humanity.

Our focus on humanity means we understand what people want from life. Make the most of the time we have. We understand that time is the most precious commodity of all, the only thing that cannot be bought for money.

Therefore, it is not just about spending time, but about how well we spend it.

Our intention is to enable everyone to spend 24 hours as a good time and make every moment count. This is our mobility of tomorrow.

It’s not just about getting from point A to point B, it’s about moments that really matter.

We are moving forward.

Hyundai’s success has always been the desire to achieve its goals.

With this attitude we strive for progress at all times. We want to constantly discover what’s ahead. Tirelessly move forward.

What was once a man’s desire for a better life is now the ethos of our entire society.

We’ve come a long way. But we’re still not at the finish line.

We are moving forward.

Beginning of success

Chung Ju-yung, founder of Hyundai, was born in the village of Asan, approximately 50 km north of the current demilitarized zone, in a territory that is now part of North Korea. Being the eldest of seven children, he had to take care of his siblings, which meant working with his father for 15 to 16 hours a day. He often recalled “… although we worked very hard, we often didn’t have enough food”

Chung Ju-young, however, was a born optimist and lovingly remembered how early in the morning he was happy to get up with great expectation of what he could achieve for him and his family during the day. On his father’s farm, however, he had no opportunity to put his ideas to life, and as a teenage boy he often ran away from home to Seoul, seeking new opportunities, whether he carried stones as a construction worker or loaded and unloaded ships as a port labourer. Although his father had always found him and brought him back home, Chung Ju-yung never gave up. Again and again he tried to escape from home, and after many attempts, his continued effort was finally rewarded with success. Within three years he then evolved from a messenger delivering rice to an operator and owner of a thriving rice trade in Seoul. With the advent of World War II, Chung Ju-yung was forced to give up his rice business, but his desire for a better life did not suppress it.

He set up a car service where cars were repaired five times faster than other competitors in the area. This brilliant idea was at the birth of a business that turned into a global car manufacturers which we know it today as Hyundai Motor Group.

Courage to go forward even in turbulent times

“I wanted to help build Korea so my children could live a better life.” Chung Ju-yung.

Korea was at war in the early 1950s. The whole country was plagued by economic and political turmoil, and investment was virtually impossible. But Chung Ju-yung had an ambitious vision of restoring his country, despite everything. His vision was also reflected in the choice of the name of his business. Hyundai in Korean means “modern times”. Chung Ju-yung founded Hyundai Civil Works in 1947 and later, in 1950, incorporated it into Hyundai Construction Company. His first major challenge was the reconstruction of the Goryeong Bridge. Although he had no education in the field, Chung was making great progress with his desire to achieve his goals. The bridge was successfully completed and Hyundai soon won a government contract to build most of the road infrastructure in South Korea. This success later led to the production of the first Korean car: the Pony. Chung Ju-yung has always sought even greater challenges. The other one was to win over the experts in the construction of dams in the project of the dam Soyang Dam. He had no experience, yet after studying the plans he boldly expressed the opinion that the design of a concrete dam from competing experts is not correct. He was convinced that the gravel dam would be safer and its construction faster. Chung Ju-yung’s rivals were outraged with by idea and questioned his conclusions. However, this dam is designed and built to this day and can serve as a symbolic memory of Hyundai’s solid foundation.

Have you tried it yet?

Hyundai was already a well-established construction company and also successfully built a large part of the road infrastructure in Korea. But Chung Ju-yung’s ambitions for Korea’s development are far from being fulfilled. He wanted to make Korea more visible by expanding his business overseas. And is there a better way to do this than to make ships? However, since Korea has not yet produced a cargo ship, one of the engineers who listened to the shipbuilding plans declared it impossible.

However, Chung Ju-yung replied, “How can you know it’s impossible if you haven’t tried it?”

In an attempt to secure funding for this seemingly unrealistic goal, Chung Ju-yung pulled a 500 won banknote from his wallet and showed it to the investor committee. The banknote depicted the famous Korean turtle ship, the world’s first iron-clad vessel to be built in 1592. Chung’s enthusiasm and unexpected innovative approach provided Hyundai with funding. So in 1972 Hyundai Heavy Industries was born. It is at this very moment in Hyundai’s history the simple phrase “Have you tried it yet?” has become a leading philosophy and an internal motto that is still the main motive of Hyundai.

How the dream of a Korean car became a reality

Prezident Pak Čong-hui chtěl v 70. letech 20. století vdechnout korejské ekonomice nový život. Proto začal vyzývat korejské společnosti, aby rozšiřovaly své podnikání na globální trhy.
Nikoho jistě nepřekvapí, že i tehdy šel Hyundai příkladem. Po úspěšných projektech v Íránu a Bahrajnu byla společnost požádána, aby se ujala nejmonumentálnějšího a nejriskantnějšího projektu na Středním Východě: přístavu Jubail.
Poslední kolo výběrového řízení v Rijádu bylo napínavé. Po vyčerpávajícím jednání na vrcholové úrovni byla však společnost Hyundai vyhlášena jasným vítězem. Jako již dříve, i tentokrát vyhrála společnost Hyundai díky svému nekonvenčnímu přístupu.
Hyundai dokázal dramaticky snížit náklady a zkrátit dobu výstavby o 8 měsíců díky lodní přepravě 120 000 tun materiálu z Ulsanu v Koreji až do Saudské Arábie.
Projekt přístavu Jubail se nakonec ve stavebnictví proslavil jako jeden z “divů světa”. Rozpočet projektu činili polovinu tehdejšího rozpočtu korejské vlády na rok 1976.

How the dream of a Korean car became a reality

“If we compare the roads to the arteries of our nation, then cars are its blood.”  Chung Ju-yung

Hyundai has already established itself in the construction of roads and bridges. The next logical step was to offer cars that would ride them.

In 1967, Chung Ju-yung founded the Hyundai Motor Company as part of the second wave of the Korean National Renewal Project. Shortly after its founding, HMC hired Sir George Turnbull, former president of British Leyland, who became its vice president. Thanks to Sir Turnbull’s expertise, Hyundai took half the usual time to build a design centre and a new assembly plant in Ulsan.

The Ulsan assembly plant was built on an unused marshy land. While others considered the swamp an obstacle, Chung Ju-yung saw it as an opportunity. As Sir Turnbull remarked at the time, “Mr. Chung was convinced he could do anything if he puts his mind to it.” His vision soon became a reality, and the first mass-produced Korean car, Pony, which started to come down the assembly lines and soon gained the nickname Kuk-min-cha, which means “national car”.

Hyundai introduces itself to the world

“If Korea has succeeded in winning shipbuilding, why shouldn’t it win in car manufacturing?”  Chung Ju-Yung

Chung Ju-yung announced that it would export five thousand cars to the overseas markets a few weeks after the new assembly line for the Pony was put into operation. Turnbull was shocked because, in his opinion, these cars were not yet ready for international markets. But Chung Ju-Yung was sure. Michael Porter, a leading management expert, said about Chung Ju-yung’s attitude: “His incredible courage is a phenomenon that only few Westerners can fully understand, let alone imitate. It’s an entrepreneurial spirit par excellence… ” From 1972 to 1978, Hyundai Motor Company faced financial difficulties. In spite of the unfavourable situation, Chung Ju-yung decided to build a new car manufacturing plant at a tenth of the usual cost in order to sell 300,000 cars on international markets. By 1986, despite all expectations, Hyundai not only met, but even surpassed this goal. HMC sales increased to more than 400,000 vehicles. The Hyundai brand has become the best-selling in Korea and was about to expand to international markets. Today, the Hyundai Motor Group is among the top five automobile manufacturers in the world.

Progress without humanity means nothing

Chung Ju-yung has always been very interested in the welfare of his countrymen. In 1977, he founded the Asan Foundation to support people in unequal status. He invested half of his stake in Hyundai. Another act, stemming from his desire to help, was the sophisticated “tanker” method. He sank a retired tanker to enlarge the rice field in Sosan. The result was a reclamation project, which is still one of the largest in Korea. Chung Ju-yung has always wanted to enhance his country’s reputation. Therefore, in 1981, he became a member of the committee, which ran for the Olympic Games. In the next seven years, he did everything in his power to do so, and even spent a fairly large portion of his wealth to ensure Olympic Games take place in Seoul in 1988. Chung Ju-yung donated many gifts, but one of them stands out: Chung Ju-yung, in his youth, used the money his father had received from selling one cow to escape from his village in North Korea to Seoul. 55 years later, the founder of Hyudai made sure that 1001 cows were sent across the border to North Korea, with one extra cow repaying his father. He did this because if one cow brought him so good, then one could imagine what 1001 cows could do for the people of North Korea.

Progress knows no limits

“My parents worked very hard from early morning to late night, and yet they were still poor. I decided to help my family and my compatriots to prosper. ” Chung Ju-yung, founder of Hyundai Motor Group

 

Chng Ju-yung had this vision from his youth. The journey to realise this vision led him from a manual worker to the founder of the Hyundai Group. There were never limits to Chung Ju-yung. He has always worked tirelessly to explore new possibilities, showing to those around him again and again that “goals without limits” are possible.

In 2019, Hyundai ranked well in the Fortune 500. But our real success is to push the boundaries in our industry continuously. From a relative newcomer we have become a leader in the development of alternative drives and other areas. At the end of Chung’s career, his dream of contributing to his country’s development has finally become a reality. In 1996, Korea was officially classified as a developed country.

In record time, it has changed from an unknown and underdeveloped country into a economically booming nation. Koreans began to prosper and their country is making rapid progress. Today, Hyundai embodies its founder philosophy and strives to continue intensive development with unrivalled courage.

 

We are moving forward

You may be wondering what will be Hyundai’s next step?

We demonstrate here that Hyundai does not know the boundaries of one industry and follows the path of unlimited thinking. Since the construction of bridges, we have proceeded to the construction of roads and the production of ships and cars. And we went hand in hand with the development of our company in the reconstruction and development of Korea. From humble beginnings, we have come to the most advanced mobility embodied in Nexo,

the second generation of Hyundai’s pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Hyundai’s goal is to produce 500,000 fuel cell cars by 2030 to launch a new era of mobility and pave the way for further progress.

We have come a long way, but we are still not at the finish line.

WE ARE MOVING FORWARD.