Korean car maker Hyundai, the world’s seventh largest automotive manufacturer, today took control of the distribution and servicing of its vehicles in the UK with the formation of a new company, Hyundai Motor UK Ltd (HMUK).
Under factory ownership, HMUK is confident of doubling its yearly sales by 2008 to around 80,000 cars, securing more than three per cent UK market share and making Hyundai even more of a household name among UK car buyers.
New managing director of HMUK, Ray Pope, formerly Finance Director of HCUK, said: "This is without question the most exciting development in the history of Hyundai in the UK and Europe.
"The change from independent importer to manufacturer owned operation brings a number of key benefits for Hyundai customers in the UK. Chief among these will be our ability to invest much more, both in terms of money and time into ensuring we have one of, if not the best retail network of any manufacturer in the UK.
"Ultimately, our customers’ relationships are primarily with their dealer and it is here we will be focusing to ensure that the Hyundai experience is second to none in the UK car market."
HMUK’s Aftersales Director, Graham Lightfoot, who has responsibility for customer care and service development, said: "We are still the only manufacturer in the UK with a five year, unlimited mileage, fully transferable warranty across our entire range of cars.
"This remains a unique and bold example of how Hyundai is different from other manufacturers and demonstrates our confidence in our ability to deliver first class cars and service. With the closer support of our Hyundai colleagues following this company change, we will now accelerate our programmes of dealer service development to give our customers an outstanding ownership experience."
Sales and Marketing Director, Jim Campbell, meanwhile, added: "Growth is the prime reason for the decision by Hyundai to take control of the marketing and distribution rights in the UK, which Hyundai recognises as a key market in our quest to become one of the world’s top five motor manufacturers.
"An appealing product range, increasingly European in styling and design, together with high levels of quality, reliability, after sales support and customer service, have already resulted in record UK sales of more than 37,000 in 2004," he added.
"The move to manufacturer ownership will mean significantly more investment in marketing to raise brand awareness. Hyundai’s sponsorship of the World Cup in Germany in 2006, for example, will be a key element of this overall awareness raising."
Previously, the rights to distribute Hyundai vehicles in the UK were owned by RAC plc, which had owned the High Wycombe-based distributorship, Hyundai Car (UK) Ltd, since 1993.
When Aviva plc, owner of Norwich Union Insurance, announced plans earlier this year to buy RAC plc, a deal that has since been completed, Hyundai Motor Company in Korea began negotiations with Aviva plc to take control of the distribution of its own vehicles in the UK.
Commenting on the formation of HMUK, Ike Oh, President of Hyundai Motor Europe GmbH, said: "Hyundai Motor UK Limited will strengthen the Hyundai brand presence in the UK and tailor the specifications of our vehicles more precisely to the particular needs and wants of UK customers."
Ike Oh added: "Car buyers are looking for excellent products, and a make that provides them with the highest level of sales and service quality. These values are the foundation of Hyundai’s brand philosophy. Our aim is to communicate these values to the UK market and extend our loyal customer base."
Hyundai Motor UK Ltd employs around 200, and has 165 dealerships across the UK. Globally, Hyundai has the world’s largest manufacturing plant in its home country, Korea, and is the world’s seventh largest automotive manufacturer.
Hyundai has one of the broadest ranges of cars available in the UK. Its best-selling model is the Getz supermini. It also has a range of 4x4 SUV vehicles, two people carriers, the sporty Coupe and the all-new Sonata saloon, to name a few.
To read our in depth road test of the Hyundai Getz [ click here ]
To read our in depth road test of the Hyundai Terracan [ click here ]
To read our in depth road test of the Hyundai Coupe [ click here ]
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