Hyundai Like Sunday…They’ve Come So Far, So Shortly

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were all laughing at Hyundais, in fact Kanye West’s 2005 hit rap-song Gold Digger probably summed things up perfectly when it lamented the woes of an NFL player beleaguered by an ex-wife who after taking him to the cleaners on child support was forced to…, “You will see him on TV any given Sunday Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai.”

Sometimes the joke just writes it’s self…

It’s been quite the journey for Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai, a car maker who’s rise through the ranks of major United States auto sales has been meteoric over the course of the last decade. In no more than ten years the brand has risen both  in terms of quality and consumer value; drastically revamping and improving it’s previously ill perceived image.  In 2002 Hyundai was the bargain basement alternative to Nissan, Toyota or Honda; a brand widely believed to be a cheap and unreliable Korean knockoff of it’s Japanese competitors… Plagued by reliability and quality control issues Hyundai was consistently ranked poorly in terms of reliability, resale and efficiency. Then things started to really turn around for Hyundai motors, their freshly redesigned and appointed Tiburon actually had an aesthetic appeal to it, their Sonata and Elantra sedans were redesigned with a new sense of value, style and perhaps most importantly build-quality and performance longevity.  Quality and value perceptions that were all the more bolstered by an (at the time) industry leading 100,000 mile warranty, much as it’s Japanese competitors had done in the 1970’s Hyundai had managed to initiate a consumer paradigm shift, no longer the bargain basement alternative. Que 2012 where the Genesis and Equus define Korean luxury in a market where they are now even competing with luxury leaders, Lexus, Audi, Infiniti and BMW…

The  stylish, reliable, affordable and efficient Hyundai Motors we all know in America today…

But before there was quality, there was affordability and that’s what we’re taking a look back at on this Throwback Friday…Hyundai’s early years stateside where they were fighting to establish a brand that would one day become competitive…

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The bargain basement Hyundai Motors we all remember from childhood…

The hand-me-down Hyundai Motors no one wanted to inherit when you turned 16 or went off to college…

The Volkswagen eccono-box impersonating Hyundai Motors of the late eighties and early nineties…

 

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