While the rest of the automotive world awaits the possible onslaught of lower priced Chinese imports, Korean automaker Hyundai appears to have figured out the domestic Chinese market.
In 2005 the Hyundai Elantra, which is manufactured for the Chinese market in Beijing, counted for 167,000 vehicle registrations, an increase of 92% over the previous year.
The Beijing-built Hyundai Elantra has been modified specifically to meet the conditions and requirements of Chinese consumers. The Hyundai Elantra sedan is regarded as a ‘family car’ in China and is the country’s best selling model.
Hyundai Motor Company anticipated China as an emerging market and positioned itself with the establishment of Beijing Hyundai in October of 2002. In 2003-2004, Beijing Hyundai produced 196,216 units. In November 2004, Beijing Hyundai increased sales by 244% over the prior year to become the leading automaker in China. The Beijing Hyundai Motor Company is in the unique position of being the only automobile manufacturer located in Beijing and looks to double its current manufacturing capacity of 300,000 automobiles and commercial vehicles annually to a total of 600,000 units by 2008.
According to R.L. Polk & Company, a U.S. provider of automotive industry information, statistics and data, China’s automotive market maintained its dynamic growth pattern in 2005 reaching almost 3.8 million new vehicle registrations, a 19% increase compared to 2004.
“These results demonstrate that our strategy of tailoring products to meet local requirements is paying off and, what’s more important, is that the Hyundai brand is gaining increasing acceptance”, said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada.
“Our achievements in China are the result of Hyundai’s carefully-planned localization strategy and our efforts to enhance brand value by placing increased emphasis on quality”, explained Kelleher. “We have grown rapidly in China thanks to the wide support of Chinese consumers and plan to extend our lead in China’s auto industry at ‘Hyundai Speed’ a term coined by the Chinese media to describe the rapid growth of the Hyundai Motor Company in China.
According to Hyundai this success will help the car manufacturer to achieve its goal of becoming one of the top five automakers in the world by the end of this decade.