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Published on June 29th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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How Hyundai Motors Climbed The Quality Ladder So Fast

Hyundai has made a quick move up the quality ladder with its automotive products. Just a few years ago Hyundai vehicles were only considered for its reasonably priced vehicles that had little dynamics. Their good price point kept sales going and buyers never really desired a Hyundai car. When Hyundai Chairman Chung Mong-koo took over the company in the year 2000, high quality and great design were his priority. Hyundai then began spending on the elements of design, materials and engineering, giving birth to the new Sonata, Tucson and the Elantra to start.

At the time in order to rebuild its reputation, Hyundai made the very difficult decision to include a 10- year or 100,000 mile warranty program in North America which was the toughest market to break into. The program effectively increased sales by over 5% in the North American market and car consumers started taking notice of Hyundai cars. Hyundai had made a tremendous progress in quality and it was appreciated by its owners. With a focus on quality, Hyundai Motor Company had set itself the task to be recognised as the worlds’ No.1 in quality. The achievement was gained through a focus in quality and a large financial investment that included the implementation of activities like:

The establishment of the pilot production centre to improve quality standards
The enforcing of stringent quality approval system at each stage from planning
Establishing a supplier quality rating system to improve overall quality standards
The adoption of Six-Sigma initiatives, a scientific product quality innovation system to enhance product quality management.
Implementation of “Hot testing” of all production models in Australia’s unforgiving deserts and terrain to ensure durability and reliability.

Hyundai’s efforts have not gone unnoticed where independent quality surveys in the US and Europe reveal that an increasing number of motoring experts and consumers place Hyundai quality at or above many Japanese and German manufacturers.
Hyundai also listened to the comments of their customers, realising the areas where they needed to improve and achieved results that were beyond everyone’s expectations. Major areas that were looked at in improving quality were;

Electrical systems: After a considerable overhaul, including new designs and suppliers, Hyundai dramatically improved their electrical systems through the introduction of leading edge materials and design.
Automatic transmissions: Setting world class benchmarks for performance including power transfer, fuel economy and smoothness.
Body integrity: They invested heavily in improving their chassis to make their cabins quieter,  brake noise reduced and they enhanced their suspension to provide better handling and a smoother ride.

Today, Hyundai’s commitment to quality has been recognised at home and across the globe in a number of independent and prestigious quality surveys. The Hyundai i10 compact car received the prestigious Euro NCAP rating of 4-Stars in 2008. In subsequent years it has won 1st place in NST’s COTY and in Asian Auto’s Fuel Efficiency Awards it has taken a 1st place win 2 years in a row for its class leading fuel efficiency. The Hyundai Tucson took a 5-Star rating with Euro NCAP in 2010 and continues to win awards in fuel efficiency, engineering and design in all markets it is launched in just like the latest Sonata and Elantra.


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