Hyundai takes aim at Toyota and Volkswagen, now becomes number 3 carmaker
Taking a sharp aim at Toyota and Volkswagen, South Korea's Hyundai Motor has become the third-largest automaker in the world in terms of volumes. To reach this position, Hyundai has quietly surpassed General Motors, Nissan Motor and Stellantis NV in annual volumes. The automaker started off 55 years ago as a manufacturer of affordable vehicles for its home market, and began its international expansion only in the 80s.
The carmaker is also duking it out with Ford Motor for grabbing the second place in US electric vehicle sales this year, behind Tesla. “We are on the right track, and this year we were very strong," President and co-Chief Executive Officer Jaehoon Chang, said in an interview from a library at Hyundai’s Seoul headquarters last week. “We're trying to be flexible, and optimize and protect production as much as we can in spite of the chip shortage."
However, challenges are also a part of this journey. The carmaker is facing various challenges such as suspension of a large factory in Russia and new US legislation that could hurt EV subsidies. The manufacturer also faces higher raw material costs, an ongoing chip shortage and allegations that Hyundai’s suppliers in Alabama hired underage workers. North America represented 21% of total sales last year, making it Hyundai’s biggest single market, while just 17% of revenue came from its home market.
The carmaker's global presence is rooted in its strong manufacturing base in South Korea. The carmaker operates the world’s biggest assembly plant in Ulsan with an annual production capacity of 1.4 million vehicles. The carmaker's other nine factories are spread across the globe, and it sold 6.6 million vehicles in 2021. This year, revenue is on track to expand 21% to 141.7 trillion won ($108 billion).