When Did Hyundai Build Its First Car?


Founded in the mid-1940s as a construction company, Hyundai eventually became South Korea's largest conglomerate company. Instrumental to its growth was its auto-making arm, which produced its very first vehicle in the mid-1960s.

Ford Cortina

  • The Hyundai Motor Co. was founded in 1967. The following year, the new company signed a contract with Ford to assemble and sell a car called the Ford Cortina for the South Korean market. It was produced for the country until 1976.

Cortina's Production Run

  • The Cortina was produced worldwide until 1982. During its run, it went through five generations of production, dubbed Mark I through Mark V.

Hyundai Pony

  • The Hyundai Pony was the first car solely produced by Hyundai. The automaker introduced it in 1975, a product of the South Korean government's goal to make indigenous automobiles in order to spur economic growth.

Pony's Production Run

  • Hyundai produced the Pony for the rest of the world until 1988; production stopped for South Korea in 1990. The Hyundai Excel, already in production, was considered the Pony's replacement.

Hyundai Today

  • Today, Hyundai is recognized as one of the four Asian auto-making giants, alongside Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Coincidentally, Hyundai replaced Cortina collaborator Ford as the fourth-largest automobile manufacturer in the world in 2010.

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