Hyundai has broken through one million sales in the UK, but company boss Tony Whitehorn has promised “no let up” in the manufacturer’s ambitious pursuit of annual sales of 100,000 and a market share of 5%.
The Korean manufacturer first sold cars in the UK in 1982, but the launch of Hyundai UK as a global subsidiary 10 years ago was the catalyst for rapid growth. It is the fastest-growing car manufacturer in the UK; it holds a 3.5% share of the domestic market and sold more than 82,000 cars in 2014.
Whitehorn, president and CEO of Hyundai UK, said: “I don’t know of any other brand that has released more products than ourselves in the past 10 years and we will release as many products again between now and 2020. We won’t take a breath. Hyundai ploughs all the money that it earns back into products and that is what has driven the changes in the company.”
Whitehorn said low-emissions vehicles are integral to the ongoing growth. Hyundai plans to introduce 22 such vehicles by 2020.
Following on from the ix35 Fuel Cell that went on sale this year, Hyundai is known to be readying its own dedicated hybrid model to take on the likes of the Toyota Prius in Europe, and the same vehicle architecture could be used as the basis for a battery-powered electric vehicle. Hyundai's hybrid will be the sister car to the upcoming Kia Niro hybrid, which Autocar has already driven in prototype form.
“Next year we are looking at hybrid and EV technology coming out, and that will just escalate,” said Whitehorn. “I see electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids as a way of bridging the gap between the internal combustion engine and pure fuel cell technology. How long that bridge lasts for is uncertain, but it is interesting to see manufacturers such as ourselves going for a variety of technologies.”