“Inside Hyundai” (#1221)
SynopsisSeoul lies about 25 miles south of the demilitarized zone that bisects the Korean peninsula. It's the economic engine of South Korea and probably the most visible symbol of the country's post-war economic success. What makes their recovery even more incredible is that they did it at gunpoint. Just over the border resides the despotic Kim Jong-Il, leader of North Korea and head of one of the largest armies in the world.
One South Korean company that symbolizes the country's accomplishments over the last few decades is the Hyundai Group, a multinational conglomerate with a product portfolio that ranges from shipbuilding to finance.
Back in 1986 Hyundai decided to enter the very competitive U.S. car market. At that time they sold just one model here, the subcompact Excel. But its combination of affordability and economy was just what the market wanted and it flew off dealer lots. Hyundai sold more than 168,000 cars its first year in the U.S., a record that still stands. Today, Hyundai-Kia is the top-selling car brand in Korea, the fifth largest automaker in the world, and the latest Asian make to put its North American headquarters in California.
This week on our continuing series, "Autoline in LA," John McElroy goes "Inside Hyundai" for an exclusive look at the Korean giant's North American auto operations. He'll sit down with John Krafcik, Hyundai's Vice President of Product Development and Strategic Planning. They'll talk about the engineering and development the company does in North America and how they tune vehicles for this specific market. Later John goes one-on-one with Joel Piaskowski, Hyundai's Chief Designer to discuss the all-new design vocabulary the company's pioneering in its Southern California studios.
Rounding out the show, Autoline hits the dusty trail, literally, for a tour of Hyundai's desert proving grounds in California City. Here, behind a veil of secrecy, the company puts its products through a litany of tests. Sustained high-speed driving on their 6.4-mile oval track pushes cars to their limits while special solar ovens bake interior trim pieces in the SoCal sun to prove their durability.
So join us this week on Autoline as we give you a revealing look inside an Asian Tiger of the auto industry, Hyundai.
For more from our LA series visit www.autolinedetroit.tv/LA
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