Hyundai Pony | Korea

19 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Hyundai Pony | Korea

Hyundai Pony

Early Korean Car Production#8211;Part 1 The Hyundai Pony

By Don Southerton

Some Background

Since the early 1960s, Korean firms have entered into partnership arrangements with international carmakers, including Nissan (Datsun), Toyota, Mazda, Fiat, and Ford. In particular, the Korean government and key industrial groups forged these alliances as the best way to introduce advanced automotive technology to South Korea. In 1967, Hyundai Group also entered the auto sector as a result of both the founder Chung Ju Yung’s early ties to the car repair business and growing government pressure.

Entering into a Ford Overseas Assembler Agreement, Hyundai looked to assemble Ford compact cars imported as knockdowns (CKD). Ford, in turn, would transfer technology and explicit knowledge, such as blueprints, technical specifications, production manuals, and training of Hyundai engineers.

Following the Hyundai model for taking immediate action and leveraging their background as a construction company, the Hyundai Ford plant was operational in 6 months, a record at that time for the 118 Ford assembly plants around the world

Interestingly, to accomplish the task, Hyundai gathered team members from its construction division who had excellent skills in project management and engineering backgrounds. Hyundai also recruited talent with experience in production from the Korean auto industry. Together with support from a team of 10 engineers dispatched from Ford, the Korean engineers, technicians and construction workers lived together in a makeshift structure near the plant, working 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hyundai Pony

Initial car production at the plant focused on 2 models—first the Ford Cortina Mark II and soon after the Ford Granada Mark II. Production was for the South Korean domestic market with some limited export. Production number grew from 614 cars in 1968 to 7,009 in 1973.

Meanwhile by 1973, the Korean state-run Economic Planning Board (EPB) formulated The Long-Term Plan for Promotion of the Automobile Industry. In a policy-shift from CKD partnerships, the government mandated Korea’s four leading automobile companies#8211;Hyundai, Daewoo, Kia, and SsangYong#8211;to submit detailed plans to develop a “Korean” car by 1975.

Following similar tactics imposed across business sectors to build an import-substitution economy, the Korean government coerced automakers to embrace the new mandate or face restrictions in their current operations. Hyundai, a strong adherent of the state-corporate alliance, soon submitted a master plan for a new plant with a capacity of 80,000 Korean cars per year.

To meet the challenge, Hyundai approached 26 firms in five countries to acquire required technologies:

Hyundai Pony
Hyundai Pony
Hyundai Pony
Hyundai Pony

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