Hyundai Group (Hangul: 현대그룹; Hanja: 現代그룹, pronounced [hjəːndɛ]) is a multinational (conglomerate) headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. It was founded by Chung Ju-yung in 1947 as a construction firm and Chung was directly in control of the company until his death in 2001.
Following the 1997 East Asian financial crisis and Chung's death, Hyundai underwent a major restructuring and break-up, which reduced the Hyundai Group's business to encompass only container shipping services, the manufacturing of lifts, and tourism. Today, most companies bearing the name Hyundai are not legally connected to Hyundai Group. They include Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai Department Store Group, Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and Hyundai Development Company. However, most of the former subsidiaries of the Hyundai conglomerate continue to be run by relatives of Chung. If these companies were considered as forming a single broad family business, then it would remain the largest company in South Korea with enormous economic and political power in the country.
Hyundai was founded as a small construction firm by Chung Ju-yung in 1947. Hyundai Construction began operating outside of South Korea in 1965, initially entering the markets of Guam, Thailand and Vietnam.
In 1986 a Hyundai-manufactured IBM PC-XT compatible called the Blue Chip PC was sold in discount and toy stores throughout the US. It was one of the earliest PC clones marketed toward consumers instead of business.
Hyundai announced a major management restructuring in December 1995, affecting 404 executives.
In April 1999 Hyundai announced a major corporate restructuring, involving a two-thirds reduction of the number of business units and a plan to break up the group into five independent business groups by 2003.
By the mid-1990s Hyundai comprised over 60 subsidiary companies and was active in a diverse range of activities including automobile manufacturing, construction, chemicals, electronics, financial services, heavy industry and shipbuilding. In the same period it had total annual revenues of around US$90 billion and over 200,000 employees.
Hyundai branded vehicles are manufactured by Hyundai Motor Company, which along with Kia comprises the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, which is capable of producing 1.6 million units annually. The company employs about 75,000 people around the world. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and showrooms worldwide. In 2012, Hyundai sold over 4.4 million vehicles worldwide. Popular models include the Sonata and Elantra mid-sized sedans.
The Asan Foundation, established by Chung Ju-yung in 1977 with 50 percent of the stock of Hyundai Construction, subsidizes medical services in Korea primarily through the Asan Medical Center and six other hospitals. The foundation has sponsored conferences on Eastern ethics and funded academic research into traditional Korean culture. In 1991, it established the annual Filial Piety Award.
Hyundai, the South Korean maker of one of the hottest and cheapest compact cars on sale in the United States, is beginning to hawk its Blue Chip Computer in more than 500 discount stores nationwide. The unit is compatible with the IBM PC-XT.
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