The achievement comes 27 years after Hyundai first sold six of its first Pony models overseas in 1976, to a customer in Ecuador. That year, a total of 1,042 units worth US$3.1 million were shipped. Since then, the company's annual export performance has improved on a unit basis by a factor of 1,000 and by 3,200 on a value basis.
Since 1976 cumulative export shipments for Hyundai have reached nearly 10 million units. The average value of Hyundai's export models has been steadily increasing thanks to rising overseas demand for larger, more expensive cars such as Santa Fe sport utility vehicle and Sonata.
Hyundai's $10 billion in overseas shipments represent five per cent of Korea's total exports. Including overseas sales from affiliate Kia Motors, the combined exports equate to eight per cent of the total value of Korean exports.
With 51 per cent of its shareholdings held by foreign investors and a distribution presence in 190 countries, Hyundai Motor is now a global firm and the world's seventh largest vehicle manufacturer. On a global scale, Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. provide nearly one million jobs, directly and indirectly. It will shortly announce the site of its future Central European plant, in either Poland or Slovakia.
By 2010, Hyundai Motor Co. intends to sell on an annual basis three million units domestically and two million units overseas. Achieving that goal would give Hyundai Motor Co. total worldwide sales of five million units per annum, placing it among the world's top five manufacturers.