Hyundai was first established in 1947 as the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company, spinning off the Hyundai Motor Company in 1967, which built vehicles in cooperation with Ford for the South Korean market. The company became independent of Ford when it hired George Turnbull of Austin Morris/British Leyland and several other British engineers and produced its first entirely in-house car in 1975. It wasn't until the mid-1980s that Hyundai began selling vehicles in North America, starting with the Pony in Canada in 1984 and then the Excel in the United States two years later. In 1988, the Sonata, now the company's top-selling sedan, was introduced.
In the 1990s and at the turn of the twenty-first century, Hyundai introduced the aggressive (and trend- setting) 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty as it revitalized its image. Marketing for the warranty has been heavy as the company works to change the public's perception to accept it as a quality, premium brand that delivers on value. Hyundai is now one of the top 100 most valuable brands globally. Hyundai is now a global concern, with design offices in Germany, headquarters in South Korea, manufacturing in the United States, and more. The company builds vehicles in North America, India, the Czech Republic, Pakistan, China, Turkey, and South Korea. Research and development takes place in Europe, Asia, North America, and the Pacific Rim.
More recently, the company has moved into premium automotive with the Equus and Genesis models. It also sponsors many sports activities such as the FIFA World Cup and humanitarian efforts in India and other emerging markets. The company has won many car of the year awards from press clubs, a Ward's Best Engines in 2011, J.D. Powers Appeal Award, and many others.