Hyundai's transformation has been so successful that its growing U.S. market share -- 2.2 percent last year, up from 2 percent in 2001 --
inspired others to venture into the entry-level segment, according to the Dallas Morning News
The U.S. gains have been coming at the expense of other automakers, the Morning News
said. The domestic automakers' share of the U.S. market has dropped to around 60 percent as
imports have multiplied. In 2001, Hyundai's sales were up 41.7 percent, the largest increase of any automaker in the nation.
Perhaps more important, Hyundai's quality over the last five years has grown more than any other automaker's, according to the Morning News
Thanks partly to labor costs in South Korea,
Hyundais are among the least expensive cars on the market, according to the Morning News
. Now, the company is working on style and refinement, Finn O'Neill, president and
chief executive officer said.
"When you are rebuilding a brand like we are, we have to make it all right to have a Hyundai in the driveway," he said. "We have to develop a brand that says we offer great styling, great content and great value. We're not going to be BMW, a performance-driven brand. But we don't want to be bland, either."