There are now six million Hyundai cars on European roads and the brand is growing faster than ever. It aims to increase its market share in the region from 3.4% now to 5% by the end of the decade.
Allan Rushforth, chief operating officer for Hyundai Motor Europe, said: "We saw a lot of growth between 2008 and 2013 led by the introduction of 15 new and updated models. After a couple of years of consolidation, we will now start to push again with 17 new models or derivatives between now and 2017. But the way we grew in the past will not necessarily be the way we grow in the future. We need to improve the brand experience and we need to work on our brand loyalty.
"Around 70% of Hyundai vehicles in Europe are less than seven years old. We benefitted a lot through the scrappage schemes and now we have to keep those customers, we are no longer a conquest brand."
Hyundai, said Rushforth, is now a mainstream player in Europe with assembly plants in the Czech Republic and Turkey. He added: "We have invested EUR2.2bn in Europe since 2008 and we employ directly, or indirectly, 152,000 people while making half a million cars a year in the region. We have earned our place as a genuine European citizen."
He added that while the South Korean brand largely targets mainstream brands such as Ford, Opel, Renault and Volkswagen in Europe, it is also putting a toe in the premium sector water with the introduction of the high end Genesis later this year.
"We are not looking to sell huge numbers, perhaps 1,000 a year in Europe, but the Genesis will showcase what we are capable of. It will sell to some people who have a familiarity with the brand and to the diplomatic community. We have not decided on price yet but the car will be better value than the equivalent German premium brands."