It was way back in 1974 when the Korean company made its European debut at the Turin Motor Show, where it presented its first car: the Pony. Behind the clean geometric design of this angular and extremely functional car was the pen of Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also designed the first Golf, which was launched in the same year. Giugiaro himself recalled this fruitful phase of his career at the recent Hyundai Night event in Milan. He talked about how, at first, the automaker’s design and logistics setup was still in such an embryonic stage of development that even procuring basic components was a problem.

Perplexed, he complained to Chung Ju-yung, the company’s founder who, in response, took him to a brand new production plant and showed him evidence of how the site stood on what had been marshland only a few months earlier. The speed and resourcefulness with which the factory had been built convinced the Piedmontese designer that the Koreans deserved his trust. The Pony was unveiled in Italy a few years later. Today, rediscovering the past can be a starting point for looking towards the future with more confidence, following the automaker’s long-standing policy of continual evolution: “We have never stopped working on the styling of our models, as demonstrated by the recent hydrogen-powered Nexo and the i10 that will be presented in a few months,” explained Nicola Danza, design manager at Hyundai Europe.

“We welcome this meeting as an opportunity to look back on our partnership with Giugiaro, whose principles still apply, to some extent, in how we design today.”
An advertising campaign has been launched on Italy’s main television networks to celebrate the links between the different stylistic periods and tell the Italian public all about the Pony.