Hyundai Motor Company is this year celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of its best-selling models, the Sonata mid-size sedan.
The Sonata, which made its debut in 1985 in Korea, has played a pivotal role in Hyundai’s growth and reputation, especially in the Middle East and Africa, where it was launched in 1988, and by April 2015 it had registered sales of some 314,181 units in this region alone.
In total, it has recorded sales of over 7.3 million units globally since its introduction 30 years ago, ensuring its place as a family sedan much loved by customers all around the world.
During its 30-year history, the Sonata has been constantly reinvented with a fresh new look and innovative technologies to ensure each generation is the leader in the class. Most recently, the Korean brand introduced the All-New Sonata, 7th Generation, to the Middle East in September 2014.
“Over the past 30 years we have continued to aspire to become the world’s most beloved brand and the ongoing success of the Sonata has helped contribute to this goal” said James Kim, Vice-President and Head of Hyundai Africa and Middle East. “Since 1988, this iconic model has been a huge factor in Hyundai's growth not only in Africa and the Middle East but around the world, this is thanks to the constant reinvention of the model which has ensured that it has continued to stay ahead of competitor models and at the forefront of our customer’s minds.”
The latest generation, named the All-New Sonata stays true to Hyundai’s acclaimed ‘Modern Premium’ brand direction, where it offers modern styling, excellent performance, and practical application of the latest Hyundai technologies. It is the second model have been designed using Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 philosophy boasting dramatic looks and a design concept that focuses on ‘Inner Force’, a theme that points to evolved aesthetics and confident perfection.
History of the Sonata
1st Generation Sonata (1985)
The 1st Generation Sonata was one of the first models designed with Hyundai Motor’s in-house capabilities. The 1st Generation Sonata began the legacy of Sonata by exceeding 1 million unit sales in Korea by a single model name for the first time.
2nd Generation Sonata (1988)
Unlike the 1st Generation model, the 2nd Generation Sonata employed a front wheel drive system. As Korea’s first independently designed model, it departed from the angular design and adopted a curvy aerodynamic design. The facelift, launched in 1991, was the first model to be badged with a revised Hyundai Motor logo.
3rd Generation Sonata (1993)
The 1990s saw the world turn digital, and the Sonata was no exception. The 3rd Generation Sonata enjoyed a great boost in popularity due to many advanced features, including automated side mirrors and ABS.
4th Generation Sonata (1998)
The 4th Generation Sonata was launched in 1998. The mid-sized sedan was sold in Europe and was equipped with an internally developed engine and Hyundai Intelligent Vehicle Electronic Control (HIVEC) transmission. It became the highest scoring mid-sized sedan in the 2004 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey in the U.S.
5th Generation Sonata (2004)
The 5th Generation Sonata was developed to achieve the goal of becoming a world-class car. The design adopted a European style, boasting both elegance and character. Equipped with advanced features and a greatly improved safety rating, the 5th Generation Sonata received unanimous praise from its customers.
6th Generation Sonata (2009)
The 6th Generation Sonata was one of the first Hyundai Motor models to employ the Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy. Its bold and unique design, powerful engine and solid performance created a sensation in the mid-sized sedan market all around the world with record unit sales, allowing Sonata to become one of the Hyundai Motor’s most recognizable models. In addition, the Sonata Hybrid was introduced in 2010.
7th Generation Sonata (2014)
The All-new Sonata, 7th Generation, has further refined and balanced the trendy style of the evolved version of Hyundai Motor’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, making it truly pioneering in the mid-sized sedan class in terms of both design and performance. Every detail has been upgraded to perfection and various design elements have been balanced to embrace consistency to achieve the ‘essential qualities’ of an automobile. Launched in the Middle East in Jordan in September 2014, the 7th Generation Sonata impresses customers with superb drivability, safety and emotional satisfaction, as well as advanced features.