By on March 4, 2010

While Toyota is trying to convince the American public that they’re as American as losing at hockey Wal-Mart, Hyundai is pulling the same stunt over at the other side of the pond. Forbes reports that Hyundai wants to become a card carrying member of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

Founded in 1991, the snooty Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles represents “the interests of the fifteen European car, truck and bus manufacturers at EU level,” as the ACEA website says. And they take the “European” seriously when a new member applies.  Theoretically, having a plant that makes entire cars in Europe suffices. But then, why are only Ford, GM and Toyota members? Ford and GM had been in Europe longer than Volkswagen. Toyota had to apply several times, and invest €6b in Europe, until they were finally admitted in 2007.

“We want to demonstrate our European credentials,” said Allan Rushforth, Vice President of Hyundai Europe. Hyundai thinks they qualify with their plants in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. An ACEA spokesperson, Sigrid de Vries said that Hyundai’s application would be considered but not before June – that’s when the new member committee meets.

Not everyone will welcome the South Koreans with open arms. European carmakers aren’t exactly happy at the European Union’s planned free trade agreement with South Korea. ACEA is worried the deal could lead to a flood of low-cost cars assembled in South Korea from cheaper parts from other parts of Asia, i.e. China. The deal needs EU government and European Parliament backing, and the ACEA will bring its lobbying might to bear against it. A Korean nose under the tent would be a bit distracting – non?

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8 Comments on “Hyundai: Look, We’re European!...”

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Cammy – you really enjoyed that hockey barb didn’t you :-o
    Keep up the great work – am loving your prose but don’t feel like you have to do any more singing ;-)

  • avatar

    I hope Hyundai doesn’t demonstrate its “European credentials” too much. I prefer my cars without transmission leaks, electrical faults and $600 oil changes.

    PS: What a hockey game! Canucks rule of course, but the U.S. put up a great fight.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    From what little I know about hockey, I’m quite glad the usual rules were not used since having smashed heads, bloody messes and teeth knocked out during Olympic games wouldn’t really be on, would they?

  • avatar

    Go back and polish your ONE medal. But it was Gold so congrats to the UK Women Sliders.

  • avatar

    As so what do these associations do for the citizens of Europe? Keep out the competition? Stifle innovation? Slow the industry so they progress in lockstep?

    I think the American equivalent had alot to do with the reason Toyota stopped building the good RAV4-EV.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s an association for automakers, obviously they’re working for their own interests, not the citizens. Naturally what benefits the european automotive cluster benefits alot of citizens employed in that sector as well, but that is not the primary focus.

  • avatar

    Good lord. “Do these stripes make me look fat?” No, more like ginormous.

  • avatar

    don’t hyundai/kia make heaps of cars in slovenia and whatever eastern bloc country will let them

    i doubt it’s cheaper to make them in korea than it is to make them in the non western EU

    and besides, so much of the EU Korean cars are designed in the EU anyway… they have a design office in Cologne I beleive

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