Orange County Business Journal

Hyundai Ends Motorsports Participation

Heidi Kulicke Monday, October 1, 2012

Costa Mesa-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. will end its participation in North American motorsports at the end of this racing season.

The company will also end its support of motorsports driver Rhys Millen. Millen made the announcement about Hyundai’s departure last week and Hyundai later confirmed the news.

Hyundai has supported Rhys Millen Racing for the past four years.

The automaker told Santa Monica-based automotive website Edmunds.com it’s re-evaluating its motorsports marketing strategy.

“Hyundai Motor America has made a decision to step back and re-evaluate its motorsports strategy in order to determine what is best for the brand following the conclusion of the 2012 Global Rallycross and Formula Drift seasons,” Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainor told Edmunds.

Hyundai said it plans to return to the FIA World Rally Championship, which it competed in from 1998 to 2003.

Hyundai Motor America Inc. is a subsidiary of Seoul-based Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. It has 977 employees in Orange County.