The second most powerful executive at Hyundai, COO and senior executive vice president Seung Tak Kim, has consistently stuck to the company line that Hyundai is not interested in becoming the world's largest automaker.
"Our global sales target for 2012 is 4.3 million cars," he explained but added that the company's primary objective was not sales.
"So, what's our ultimate goal? We want to be the world's biggest automaker? No. We simply want to be become the world's most loved automotive brand."
Frank Ahrens, Director for Global PR at Hyundai, expounded on TK Seung's "most loved" comments, and why becoming number one was not important. Simply put, Ahrens stated that Hyundai is attempting to create a deeper emotional connection between car and driver.
"We're trying to raise the Hyundai brand to something greater than value for money. That's something we've been hammering on for a little while.
"We know where we've come from and we know what it was like when we focussed only on volume, and for us it led to quality problems back in the 1990s.
"So we don’t want to be that anymore. When people like a brand they feel an emotional connection to it, the way people do with their iPhones and Starbucks coffee, all the great brands. It's not just a commodity; people go to the brand, and that's what we're aiming for.
"It's also about creating an emotional connection with people, and you do that by meeting their needs before they think about it. Part of that is bringing our premium features down through the entire line to lift the brand."
"The other thing is creating products that are intuitive and impeccable and are simple to learn. That you don't even have to learn - the way you didn't have to learn the dial menu on the original iPods, it was just under your finger. So that's what we're trying to do.
"In the past the idea of premium has been the idea of load on more stuff, bling for bling's sake. That's exactly opposite of what we're trying to do. And if we do those things differently we think we can create a connection with the customer where we're simply not a choice for price only."
Hyundai views rapid growth not only as a tertiary goal, but also as a concern in some respects. The Korean car maker has no problems selling cars, but claims it is lowering its annual global growth targets to ensure quality remains high.
"I think focussing on sales numbers only is going at it backwards," continued Ahrens. "I mean we could sell more cars than we sell now - we're pretty much capacity constrained - but let's say we popped up more factories. We could sell more cars, because the demand is there.
"We wouldn't do that even if we could. Last year in 2011 we grew globally about 12 per cent, our sales target for growth globally this year is about six per cent, half of that. We have purposefully set a lower sales growth target because we want to make sure all our quality procedures are good. All the bolts are on tight, is a way to think of it.
"Some of our competitors have aggressively said 'we want to be number one' in terms of global sales. We say go get 'em.
"Because we spent so much time and money and effort improving our quality, it's now something we jealously guard. And we are wary of catching what others call 'Toyota disease' the idea of trying to grow too fast."