There has been a lot of chatter about the new distributor of one of the country's most popular brands: Hyundai.

We all know that there will be a changeover at Hyundai in the Philippines from a local partner distributor to a company that will be a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea. The strategy to change to that kind of a setup is a very logical one, as it gives the local market greater access to new models as part of the global network. It's very important to note that 7 of the top 10 best-selling auto companies in the country are reporting to headquarters abroad: Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, Nissan, Suzuki, Isuzu, and Honda.

For some reason, Hyundai hasn't yet reached out to any of us in the media. Much of the information we are getting is from insiders from the existing Hyundai dealer network that is very much eager to get going. That's understandable; for the last few years, many have had reduced unit supplies and aging models to offer their customers.

What we know is that the new company is doing the rounds with the existing Hyundai dealers that had been working with the previous distributor, HARI. We have been told that existing dealers are being asked to express their interest (to bid, essentially) to be part of the new Hyundai network.

Korean lady to drive new Hyundai PH distributor? image

Audrey Byun of Hyundai (via wemotor)

More importantly, sources have confirmed that the head of the new Hyundai distributor will be a Korean lady, her name is Audrey Byun. If she is indeed the new president, then the appointment is a very logical one given that her previous posting (as far as we know) was with Dealer Enhancement at Hyundai Asia Pacific when they were based in Malaysia. Someone with years of experience working with dealers is what Hyundai needs.

The new company is laying the groundwork to move forward. The new entity has already been registered with the SEC, under Hyundai Motor Philippines, Inc.. The second is that the new vehicles they will offer are undergoing emissions certification with the DENR. They will begin with four models, and insiders tell us that the units are already in the country. The launch will be sometime in June of this year.

Exciting times are coming for Hyundai customers and dealers. If they can re-establish the strength of the Hyundai brand in the Philippines with attractive models with great specs, competitive pricing, and outstanding service, the South Korean marque can reclaim the ground it lost in the last few years.