Hyundai Kona wins yet another international award

This is the first time a Hyundai crossover has won the award, presented at the Detroit auto show.
Updated 23 January 2019
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Hyundai Kona wins yet another international award

The Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) models were together named the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year automotive media jury.

This is the first time that a Hyundai CUV model has won the Utility Vehicle of the Year category. The winner of the CUV category is announced every year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year jury is made up of an independent panel of top journalists and analysts based in the US and Canada. Since 1994, the organization has recognized top cars, trucks and utility vehicles. This year’s jury of 54 media outlets includes journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV broadcast channels, digital columnists and freelance media.

Apart from the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award, the Hyundai Kona has also achieved international recognition during the past year by winning an iF Design Award in the Automobiles / Vehicles category. The award recognized the elegant and expressive appearance of Hyundai Motor’s first subcompact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). 

The iF Design Award is an arbiter of quality and one of the most important design awards. Since 1953 the iF, which stands for international Forum, has singled out worldwide products in all branches of industry for awards in recognition of their outstanding design. Hyundai Motor also won the iF Design Award in 2015 for the i20, in 2016 for the Tucson, and in 2017 for the new-generation i30 — all after undergoing a rigorous testing cycle adopted by iF to keep the quality of the award as high as possible.

Earlier in 2018, the Hyundai Kona also received a Red Dot Design Award — one of the most renowned international design and innovation prizes. The Kona, which was recognized for outstanding design and innovation, was awarded together with Hyundai’s NEXO Fuel Cell vehicle in the Cars and Motorcycles category.

Hyundai’s Kona has also received a GOOD DESIGN Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Founded in Chicago in 1950, the prestigious GOOD DESIGN Awards honor the yearly achievements of the best industrial and graphic designers and world manufacturers for their pursuit of extraordinary design excellence. 

Other awards won by the Hyundai Kona over the past year include the Sub-Compact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas at the 2018 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Annual Texas Truck Rodeo; and the ABC award for Best Car of the Year 2019 in Spain. 

The Hyundai Kona, launched regionally in August 2018, is available in Africa and the Middle East with two highly advanced engine and transmission options: A 1.6-liter T-GDI or a 2-liter MPI Atkinson cycle unit. 

The Hyundai Gamma 1.6-liter T-GDI petrol engine is offered with four-wheel drive and is paired with a seven-speed double clutch automatic transmission. The engine, which delivers 177 PS / 130 kW and 265 Nm torque, handles every environment with ease. The turbocharger is equipped with an electronically controlled waste-gate actuator that improves fuel efficiency by reducing pumping losses as well as improving throttle response and low-end torque. The unit features a six-hole GDI injector, pressured to a higher-than-average 200 bar, securing a clean combustion.


Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

Updated 24 April 2019
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Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

The acquisition of an African fertilizer distribution company by Ma’aden, the largest Saudi mining company, will advance Ma’aden’s Strategy 2025, which includes plans to expand operations in the Kingdom and grow sales globally. The acquisition will also support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the economy, increase non-oil exports, boost the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP, and reinforce the mining sector as the third pillar of Saudi industry, after oil and gas and petrochemicals. 

Ma’aden will make its first international acquisition with the purchase of the Mauritius-based Meridian Group, which is due to be completed by September for an undisclosed fee.

The publicly-listed Saudi mining company will acquire an 85 percent stake in the company in an all-cash deal that will provide one of the Middle East’s largest phosphate producers with 3,000 staff and a network of operations across southern Africa, from Malawi to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Phosphate is used to produce fertilizer that is essential in replacing the phosphorous mineral that is removed from soil when agricultural crops are harvested. 

“This acquisition marks a very important step in Ma’aden’s strategy to build global distribution channels for our fertilizer products,” said Darren Davis, president and chief executive of Ma’aden. “As we continue to build one of the largest producers and exporters of phosphate fertilizers in the world, ensuring an efficient route to key growth markets is critical to our success.” 

Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries. As a sector, it can therefore contribute to major continental priorities, such as eradicating poverty and hunger. The agri industry can also boost intra-Africa trade and investments, rapid industrialization and economic diversification, sustainable resource and environmental management, and create jobs, human security and shared prosperity.

The Southeast African market, like most of the African continent of 1 billion people, is experiencing increased demand for phosphate fertilizers which industry analysts expect to continue growing by 5 percent annually over the next decade, fueled by population growth and increasing education in the use of fertilizers.

“Ma’aden is acquiring unparalleled access to complementary distribution, blending and product-development capabilities in this fast-growth region,” said Hassan Al-Ali, Ma’aden’s senior vice president for phosphate. “This transaction will provide us with logistics advantages in Southeast Africa, and greater knowledge of on-the-ground customer requirements, both of which will be instrumental in better serving our customers.”

The Saudi global mining giant will secure the remaining 15 percent of Meridian’s equity over four years on agreed terms linked to the performance of the African company, which distributes approximately half-a-million tons of fertilizer through its network of granulation and blending plants, warehousing complexes and port facilities. 

HSBC acted as Ma’aden’s financial adviser on the deal and Baker McKenzie was the Saudi company’s legal adviser for this acquisition.