Hyundai’s plans to launch a mobile business in the UK have been scrapped.
The move comes after the manufacturer failed to find an alternative strategy after the collapse of its distribution partner, Advantage Cellular, in March this year.
Hyundai’s European mobile chief, Roland Prinz, had been looking for an alternative launch partner and weighing up the viability for launching Hyundai as a mobile handset brand in the current economic climate.
With nothing attractive on the horizon, Prinz is understood to have ditched his mobile plans for the foreseeable future.
Hyundai announced its entry into the mobile phone market at the beginning of the year, basing itself in the same Oxfordshire building as partner Advantage to oversee its expansion into the UK.
Hyundai had been recruiting for a technical manager, national account sales manager and had installed Graham Jelfs as its most senior individual.
However, two months after Hyundai Mobile UK launched, Advantage went into administration when Polish backer Roman Karkosik pulled his investment from the company. It is thought Karkosik also decided not to invest any more in Hyundai Mobile UK at the same time.
Jelfs told Mobile: 'It’s really sad after all the hard work that we’re not able to launch as planned. The excellent PR campaign led to numerous phone calls and emails from consumers requesting our products.
'However, the global economical situation prevented it all from coming together, and it’s left me looking for a new role, ideally within the industry.’
Hyundai was aiming for a UK market share of 3-5% within the first five years and initially pledged to release 10-15 handsets in the UK this year.
It planned to take on eight members of staff, but it’s not known how many were working there as the venture was disbanded.
Other new entrant manufacturers, all from the Far East, are still looking to gain a foothold in the UK market, despite intense competition. These include Huawei, ZTE, Acer, INQ and possibly Asus.
Like Hyundai, the new entrants believe a combination of low costs and the struggles of Motorola and Sony Ericsson gives them room to compete in the UK market.