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A California-based Hyundai dealership has filed a lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America claiming that the automaker did not provide help to the struggling dealership despite contractual agreements and assurances that Hyundai would do everything necessary to help out the dealership during the economic downturn.

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Hyundai is shaking its money makers, spending €60 million to upgrade its dealer network in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Each of 2,500 dealers will spend at least €24,000 on improving their facilities, with matching funds coming from both distributors and the parent company.

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In 2007 Hyundai had a US sales target of 555,000. That number was set by HQ in Korea, and when it was clear they weren't going to make it, they revised it downward to just over 500,000. By the time the bell rung, even that number proved a little beyond Hyundai's reach: they sold 467,009 cars last year. That still represented a 2.5-percent gain over 2006 sales.

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Shape up or ship out seems to be the message that Hyundai is sending to 50 of its worst performing dealers. Automotive News is reporting that Hyundai Motor America COO Steve Wilhite sent a "strongly worded" letter to 50 'chronic underachievers.' Poor sales and customer service is at the heart of Wilhite's threats: "We're giving them six months to correct the mistakes. If they can, we're thrilled to have them. If they can't, we want them to turn in their franchises."

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