Ever wondered if your local car manufacturer intentionally produces better quality cars for the export market versus the domestic ones for local consumption? Well, the Koreans certainly do. According to a survey, 74% of the respondent believe that Hyundai’s overseas models are of better quality than the local ones (in Korea).

Well, the company then held a head-on collision test demonstration recently, pitting a Korean-market Sonata against a US-made Sonata. Essentially, it wanted to prove to local audiences that there is no difference between the stiffness of the Sonata’s domestic and US models.

Two Sonata 2.0 Turbo models were used in the demonstration – one from the local Korean market and another that was shipped from the US. Apparently, the cars were chosen at random, and the palm prints you see on the cars are there to reassure the audience that no reinforcements or strengthening was performed after it was received.

Fast forward to the actual collision, both cars were sent hurtling towards each other at 56 km/h, in front of a packed audience that consisted of local Sonata owners and members of the media as well.

Judging from the pictures, it looks like both cars suffered an equal amount of damage. So kudos to Hyundai for doing something like this to reassure their customers that there is virtually no difference in quality when it comes to its standards on manufacturing for both local and export models.

But of course, while this test proves that the Sonatas sold in Korea and the US have similar crash safety standards, the same does not apply for all brands and models. The Mitsubishi Triton, for instance, received a full five-star ANCAP and ASEAN NCAP crash safety ratings in its Australian-market guise, while the Malaysian models scored just four stars.