By on February 1, 2011

Hyundai’s sales were up 22 percent last month, driven by huge growth for Sonata (13,261 units) and Elantra (9,659 units). But, rather than spend the whole press release [PDF here] trumpeting sales data alone, Hyundai upped the transparency bar on its competitors by announcing it would

begin reporting monthly sales-weighted Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) results to provide journalists, policy-makers and consumers with additional data to promote more meaningful dialogue on the feasibility of future fuel efficiency targets for the industry…

For January 2011, Hyundai’s sales-weighted CAFE level was 34.7 miles per gallon, with a model year mix for the month of 86 percent 2011 and 14 percent 2010 model year vehicles. This is a significant increase from Hyundai’s most recent official CAFE level for the 2009 model year of 31.7 mpg.

By publishing both its fleet mix (12%) and CAFE average, Hyundai is proving that marketing is a million times easier when the facts fit the message. At 34.7 CAFE, Hyundai is a single MPG away from complying with the 35.5 MPG 2016 proposed CAFE standard, and just a whisker away from meeting its corporate commitment to meet 35 MPG fleet by 2015. Which is all fine and dandy, but as a blog that’s forever digging for obscure information about the car industry, we’re even more excited about Hyundai’s decision to take the lead on transparency. TTAC encourages all automakers to release both sales-weighted CAFE numbers and full fleet-mix numbers (and any other relevant data) with their monthly sales reports. The truth, as we say around here, must out! [Hyundai and Kia sales breakouts after the jump]

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16 Comments on “Hyundai: What’s Your CAFE Number?...”

  • avatar

    Why market something that is pretty much worthless, and most consumers don’t care about?  The economy numbers are already on the sticker.  Why do I care what Hyundai’s corporate number is?
    I’m sure if sales of the Santa Fe V6 suddenly start taking off, and their CAFE drops, they’ll end the practice.
    This just encourages more of the CAFE same.  I’d prefer they just keep their mouth shut.

  • avatar

    My SRT8 gets about 10 miles to the gallon and my S550 gets a little less than 15. What’re my numbers?

  • avatar

    Good for Hyundai. One figure I noticed was for the Elantra and how the Cruze was handily outselling it. Now some will say the Elantra has only just been released for sale. But I recall some pooh-poohing that excuse for the Cruze late last year. Maybe the Cruze will do better than some on here expect – although they will never admit it.

  • avatar

    Easy when you’re not a full line automaker.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, I doubt Hyundai would mind having an F150 in their portfolio.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, I doubt Hyundai would mind having an F150 in their portfolio.
      Of course not.  But as long as they don’t they’ll milk the green angle for all it’s worth.  From a business standpoint they’re correct.
      From my standpoint, CAFE is terrible law that shits on market principles and car enthusiasts both.   And Hyundai’s self serving embrace of it turns me off to the extent that the Hyundai in the driveway won’t be replaced by another one.

  • avatar

    Why don’t you just do the work yourselves?  The NHTSA CAFE numbers are by model and engine type.  You could back out a rough calculation of any automakers’ monthly CAFE by estimating an average CAFE per model.  That plus sales by model allows you to calculate the CAFE.  I would bet the error introduced by this is fairly minor.
    Also, the NHTSA reports on average CAFE numbers going back for years – it even has estimates for 2010 already.  The CAFE number is 35.5 combined, based on the historical sales of trucks vs. cars.  It’s 39 for cars, and 30 for light trucks in 2016.  You need that breakdown from Hyundai to see if they are really on target or not.

  • avatar

    I am a Hyundai fanboy, but it’s easy for them to sing about the Sonata’s huge jump in January sales because the 2011 Sonata went on sale in Feb 2010 (too early to call it a 2011, IMO).  Its momentum is strong.  I would think that the Feb 2011 vs Feb 2010 increase won’t be nearly as great.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Jan ’11 vs. Jan ’10 Sonata sales growth is very, very strong no matter how you look at it. I’m pretty sure the numbers listed are numbers of units, no matter which model year designator was attached to them. The current generation of Sonata has become a real factor in its class.

  • avatar

    While I agree that the avg car buyer doesn’t really care what the fleet CAFE standards are especially since they aren’t really related to the EPA estimates, they are more interested in the MPG estimates of a particular car. I also applaud their efforts to become the MPG leader particularly since their cars used to post some of the worst MPG ratings for their respective classes.
    On the other hand I have to applaud Hyundai for posting their CAFE but more so for the fact that they publish all factory level repair info something you have to purchase from other manufactures.

  • avatar

    The point isn’t so that the public will latch onto meaningless CAFE numbers. They won’t. The point is to get the media (including bloggers) to talk about their CAFE numbers and distill the information down for the readers, further bolstering Hyundai’s recent spate of targeted brand messaging surrounding their gas mileage.

    There’s a psychological effect on the consumer brain when this information doesn’t come directly from Hyundai—where it would obviously be biased—but from perceived car “experts” (I’m looking at you Inside Line and Autoblog) who will happily regurgitate whatever information the manufacturer provides.

    While parts of the press release seemed almost cocky (which is more than a little ironic from a brand who couldn’t get out of it’s own way for how many years?), I applaud Hyundai’s efforts to be transparent, even if the information that they’re supplying drives me a little crazy (I don’t buy into the equity of the CAFE system). As long as they let the facts do the talking—which it looks to me like they have—I have no objection to them publishing detailed information about their corporate fuel economy goals and achievements.

  • avatar

    Hyundai meeting the requirement just means the government will think 1) CAFE works and is a good solution, and 2) that it will be just as easy for full-line makers such as Ford, GM, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan etc to meet these requirements.
    It will only encourage them to push the numbers even higher.

  • avatar

    I don’t give two Scheißes about their CAFE transparency, when they won’t separate Genesis Sedan and Coupe sales numbers.

    I’ll resist the urge to type this in all caps, but Hyundai: They’re totally separate models. Knock off the batching, already.

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