Hyundai's Momentum Explained?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
hyundais momentum explained

This graph of Hyundai’s market since 1993 is a refreshing antidote to yesterday’s depressing Detroit market share picture. And it doesn’t take a whiz kid to deduce the single most important factor in Hyundai’s success. Notice a bit of an uptick starting in 1998? That was the year Hyundai introduced its 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. It’s been suggested before on these pages that GM should address its “perception gap” with meaningful improvements in warranty coverage rather than more talk. After all, if it could fix Hyundais weak 1990s-era rep, it couldn’t hurt The General’s. This seems to be conclusive proof that warranties matter as much as the products they cover. After all, what good are a few extra horsepower or more interior room to a consumer compared to insulation from risk?

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  • SkiD666 SkiD666 on Jan 08, 2010

    Lets say we believe GM that they are now designing vehicles (and their individual parts) to last longer. Does anyone really believe that they would increase their warranty before the majority of their vehicles conform to this new standard. Until almost all their lineup has been refreshed, I don't see it happening any time soon (maybe 3 -4 years down the road if they are 'profitable').

  • TrailerTrash TrailerTrash on Jan 08, 2010

    To me, it still comes down to what Hyundai would I buy, and over what other offer? I can't think of one. Their best, the Genesis, is not my choice over the SHO. Its not even close. Even the G37. I must admit, I give a lot of points for AWD. Of their lower ends, I would choose a Mazda3, Civic and others. Midsized Azera? the new Sonata coming out soon, but again...over what? The Fusion, Malibu, Mazda6 or even the Altima are better choises.

  • Don1967 Don1967 on Jan 08, 2010

    I doubt Hyundai would be so foolish as to knowingly over-warranty a bad product, after watching the Chrysler experience a few years ago. Only premium brands can afford to over-warranty, since they have the profit margins to cover the risk. Input by Michael Karesh would be welcome here, but I suspect that product reliability does correlate with warranty. At least among the mainstream brands. The Japanese, for example, have long out-warrantied the Americans even when they didn't have to. And where their warranties have shortened (ie: when Nissan Canada quietly downgraded its 6-year "major components" warranty into a 5-year "powertrain" warranty), it has generally foreshadowed a period of cost-cutting and quality declines which are now showing up in the consumer literature. Interestingly enough, Hyundai does not provide the 10-year powertrain warranty in Canada; just a 5-year bumper-to-bumper plan. That probably reflects our brutal winters up here, with no Floridas or Californias to average down the cost of repairs.

    • Jack99 Jack99 on Jan 09, 2010

      don1967, Major props. I'd give you rep points for that comment if TTAC had the system in place. I've been wondering for a couple of months just why the warranty in Canada isn't as generous. I'm now inclined to believe your theory's right on the mark. And yes, I stand by my comment earlier. No company would knowingly provide warranties on a shoddy product.

  • Cos999 Cos999 on Jan 08, 2010

    Edward-With all due respect you are incorrect. Hyundais uptick is due to their 5 yr 60k bumper-bumper warranty, not the 10-100. Too many items excluded on the 10/100 but the 5 yr 60k is just like everyone else's 3/36. Personal experience: Bought a 2002 Santa Fe as CRV's were impossible to come by and decided to take chance on hyundai cause of 5/60 bumper-bumper. Feb 06-90k miles, car died. A plastic part in the engine broke...shrapnel got under timing belt..trashed the engine. Hyundai HQ said sorry, the plastic part is non warrantied part and if a warrantied part takes out a non-warranty part you are not covered. Car sat for 3 weeks in dealer lot...they wanted me to trade-in on new one, eventually HQ agreed to put in rebuilt engine..I sold that car as is for $2500 5 months later..pristine condition..well mainatained..had to reduce price from 5000 to that to get it sold. I have run honda's and toyota's to 200k miles..Saturn, Hyundai and Nissan all crapped out with major, major issues before 100k! GM and Chrysler are DEAD w/o offering a 5/60 bumper-bumper. That's the only way anyone will TRY their products again. PS I changed the timing belt on the santa fe on my own nickel at the mileage they recommend as well and because i did so dealer said if the timing belt failed and trashed the engine, it is covered under 100k warranty. But b/c a non-warrantied part trashed the timing belt, NOTHING was covered.