Hyundai Aims High With Record-Low 50 MPG

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
hyundai aims high with record low 50 mpg

Did we mention that Hyundai is doing well in the U.S.? Sales up 21 percent for the year. Hyundai cars sold in the U.S. average about 30 miles per gallon, the best fuel efficiency in the industry. Jack Baruth loves his 2005 Hyundai Accent so much that major portions had to be redacted such as not to conflict with indecency laws. Can Hyundai do much better than that? They think they can. How? No idea.

By 2025, Hyundai plans to have a fleet average of 50 mpg for its cars sold in the U.S., says The Nikkei [sub]. That’s on par with hybrid cars.

A lofty goal? Hyundai is used to lofty goals. Faced by a government mandated fuel efficiency of 35.5 per gallon by 2016, Hyundai previously targeted 35 miles per gallon by 2015. They aren’t too far away from reaching it.

John Krafcik, president of Hyundai U.S., told The Nikkei that he has no idea how they will reach the 50 mpg target. In the world according to Krafcik, a target one knows how to reach cannot be called a target.

Hyundai also plans to release seven new models in the United States by the end of 2011.

For high-end models, there will be something highly unusual: Only two trim levels. Their Equus, to be launched stateside in fall, will be offered as a stripper and a fully decked-oout version, including an LCD TV, and a refrigerator. A printed manual will be missing. It will come on an iPad tablet computer.

Krafcik said people are tired of going through long lists of confusing options. By cutting down on the choices, the car is easier to make.

Hyundai’s U.S. market share, including Kia, rose to 7.8 percent in the January-July period this year, mainly on the strong sales of the Sonata.

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  • Glenn Mercer Glenn Mercer on Aug 23, 2010

    I agree EPA doesn't like diesels, but I was unaware CAFE (NHTSA) penalized them somehow, also. Would love to hear more about that. I would throw in to the anti-diesel camp, however, CARB (California Air Resources Board), as well as EPA: I think California has always been pretty down on diesels, and of course what CARB does influences many other regulators, at the state and federal levels...

  • WetWilly WetWilly on Aug 23, 2010

    "They think they can. How? No idea." Here's an idea: 1) 1.2 Kappa + GDI -> Accent 2) 1.2 Kappa + GDI + Turbo (or 1.4 Gamma + GDI) -> Elantra 3) 1.6 Gamma GDI + Turbo -> Sonata 4) 2.4 Theta II GDI + Turbo -> Genesis / Santa Fe / Azera 5) 3.3 Lambda II GDI + Turbo -> Equus Now add hybrid technology + dual clutch and 8-speed transmissions to the mix and you'll see they're more than capable of at least approaching the 50 mpg target in fairly short order.

  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.
  • Inside Looking Out GM is like America, it does the right thing only after trying everything else.  As General Motors goes, so goes America.