I40: Hyundai's Wagon-First Assault On Europe's Midsized Market

When TTAC’s Tal Bronfer caught a D-segment Hyundai station wagon brake testing in Austria’s Groβglockner High Alpine Road, we concluded that the “Sonata wagon” was

not a simple sheetmetal job

It turns out that was something of an understatement.

Read more
Ask The Best And Brightest: How Should Hyundai Sell Its Luxury Offerings?

It’s a strange question to ask, considering that Hyundai is already selling the Genesis and Equus luxury sedans, but apparently Hyundai decided to bring out the cars before launching a brand. According to the Wall Street Journal

There are three branding scenarios under consideration. The most likely is to create a subbrand called “Genesis,” and sell the models under the same dealership roof as Hyundai but in a separate part of the showroom, possibly with dedicated salespeople, said John Krafcik, the president of Hyundai Motor America.

The other scenarios are to keep the premium cars badged as Hyundais, or—in the most ambitious move—spin off the brand into separate dealer facilities, much like Lexus or Honda Motor Co.’s Acura

Those are the options, but for a little more context, let’s check in with Hyundai USA boss John Krafcik…

Read more
UAW Protest Targets Hyundai, Ignores Hypocrisy

Unable to provide meaningful representation to its dwindling membership, the United Auto Workers is continuing its post-bailout strategy of poking its nose into everyone else’s business with a protest planned for today at the Hyundai America Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI. While its own workers face the aftermath of a bailout that saw tens of US plants shut down, the UAW opines on the Korean situation in a release which notes:

Frustrated by their temporary status, auto workers at a Hyundai Motor Co.mpany plant in Ulsan, South Korea, declared a strike on Nov. 15, and one desperate worker set himself on fire in protest of the company’s refusal to offer secure jobs. About 500 workers have since led an occupation of various plants in the Hyundai compound… To anyone interested in workplace fairness, the resolution of the Ulsan Hyundai workers’ strike is critical. It could either speed up progress toward ensuring global living wages, or provide a green light on the race to the bottom the auto industry began years ago – — with Toyota and Hyundai getting a head start.

One must, however, point out that the UAW has made its fair share of contributions to recent declines in auto worker wages. After all, it forced nearly half of GM’s Orion Assembly plant workforce to take a 40 percent wage cut in order to build a politically-popular fuel-efficient subcompact (the next-gen Aveo) in the US. Not only did this represent an unconscionable screwing of its own union “brothers” but it also directly hurts the Korean workers the UAW now so self-righteously defends by by stealing jobs using the very same “race to the bottom” that it decries. Besides, the labor situation in Korea is a bit more complex than the UAW’s Manichean moralizing makes it out to be…

Read more
Hyundai's "Modern Premium" Gambit

Hyundai has been working its way out of the low-cost, low-quality basement for some time now, but even with the introduction of its Genesis luxury sedan, the brand has maintained a certain amount of working-class value appeal. That image has served Hyundai well over the last several years, when an economic downturn has sent record numbers of customers to Hyundai dealerships in search of a deal. But with a new upscale-looking design language transforming solid but uninspired offerings like the Sonata into memorable designs, Hyundai wasn’t likely to remain the scrappy, more-for-your-money underdog forever. And sure enough, Hyundai tells Automotive News [sub] that it’s getting away from the solid values of quality and practicality, and moving into the tenuous world of “premium” brand placement. Executive Vice President for global marketing Cho Won Hong explains

In the past 10 years, we have been very successful in building an image for quality. From now on, our direction will be defined as new premium or modern premium. We have been doing quite well in building good functional quality. But we still have some room to improve our emotional quality, and that is related to our brand strategy. That’s why we set modern premium as the brand direction for the next five to 10 years
Read more
Chevette Scooter, T1000 Outlive Every 1st-Gen Hyundai Excel In the World

So we now know that GM’s failure to create a decent subcompact during the, oh, forty years in which doing so would have saved the company from certain ruin… well, do we really need to get into that rant right now?

Read more
Hyundai Bashes Chevy Cruze Eco… Sort Of
Review: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Though an upcoming 429-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 might suggest otherwise, Hyundai intends to lead the industry in fuel economy. As recently as 2005 this would have seemed a pipe dream. That year’s Hyundai Sonata automatic managed fuel economy ratings of only 19/27 MPG from the EPA (2008+ system), well below the 21/31 achieved by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The 2011 Sonata does far better: 22/35. But the glory, of course, goes to hybrids, and so the Sonata will soon be available in hybrid form. The projected EPA numbers: 36/40. Is Toyota’s hybrid leadership in danger?

Read more
Review: Hyundai Sonata Turbo

Review any car priced between $18,000 and $28,000 lately, and someone’s bound to comment, “I’d much rather have a $20,000 Hyundai Sonata.” This hasn’t just been talk. Sales of the 2011 Sonata have exceeded Hyundai’s most fanciful expectations, leaving the car in short supply. Now, to add fuel to the fire, you can get the Sonata with a turbo. Should you? Well, it depends.

Read more
The Incredible Hyundai

Did we say that Toyota is casting a wary eye on Hyundai? The Koreans are on a roll. They are boosting their production capacity in China to 1 million units per year. And they do that right in front of my nose, in Beijing.

Read more
Hyundai Beats Toyota In Europe

Hyundai could have timed this announcement a bit better. Wouldn’t the following announcement have been a fine crowning of TTAC’s Korea week? Instead, the week ended unceremoniously with a reflection on thee shitboxes. From shitbox to market leader: Hyundai has kicked Toyota from the pedestal as the largest Asian carmaker in Europe. In a way.

Read more
Review: Hyundai I10

Hyundai seems fearless. Its venture above $30,000 with the Genesis wasn’t a rousing success, yet two short years later they’re doubling down with a $65,000 flagship. But there is one car they dare not offer here, from the opposite end of the line: the diminutive i10. So, what are we missing?

Read more
Sell, Lease, Rent or Kill: 2000 Hyundai Elantra Wagon

Boring. Small. The automotive equivalent of an advanced econ class. That’s pretty much what a 2000 Elantra Wagon was in the auction world back in 07’. You know that the automotive fashionistas won’t be knocking on your door… and three years ago you wouldn’t get much more than the extraordinarily cheap and chancy taking another glance at it. Hyundai still suffered from the stigma that came with making second-rate cars in a world where sub-prime buyers could buy far better vehicles with a pulse and a paycheck. To put it kindly, this one was a tough sell.

Read more
Capsule Review: 2001 Hyundai Elantra

We’re coming to the end of KOREA! WEEK! and we still haven’t answered the question: When did Hyundai start becoming a serious player in this market? When did the image change from Deadly Sin to default-choice affordable car? One can go back as far as the second-generation Excel, which cracked the reliability equation while still being rust-prone as all get out. Alternately, perhaps it wasn’t until the arrival of the current Sonata that the brand became worthy of being chosen by the frozen Middle American masses.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and I’d suggest that the car you see above was the true turning point. The first-generation Elantra (Lantra to the Cammy Corrigan crowd) was pleasant enough, but it didn’t even pretend to compete with Civics and Corollas. Hyundai was assumed to know its place, and that place was among the credit criminals, desperately poor, and the hopelessly stupid. Ten years ago, however, the Elantra woke up and decided that nobody was going to put it in a corner.

Read more
Review: 2011 Hyundai Equus

Just two years ago the $40,000 Genesis was an audacious step upmarket for Hyundai. Tepid sales of the semi-premium line suggest that the market still isn’t quite ready for an expensive car from Korea. And yet, for 2011, the company is attempting an even larger leap with the $58,900 Equus ($65,400 in Ultimate trim). This is territory into which even storied manufacturers like Cadillac and Lincoln fear to tread (with cars at least). Does Hyundai’s large premium sedan come close enough to established competitors, while undercutting them enough in price, that potential buyers will overlook the badge? Or is it a step too far too soon destined to sell in very small numbers?

Read more
Korea Week: Hyundai Writes Off 2011 In Europe. Or Not

The Economic Times of India reports that Hyundai is worried about Europe. Hyundai Europe’s Vice President, Allan Rushforth, felt positive about 2010. “This year we’ll probably achieve 2.7 percent market share in a market of around 13.49 million,” he said. But with regards to 2011, he poured cold water on that year. “Next year will be really interesting. We have yet to see scrappage washout – the year-on-year effects of scrappage from the reported registration data…..I think the first half-year will be really, really tough.”

Reuters has a different story.

Read more
Capsule Review: 2000 Hyundai Tiburon

You could look at the accident one of two ways. The first way to look at it was that the backhoe was at fault. It backed out halfway across the northbound exit ramp to Bethel Road from Ohio SR-315, forcing my brother to take too rapid of an avoidance maneuver, spin his pristine Porsche 944, and hit a streetlight, causing said streetlight to fall into the freeway traffic.

The second way to look at it — and, in fairness, I must note that this view was the one espoused by the Columbus Police — was that my brother, Mark, had been traveling at perhaps one hundred miles per hour (“More like one twenty,” he sniffed to me in the aftermath) and that therefore the backhoe operator could have had no reasonable expectation that the red Porsche+Audi would arrive well before he could move back off the road.

Either way, it was time for the punishment car.

Read more
Chart Of The Day: Key Hyundai Nameplate Sales Since 1995
Curbside Classic: 1988 Hyundai Excel – The Damn Near Deadly Sin

Americans are a forgiving sort, and redemption from sin is just the right gesture away. Well, that applies more to politicians and celebrities than to car companies. It can be a little more challenging to overcome the damage from a poor quality car, especially if you’re the brand new kid on the block. Just ask Yugo; they quickly walked away. As did Peugeot, Alfa, Fiat and countless other imports, even though they had been around for decades. But the Koreans are a tough and determined folk, and when they got their less-than Excellent head handed to them on a platter, they dug in their heels and figured out what it would take to be given a second chance.

Read more
2011 Elantra Joins 40 MPG Club, As Hyundai Aims For 50 MPG By 2025

Hyundai’s new Elantra is the latest C-Segment car to receive a 40 MPG highway EPA rating (29 MPG in the city) as it prepares to take on Ford’s 40 MPG 2012 Focus and the 42 MPG Chevy Cruze Eco. The Accent’s only engine is a 1.8 liter engine is expected to make 148 HP and 131 lb-ft of torque, meaning you won’t have to upgrade to a special engine and aero package (as in the Cruze) or a dual-clutch transmission (as apparently is the case with the 2012 Focus). It will be down on power compared to the 160 HP/146 lb-ft Focus and more power but less torque than the 138 HP/148 lb-ft Cruze Eco, but should undercut both on price. And by bringing the model-wide efficiency up rather than tweaking special models for high efficiency, Hyundai’s John Krafcik says that his firm will have no problem hitting a 50 MPG average by 2025 (though a CAFE calculation that gives the 40/29 MPG ELantra a 44 MPG average doesn’t hurt). Meanwhile, when was the last time you heard anyone even mention the Civic or Corolla? The times, they are a-changing…

Read more
Nice Problem For Hyundai: More Buyers Than Cars

Well, it seems that the wrecked US-Korean trade pact only affects U.S. food exports to Korea. It most certainly does not seem to have any influence on Hyundai. Hyundai expects to set a company record for annual U.S. sales next week already, and to sell even more in 2011.

Read more
From Korea With Love: The 2012 Hyundai Accent In Detail
Hyundai Way Up Down Under

Australia is pretty much a stronghold for Toyota. Looking at the figures, it seems that Aussies like well-made, cheap reliable cars. And to be honest, who doesn’t like those kinds of cars? But what happens when someone else comes to your market, and does well what you do well? Well, you get worried.

Read more
Despite Currency Woes, Hyundai Earned $1.2b In The First Three Quarters Of 2010
Braking Down The Hyundai Sonata Wagon
Hyundai: The Domestic Diva?

As we’ve noted before, Hyundai and Kia have been quick to exploit the weakness of the domestic auto industry by advertising their American-made cars as American-made cars. Now, they’re taking the attack to a whole new level, as Hyundai USA President John Krafcik tells CNN Money that his brand will build 80 percent of its vehicles in the United States by next year. If the Korean brand can actually achieve that goal, it would make Hyundai’s lineup the most American-built full line on the market. And though he insists that Hyundai doesn’t make decisions about production based on PR, Krafcik can’t help but twist the knife, saying

I’m going to build my three best selling cars in the US. Ford builds its best selling car in Mexico.

Oh snap!

Read more
Formula None For Hyundai

This weekend sees the first ever South Korean Formula 1 Grand Prix. This is a push into new markets for Formula 1. This is why they are trying to push into North America and the Middle East. But it seems that it’s receiving a cool reception from the very people whom they are trying to woo. Namely, the car business.

Read more
Hyundai Targets The Germans On Their Own Ground: In The UK

Launching a new car division is tough. A monumental task, you might say. And it has to be executed just right. I’ll give you an example, look at Lexus. When Lexus was launched in the United States, it was a hit. It didn’t take much to separate American drivers from their Cadillacs, Lincolns and Buicks. Now compare this to the European launch. Lexus never really took off. Why? Well, a good reason would be that when Lexus starting exporting to Europe, Germany was making luxury cars to a high standard already, so Lexus was nothing special. Hyundai knows this.

Read more
Hyundai-Kia Hatching A US Invasion?
Review: 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE

Chatting with frequent flyers provides a unique context to mainstream vehicles, especially with recent changes at the rental car counter. That’s because the 2011 Hyundai Sonata arrived and she’s all that with a bucket of awesome. Renting one is like an extra $50 Per Diem, or a “suite” upgrade at the Hilton. After spotting a Sonata SE on the showroom floor, I’m wondering if the same applies for retail buyers with a need for road holding and toddler hauling. Because the Sonata is certainly a nice car.

Read more
Hyundai Rapidly Ascending In Europe As Japanese Struggle: I30 Top Import In Germany

In the eighties, the European auto makers were quaking in their boots at the prospect of a “Japanische Welle” (Japanese wave). Having seen the huge damage the Japanese brands inflicted on Detroit during the seventies and early eighties, they braced themselves for a similar onslaught. It never quite happened. Now they’re wondering if the Koreans are going to succeed where the Japanese fell short. There are plenty of indications to suggest they will. In Germany, probably the most auto-chauvinistic of all the European countries, the Golf-class Hyundai i30 (above) is currently the number one selling import car, not counting VW’s captive import brand Skoda. Toyota and Honda’s European market share is down, and Hyundai’s is up, and growing quickly. Is the Hyundai Welle unstoppable?

Read more
Hyundai Sonata Turbo And The Economics Of Added Horsepower

For some people (you know who you are), the 200 horsepower provided by the 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine just isn’t enough. The traditional solution: a V6. But Hyundai, taking a page from Chrysler’s Iacocca-era playbook, has opted to offer a turbocharged 2.0-liter four instead. The specs look good: 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 rpm. The pricing? Even better. The Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T lists for $24,865, only $1,550 more than the regular Sonata SE. Are these the cheapest horses new car money can buy in a midsize sedan?

Read more
Hyundai Joins EV Fray

Hyundai demands its fair share of a market that doesn’t exist. The Koreans are stepping up the development of EVs. Two days ago, Hyundai held a test drive event in the suburbs of Seoul. The invitees could drive a (blue is the new green) Hyundai BlueOn EV. The Nikkei [sub], who was invited, reports:

Read more
Hyundai Returns To Its Roots For First EV
Hyundai Has Big Plans

Hyundai plans to raise its worldwide production capacity (including Kia) to 6.5 million a year by 2012, company sources told The Nikkei [sub]. To put that into perspective: In 2009, the Hyundai/Kia chaebol sold 4,645,776 cars. To put it further into perspective: GM sold 6.5m cars worldwide in 2009. Here is the expansion blueprint:

Read more
Hyundai and Kia. Have You Met Each Other Before?

When Renault and Nissan signed an agreement to form an alliance, few expected it to work. In fact, according to the book “Shift” (or was it “Turn Around”?), Bob Lutz was quoted as saying that Renault would be better off taking the money they spent on the Nissan stake, putting it on a ship, sailing it into the middle of the ocean and sinking it. Another accurate prediction from the One of Maximum Bullsh*t. The reason that the Renault-Nissan has worked so well so far is, according to Carlos Ghosn, communication. Without communication, how can you expect your partner to understand you? Sounds simple, right? Not to Hyundai and Kia.

Read more
Momentum Interruptus: Subaru Drops 23 Percent, Hyundai Falls 11 Percent, Kia Sheds 23 Percent

Subaru and Hyundai/ Kia have been two of the strongest-growing brands in America over the past year or so, but even their momentum wasn’t enough to prevent “uh-oh” moments this month. Subaru sales fell 23 percent, despite another strong showing from Outback (+37%, 8,053). Forester and Impreza, which launched Subaru to a 52% sales jump last August, were down 39 and 42 percent respectively. Hyundai was another big winner in last year’s C4C sales glut, and its volume was down considerably by comparison last month. Accent and Santa Fe were down by 50 percent or more, but the redesigned Sonata did manage to nearly double its August 09 volume. Even Genesis was up (as was Tucson), but Hyundai still ended the month with a 11 percent overall sales decline. The biggest contributor: Accent, which sold 3,844 compared to 10,099 in August 2009. Kia fell about 23 percent, as Forte, Sorento, Sedona and Soul gains were offset by huge declines in Rio, Spectra, Optima and Sportage. Full numbers after the jump…

Read more
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.

Read more
Capsule Review: 2005 Hyundai Accent GL A/T — Now Redacted For Your Comfort

It’s come to my attention that many TTAC readers are extremely disturbed by my willingness to share the lurid details of my Technicolor lifestyle with all of you. Some of you don’t believe anything I say; others believe it all and are simply horrified. After some quiet counseling with my spiritual advisor, I’ve decided to confine myself to traditional auto-writing for a while. Unfortunately, I made this decision after completing the review you’re about to read. For your comfort, I’ve redacted the ridiculous jargon, shocking sexual audacity and repulsive images of the ghetto. Whenever you see a word in brackets, like this –> [Wildflower] As previously discussed, I’m a little short on cars at the moment. Therefore, when I heard that there was a spot open for the 2011 Ford Edge preview, just 403 miles away in Nashville, TN, I didn’t know how I was going to get there. Luckily, I know a [fellow] who was more than willing to help. [He] is a former exotic [animal trainer] who now works as a hair-[spring winder at a major Swiss-watch company]. Somehow [he] escaped from [his] last relationship with a free 2005 Hyundai Accent GL automatic. I’m not sure how [he] got it; when I asked [he] said something about a particularly vigorous reverse [cowboy]. No matter. We decided to head down to Nashville for some auto reviewing and an all-night [recording] session.

Read more
Chevrolet Tries To Catch "That Hyundai Feeling"

Hyundai’s most famous superbowl ad may have imagined executives at Lexus and BMW getting steamed at the success of the Genesis, but that’s not necessarily where the upstart Korean brand is making the biggest impression on competitors. In fact, it’s Hyundai’s ability to market value so successfully, even in the premium space, that’s got the other automakers steamed. But instead of getting mad at Hyundai’s building momentum and reputation, GM’s getting even. Having already poached away former Hyundai marketing boss (and the man behind this ad) Joel Ewanick to lead GM’s entire marketing effort, GM just snagged Ewanick’s replacement as VP Marketing at Hyundai, Chris Perry, to head up Chevrolet marketing [via Automotive News [sub]. That’s right, two VP’s of marketing from the same upstart Korean brand, both poached away by GM… You think The General might be looking for people who can tell the momentum-turnaround, finally-getting-some-respect-around-here storyline?

Read more
Consider This: Hyundai

Does anyone remember when Hyundai set foot on U.S. soil? “KKK” (as in Korean Krap Kar) was one of the funnier monikers they received. Does anyone remember when Hyundai announced plans to become one of the top five automakers in the world? Rimshot. Cost-to-coast laugh track. Fast forward to the real world, and – oooops: Hyundai’s quality and reliability is now being thought of in the same vein as Toyota and Honda, Hyundai’s Alabama plant can’t make their cars fast enough and Hyundai was recently labelled the most fuel efficient automaker in the United States. It’s a long cry from the days of the Hyundai Pony, which was a load of old pony. Well guess what? Hyundai just broke another corporate milestone.

Auto Loan Daily reports Hyundai has broken into Kelley Blue Book’s Top Five Most Considered Automotive Brands, kicking out Nissan. The top five (in case you’re interested) goes like this:

Read more
Hyundai: Get Them While They're Hot!

When Apple releases a new product, people wait in line for it. Steve Jobs talks, everyone buys. Apple often runs out of stuff that is in high demand. Usually, people will wait. Hyundai has a similar problem. But maybe not a similar solution.

Read more
Hyundai-Kia Break Another Monthly Sales Record, Must Boost Production To Do It Again

Another month, another sales record for Hyundai/Kia. At this point, it’s getting tough to expect anything else. Elantra took top honors for the Korean concern last month, as Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik confirms that sales of the new Sonata and the Santa Fe are both capacity restrained at this point. Krafcik tells Automotive News [sub] that an undisclosed US production capacity increase is in the works, as Hyundai is selling Sonata and Santa Fe faster than they can build them. Soul and Sorento are hitting their stride for Kia as well, with the Soul cresting 8k units last month and the Sorento topping 9k. But perhaps one of the best signs that Hyundai/Kia are in a good place is that only the aging Accent failed to beat its Cash-for-Clunker-driven July 2009 number. We’ll see what happens next month, but further out, Krafcik tells AN [sub] that Hyundai is targeting a 50 MPG fleet average for 2025. Even with no plans to sell pickups in the US, Hyundai’s prospects look bright in this market.

Read more
Hyundai CEO: I'm No Joker. I'm No Smoker. I'm No Mid-Night Toker

The Korea Times reports that the Seoul Central District court has ordered the union of a subcontractor of Hyundai-Kia to remove a picture from the walls of the union headquarters. A court order? To take down a picture? Why?

Read more
2011 Hyundai Elantra (Avante) Caught Parking Itself

Our Korea-based contributor Walter Foreman already suspected that the new Hyundai Avante might be one of the world’s first mass-market compact car with a self-parking feature (similar systems are offered on the Toyota Prius and Euro-market VW Golf), and this video proves that he was dead right. What’s still not clear is whether self-parking is standard on the new Avante (launching August 2 in Korea), or whether it will be offered when it comes stateside as either the 2011 or 2012 Elantra. This would be the ultimate challenge for such technology, as legal concerns allegedly kept Volkswagen’s pioneering system out of the US. Still, Hyundai had the cojones to equip its mass-market C-segment car with technology that just a few years ago was available only on the Lexus LS. That’s exactly the kind of decision that has Hyundai raising eyebrows across the industry.

Read more
Is Hyundai's New Avante (Elantra) An Autobot?

No, this has nothing to do with a Hollywood blockbuster… we think the new Avante/Elantra could be the first self-parking mass-market compact car. Take a closer look at the now infamous video clip of men in suits trying to park the next-generation Hyundai Avante. The first 20 seconds clearly show the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. After that however, the audience never gets a clear view of the cockpit. Someone is either obstructing the camera or the scene cuts away. When we do happen to catch a glimpse of the steering wheel (at 00:25 for example), it appears to move on its own. Granted, the driver could be grasping the wheel at the six o’clock position, out of view of the camera, but I think there’s something more to the situation than that.

Read more
Hyundai/Kia Keep On Keepin' On, As Combined June Sales Rise 28 Percent

Once again, Hyundai-Kia have netted another positive year-over-year month, with both brands shattering their June sales records and Hyundai setting a new all-time monthly market share record. Hyundai has been year-over-year positive for 18 months straight now. Most importantly of all, in this weak market, is Hyundai’s claim that

The strength of our new product has driven a 45 percent pure retail sales increase while simultaneously allowing us to reduce incentive spending by about the same amount…While our total sales are up 25 percent calendar year-to-date, our fleet sales are down 21 percent

Please believe, every automaker in the US market wishes they could say that right now. Full numbers after the jump.

Read more
Hyundai's Wacky World Cup
There Is A Substitute: Hyundai Steps In For Porsche, Takes On MINI Challenge
Which Is The More Blasphemous Hyundai Ad?

Hyundai’s been getting a bit of flack for a version of this advertisement, which some say makes a mockery of the Catholic faith. Frankly, we think the ad after the jump (which may or may not be real) is simultaneously more blasphemous and funnier. Do you agree?

[The top ad is not the most allegedly anti-Catholic version, apparently. We will post the more offensive version as soon as it shows up, naturally]

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: Hyundai Genesisn't Edition

In the midst of a nearly 3,000 word InsideLine treatise on the forthcoming Equus and Hyundai’s upmarket intentions in general, Hyundai’s USA boss John Krafcik reveals that the car pictured above very nearly became the Hyundai Genesis. No, really.

There was a lot of internal debate on design direction for Genesis. We used a European design house as an early consultant, and its proposals informed the core design elements of the first approved exterior model, which got as far as the tooling stage. In our industry, when you’ve built tools to stamp the exterior sheet metal, you’ve committed millions of dollars, and so you’re pretty much committed at that stage to bring that design to market. But in the end, we weren’t happy with the design. So we made the right decision (albeit a difficult and expensive one) to redo the exterior with a cleaner, more athletic and more enduring design, homegrown from our own design studio.

I got one word for you Krafcik: ballsy.

Read more
Hyundai-Kia Jump On The Fuel Cell Bandwagon

With Honda and Toyota suddenly taking hydrogen fuel cells seriously, Hyundai-Kia is jumping on the bandwagon. Byung Ki Ahn, general manager of Hyundai-Kia’s Fuel Cell Group tells Autocar

There are already agreements between car makers such as ourselves and legislators in Europe, North America and Japan to build up to the mass production of fuel cell cars by 2015. Hydrogen production capacity and refuelling infrastructure will be improved. Pilot-scale production of 1000 fuel cell cars a year will begin for us in two years. Our first cars won’t be fully commercialised [they will probably be leased , not bought outright] but they will allow us to make the final stages of development progress before we begin commercial production of around 10,000 hydrogen cars a year in 2015

Read more
Where Do You Think Does Hyundai Sell Most?

Korea? Bzzzzt.

The U.S.A.? Bzzzzt. Not yet and not quite.

Read more
Hyundai Dumps Pickup Plans
Chrysler Rebuffed Hyundai Ram Rebadge Offer, Deal Still Possible?
Built Hyundai Tough?

Hyundai is riding high. They’re being thought of in the same vein as Honda in terms of quality, the same as Ford in terms of value and the same as Toyota in terms of reliability. So what could be left for Hyundai to do? They want you to think of them as a …

Read more
Docherty Out As GM VP For Marketing, Hyundai's Ewanick In

Since GM Chairman/CEO Ed Whitacre began firing holdover executives, starting with former CEO Fritz Henderson, TTAC has argued that VP for Marketing Susan Docherty is a prime example of a GM lifer who “ owes her career to GM’s timid and inept culture.” Having already lost the Sales VP position to GM’s rising star Mark Reuss, “leaving Docherty time to focus on the marketing side and polish up her resumé,” we figured she was on her way out. And sure enough, several embarrassments later, the announcement came today. What we didn’t expect: that former Hyundai “Marketer of the year” Joel Ewanick would replace her.

Read more
Hyundai Sales Up 30 Percent, Kia Climbs 17 Percent

Hyundai and Kia kept up their winning ways last month, combining for a 24 percent sales increase. Most of the increase comes courtesy of the Hyundai brand, which rose 30 percent on strong sales of the new Tucson and Sonata (up 271 and 57 percent respectively) and Santa Fe (+59 percent). Kia’s volume was largely boosted by its new Sorento SUV, which sold 8,486 units, and a strong rise in Soul sales volume. Forte sold 5,807 units, but didn’t outperform last April’s 7,165 sales of its predecessor, the Spectra. Full numbers after the jump.

Read more
Review: 2010 Hyundai Tucson Take Two

Conventional SUVs are all but dead, yet interest in sedans has not been surging. Instead, car-based SUVs with some promise of respectable fuel economy are currently hot. So a redesigned, four-cylinder-only Hyundai Tucson could not arrive at a better time. But it’s a crowded field. Why buy this one?

Read more
Beijing Auto Show: Hyundai Lets Its Accent Show
Hyundai Nets Over $1b, Breaks Quarterly Profit Record Again
  • ToolGuy @Matt, let me throw this at you:Let's say I drive a typical ICE vehicle 15,000 miles/year at a typical 18 mpg (observed). Let's say fuel is $4.50/gallon and electricity cost for my EV will be one-third of my gasoline cost - so replacing the ICE with an EV would save me $2,500 per year. Let's say I keep my vehicles 8 years. That's $20,000 in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.If the vehicles have equal capabilities and are otherwise comparable, a rational typical consumer should be willing to pay up to a $20,000 premium for the EV over the ICE. (More if they drive more.)TL;DR: Why do they cost more? Because they are worth it (potentially).
  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.
  • Lou_BC High end EV's are selling well. Car companies are taking advantage of that fact. I see quite a few $100k pickups in my travels so why is that ok but $100k EV's are bad? The cynical side of me sees car companies tack on 8k premiums to EV's around the time we see governments up EV credits. Coincidence? No fooking way.