Hyundai-Kia forecasts slowest sales growth in 8 years

February 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Filed under: , ,

2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan, front three-quarter view

Even with the arrival of the new Hyundai Genesis Sedan (above) and the expected introduction of at least two other new vehicles in 2014, Hyundai-Kia is estimating its sales will only increase by about 4.1 percent this year. Bloomberg has found that figure, which works out to a total of 7.86 million vehicles worldwide, to be lower than average analyst estimates of eight million vehicles. If the automaker is correct, that figure will represent the most sluggish growth for the Korean brands since 2006.

Based on an exchange rate of 1,050 won to the dollar – right now it’s trading at anywhere from 1,050 to 1,052 depending on where you look – Hyundai is predicting a 3.8-percent uptick for sales of 4.9 million units, while Kia is expecting a 4.7-percent uptick for sales of 2.96 million units. That exchange rate is predicted to be part of what will hamper sales this year, with a stronger South Korean won making Japanese cars more price-competitive when cross-shopped. It’s unclear how Hyundai derived its exchange rate, but 1,050 won to the dollar almost matches the 52-week high for all of 2013.

The company chairman mentioned a “low growth era” in the world economy, and weaker US sales are rumored to at least part of the reason John Krafcik recently vacated the post of Hyundai Motor America CEO, a post that has been filled by executive vice president of sales, David Zuchowski. That unexpected news capped a year in which two top execs resigned over quality issues and recalls and Hyundai agreed to settle a consolidated lawsuit over inflated fuel economy ratings for $395 million.

Things are going better in China, at least, where both brands have posted double-digit gains. In addition to the expected unveiling of the next-generation Hyundai Sonata and Kia Sorento, the company will increase its spending on safety and technology. And at least one analyst still believes that Hyundai-Kia will achieve eight million sales worldwide this year.

Hyundai-Kia forecasts slowest sales growth in 8 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Jan 2014 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test

February 7, 2014 at 6:42 am

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IIHS minicar small-overlap crash tests

IIHS minicar small-overlap testingThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and its challenging small-overlap crash test have passed judgment. In testing of nearly a dozen minicars, only one vehicle scored an acceptable rating on the ultra-tough test, which was instituted in August 2012.

The Chevrolet Spark was the only car out of 11 to net an “Acceptable” rating in the small-overlap test and the only one to be named a 2014 Top Safety Pick. The IIHS has four rating levels – Poor, Marginal, Acceptable and Good.

The Mazda2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris and 2014 Ford Fiesta all netted “Marginal” scores on the small-overlap test, while the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Accent, Fiat 500 and Honda Fit all netted “Poor” ratings. We’ve posted the full score result sheet to the right.

“Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection,” said Joe Nolan, IIHS’ senior VP for vehicle research. “Unfortunately, as a group, minicars aren’t performing as well as other vehicle categories in the small overlap crash.”

Scroll down for the official press release from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Continue reading IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test

IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Jan 2014 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Chrysler and Hyundai join Pepsi and Coke as top Super Bowl spenders [w/video]

February 7, 2014 at 6:42 am

Filed under: , , , , ,

Hyundai Super Bowl ad

Super Bowl XLVIII is barely a week away, and some of the early ads are already leaking out. It’s timely then that The Street has released rankings of the top five Super Bowl advertisers since 2009, showing Chrysler and Hyundai/Kia taking two of the spots with $131.7 million in cumulative spending.

Since 2010, the cost to air a 30-second Super Bowl ad has risen from $3 million in 2009 to about $4 million in 2014, and about a fifth of advertisers opt for a one-minute ad, which doubles costs. Last year, the ads brought in $292 million, and they have brought in roughly $2 billion since 2010.

Chrysler has spent $64.3 million since 2009 to make it the fourth highest spending company in the last five years. In that time, the company has rebranded itself as it emerged from bankruptcy with the Imported from Detroit ad campaign that premiered in 2011 and last year’s God Made a Farmer Ram Trucks ad. Its 2012 Halftime in America sparked national debate about whether it was also a reference to the upcoming presidential election.

Hyundai and Kia take third place on the list with $67.4 million spent since 2009. Hyundai started spending big this decade during the game to lure buyers away from more established American and Japanese brands. Last year, Hyundai had multiple ads like Epic Playdate about parents trying to give their kids a fun day and Stuck about getting stuck behind increasingly annoying things. Kia has tried to skew sexy with its Dream Car spot featuring model Adriana Lima.

The two companies that have spent that most will be no surprise to anyone who watches the game. PepsiCo has spent $97 million since 2009 to take second place. Anheuser-Busch dwarfs everyone on the list with $145.9 million spent. Below you can reminisce about last year’s ads from Hyundai and Chrysler, while we look forward to what they will bring this year.

Continue reading Chrysler and Hyundai join Pepsi and Coke as top Super Bowl spenders [w/video]

Chrysler and Hyundai join Pepsi and Coke as top Super Bowl spenders [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Jan 2014 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Hyundai closes the books on fuel economy litigation

December 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Filed under: , ,

Hyundai-Kia ended up with a lot of kimchi on its face in 2012 when it admitted it had mistakenly exaggerated fuel economy estimates on several 2012 and 2013 model-year offerings like the Hyundai Accent, Veloster and Elantra and Kia Soul. Before the admission a lawsuit had been filed by an entity called Consumer Watchdog, afterward there were “approximately 53″ lawsuits filed in federal court that were eventually consolidated into one case in a California Central District court.

The companies apologized profusely and gave customers prepaid gas cards that they could refill with funds for as long as they own their vehicle, as well as perks like free car washes and routine maintenance services. The company has just announced that it has reached a preliminary settlement of the case by adding another method of reimbursement, a lump sum payment that would free drivers from having to go back to the dealership to have their mileage verified for debit card refills.

Assuming the preliminary agreement is approved by the judge, customers could choose the lump sum or the cards. The settlement’s value could be as much as $210 million, but the exact number depends on which program plaintiffs choose. On average, affected customers will receive $353. Approval could come in “early 2014,” after which Hyundai will notify customers. You’ll find more particulars on the potential settlement in the press release below.

Continue reading Hyundai closes the books on fuel economy litigation

Hyundai closes the books on fuel economy litigation originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Dec 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Honda, Hyundai and Kia get best word-of-mouth recommendations in US

December 10, 2013 at 5:57 am

Filed under: , , ,

1950s 1960s TWO WOMEN GOSSIPING ONE WHISPERING INTO THE OTHER'S EAR

Forget advertising, incentives and, yes, even our excellently crafted vehicle reviews, sometimes the best way for automakers to sell cars is still good ol’ fashioned word of mouth. In an attempt to measure this “word of mouth” power, The Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, has created a new study called the Brand Advocacy Index (BAI). The index takes a look at how various industries perform from person to person. Those industries include automotive, smartphones, grocery, mobile telecommunications and banking.

The study polled more than 32,000 individuals across Europe and in the US to come up with the top 55 brands in these various industries. On the automotive side of things, the top brands in the US were Honda, Hyundai and Kia, all tied at 63 percent. On a global scale, Volkswagen and Toyota scored the highest with a 65-percent BAI rating (both in France). The average BAI for auto industry players tallied 50 percent.

As for companies in other industries, Apple’s iPhone was the index’s top-rated smartphone, Trader Joe’s was the highest recommended grocery store, Virgin was sat atop the mobile telecom industry and USAA was the top retail bank. Scroll down for the full press release on the new study.

Continue reading Honda, Hyundai and Kia get best word-of-mouth recommendations in US

Honda, Hyundai and Kia get best word-of-mouth recommendations in US originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Dec 2013 16:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

How the Koreans are cracking the luxury market

November 20, 2013 at 4:46 am

Filed under: ,

South Korea’s two largest automotive brands are no longer the same companies they were when they first entered the world stage.

Anyone who visits Seoul after a few years absence is likely going to be in for a shock. What was, not that long ago, a decidedly third-world city is today a thriving, sprawling metropolis increasingly on a par with the world’s most modern cities.

So it should come as no surprise, perhaps, that South Korea’s two largest automotive brands are no longer the same companies they were when they first entered the world stage more than two decades ago. Gone are the “cheap and cheerful” products – a polite euphemism for entry-level junk – like the original Excel from Hyundai or the Aspire, the subcompact Kia built for former partner Ford, and which critics often derided as the “Perspire” due to its lack of power and amenities.

Kia, the smaller of the two sibling makers, recently confirmed what has long been rumored, revealing plans to introduce its first true luxury sedan. And Kia’s ambitions are far from modest, its new K900 takes direct aim at the top of the premium luxury segment, where models like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series live.


Paul EisensteinPaul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.


Continue reading How the Koreans are cracking the luxury market

How the Koreans are cracking the luxury market originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Autoblog Podcast #354

October 17, 2013 at 7:42 am

Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

2015 Ford Mustang renders, four-door FT-86, Land Rover Defender ending production, Ford’s Vignale trim

Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #354 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth and Jeff Ross are joined by Autoblog alum George Kennedy from Boldride.com. Topics include the most recent crop of 2015 Ford Mustang renders, rumors of a four-door Toyota FT-86, the Land Rover Defender winding down production, and what Ford’s Vignale trim could mean in the end. We start with what’s in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. You can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #354:

Topics:

In the Autoblog Garage:

Hosts: Dan Roth, Jeff Ross
Guests: George Kennedy
Runtime: 01:42:39


Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #354

Autoblog Podcast #354 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Hyundai, union reach tentative labor deal

September 6, 2013 at 12:38 am

Filed under: , , , ,

South Korea Hyundai Strike

According to Reuters, South Korea’s labor unions may have reached a tentative deal with Hyundai following a compromise between the two sides on wages. Workers have staged a number of stoppages since August 20, which have cost the South Korean giant 1.02 trillion won – around $1.1B US. It also represents just over 50,000 units of production. That vehicle total sounds like a lot, but it’s a small enough figure that Hyundai can apparently catch up with weekend and overtime shifts. We’d wager that this is why US inventories haven’t been hit quite so hard aside from the battering already taking place. The proposal will now go before the union’s rank and file.

If ratified, the new agreement will see workers getting a 5.14-percent raise in base salaries, along with 8.5-million-won (roughly $7,800) bonuses. Those concessions are a far cry compared to what the union was initially demanding, though. Early proposals included a 56.25-gram gold medal for each employee (worth about $2,400) and a 10-million won bonus (about $9,100) for employees whose children chose not to attend college. The union also sought a bonus worth two months’ salary for workers that have been with the company for over 40 years, but this was negotiated down to a flat rate of six-million won ($5,464).

Based on Reuters‘ report, the work stoppages must have taken a real toll on Hyundai – its domestic sales dropped 20 percent last month, while exports were down nine percent. Those startling figures must have put some fire under the Hyundai bargaining team.

Hyundai, union reach tentative labor deal originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Hyundai, Kia and U of M studying ‘highway hypnosis’

August 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

Filed under: , ,

Female car driver is yawning

Next up on the hot-button list of things that can kill you behind the wheel: “highway hypnosis.” That’s the zombie-like, autopilot phase you get into on a long highway drive when there isn’t much to distract you, like curves or traffic. Digging further into what it is and how to combat it, Hyundai-Kia engineers and the University of Michigan are commencing a study that will measure brainwave activity in order to track the body’s slide into highway hypnosis.

We’re not sure how much overlap this has with Mercedes-Benz’s Attention Assist, which tracks more than 70 in-car parameters to determine when you’re not focused on the road anymore. That system is billed as an alarm against fatigue, in our experience it does more than that – if you use your phone while driving, for instance, it will chirp.

They don’t know what form a warning system will take yet, but Hyundai-Kia plans to develop a method for warning drivers when they being to zone out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than three thousand deaths and nearly 400,000 injuries due to distracted driving in 2011.

Hyundai, Kia and U of M studying ‘highway hypnosis’ originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

What a strike in Korea could mean for US Hyundai and Kia buyers

August 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

Filed under: , , , , ,

In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 photo, workers of Hyundai Motor cast their votes to decide on unions to go on strike at the firm's plant in Ulsan, south of Seoul, South Korea. Labor unions at Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors said workers voted to strike after talks with management for increased pay and benefits collapsed. Hyundai union spokesman Kwon Oh-il said Wednesday that management refused all demands by the union during three months of annual talks. (AP Photo/Lee Sang-hyun, Yonhap) KOREA OUT

A prolonged factory strike at Hyundai-Kia factories in South Korea could mean that US dealership inventory of certain vehicles, such as the South Korea-built Hyundai Accent and Kia Soul, could dry up in the coming months, depending on the length of the strike, reports Cars.com‘s blog, Kicking Tires. The two brands together rank sixth in US sales and fifth in global sales.

Kicking Tires gives fascinating insight into how a production stoppage in South Korea might affect vehicle sales in the US, considering Hyundai-Kia has two factories in the US that build the Kia Sorento and Optima/Optima Hybrid, and the Hyundai Elantra sedan/coupe/GT, Sonata/Sonata Hybrid and Santa Fe/Santa Fe Sport. The only one of these vehicles that’s built solely in the US is the Kia Sorento, with the rest of them sharing production with South Korea.

Be sure to read the piece, especially if you’re in the market for a Hyundai or Kia, or just interested in global economics.

What a strike in Korea could mean for US Hyundai and Kia buyers originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 Aug 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink