Report: Hyundai CEO plans to move brand reputation upmarket

2012 Hyundai Azera

Continuing efforts to move far away from its old reputation, Hyundai is currently trying to leave a bigger imprint on the global automotive industry.

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik says “”The orthodoxy inside the company just three or four years ago was, seriously, ‘We can’t sell a car without a rebate on the hood.” While he notes that the 5.1 percent market share that the automaker has took 25 years to acquire, there’s no doubt that without the drastic changes made in recent years, there would be no hope of any greater achievement. Krafcik says the direction that Hyundai is now headed in is to make itself a “valuable” brand instead of a “value” brand.

Selling prices have increased by 14 percent since 2009, back when consumers were only looking to cough up 89 percent of the sicker price for a Hyundai, compared to the 96 percent of the cost consumers are now willing to pay.

For 2011, the brand’s sales had increased by 20 percent, with the 10 percent swell in the U.S. market overall. Despite the increase in sales, Hyundai didn’t do well with the J.D. Power’s Sales Satisfaction Index for mainstream brands in 2011, hitting 15th on the list after holding the number 7 spot the previous year. Krafcik says this will be an area of focus for 2012, and will be using a sales training program developed for high-end model sales for all of its dealerships.

By: Alexandra Koken

Source: AutoWeek