Report: Hyundai CEO sits down with Automobile, shares lots of info on brand’s future

After some press drive events, Hyundai’s CEO John Krafcik sat down with some folks at Automobile, where the publication polled its Facebook and Twitter fans to come up with questions for the head honcho of Korea’s top automobile brand. Within those questions, were some compelling and informative answers. So, here’s a quick breakdown of what Automobile was able to learn.

Mr. Krafcik was asked: “Is Hyundai investigating or planning a premium brand, like Acura to Honda or Infiniti to Nissan?”

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In his response, Krafcik seems to have maintained the answer to that question, which has been reportedly the same ever since Hyundai’s huge turn around and the debut of the Genesis sedan and coupe. Krafcik said that Hyundai has thoroughly considered launching the Genesis as a separate luxury brand. But as it still stands, the costs to do so are still too high. If Hyundai were to expand and create a luxury brand, Krafcik also said that it would raise the price of the cars by quite a bit. And it’s still unlikely that they’d do it anytime soon.

Krafcik was then asked about Hyundai’s recent design language, “Fluidic Sculpture,” which has provided all of the Hyundai’s design cues that we see today. Automobile asked: “Now that the Fluidic Sculpture design language has taken off, what’s its future? How are future models going to differentiate from each other?”

Krafcik responded that we could expect to see “more maturity” with future cars, and such maturity is present in the all-new Sante Fe. They also added what Krafcik called “Fluidic Precision,” where the design forms may be “a little less extroverted,” and in a sense, less dramatic. He also said that we could expect such design changes on the next Sonata.

Krafcik was also asked about potential future models, where Automobile asked: “Will we see any future Hyundai models in these body styles: premium crossover, convertible, minivan, pickup truck, all-wheel drive sedan or coupe, BMW 3-Series beater, or a convertible SUV?”

Krafcik then replied that the premium crossover is a “maybe,” the convertible a “probably not,” the minivan a solid “no” with reasoning,” the pickup a “not anytime soon,” the all-wheel drive sedan or coupe was replied with a yes, and the convertible SUV a la Nissan Murano was a “no.” But the most interesting response was to the BMW 3-Series beater, which Krafcik said “probably.”

Automobile then inquired about Hyundai’s recent troubles regarding the Elantra’s fuel economy and the current status of the new Veloster Turbo.

Check out the full interview at Automobile for the full details.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: Automobile