• Mar 29th 2006 at 9:58AM
  • 37

Moving 150,000 units of any vehicle is no easy task, and it looks as if Hyundai is learning this the hard way with its recently introduced Sonata. The incentives continue to climb - currently they're averaging just over $2,000 per vehicle  - and fleets currently represent 30% of the Sonata's sales. The car is sitting on lots longer, with the "turn" time climbing from 41 days to 74 days. Transaction prices have also slid, dropping by over $900 in the last six months. We're not sure that this is what Jerry Flint had in mind with his warning last week about the Korean automakers, but certainly it's not a great situation for a brand-new model.

Hyundai has stated that the increased fleet sales are a good way to get "butts in the seats", and the increased turn time is being attributed to a production increase that ensures sufficient dealer inventory before the manufacturer's Alabama plant starts Santa Fe production this summer.

More than anything else, this goes to show the difficulty of cracking into the highly-competitive midsize sedan market. Nearly every competitor is throwing its best effort into this class, and indeed the segment as a whole is seeing increased incentives and longer turn times. The upside is that consumers have plenty of great midsize sedans from which to choose.

[Source: Automotive News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Tankstelle - Somehow I doubt the domestics are much better. I haven't driven a G6, but I was totally unimpressed with it sitting still and I have little reason to believe it's better in motion. The Ford Fusion is a Mazda 6... I mean a really ugly car based off the Mazda 6... yawn.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Tankstelle thinks he knows about the automotive industry. He doesnt. He even suggested buying domestic like a Fusion or a G6. Get a life! Does he work for GM (soon to be banko) or Ford (also soon to be banko). He is still probably driving his 1982 Camora rusted out sporting his coooool Mullet. What a goof. He complains about handling and power.
      He doesnt even know that the Sonata and the Azera won the AJAC award for best new mid-size under 35K beating out compeditors like the Accord and Camry. Oh yah thats right he still domestics make a good product. He should just move out of his mom's basement cut off the mullet and get up to speed with the rest of the world. People like him make me sick cause they ramble on with nothing to back their arguments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Sure there's a huge price difference between comparable Hyundais and Toyotas and Hondas ... and it works to the cosumers advantage and somewhat Hyyndai since they sell more cars. But, the price difference is there because people are not yet willing to pay Honda/Toyota prices for a Hyundai .. prices which Hyundai would charge in a heartbeat if they could get away with it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The 2006.5 KIA optima has a 5 speed automatic with the 4 cylinder engine, will the 2006.5 Hyundai sonata also get the same treatment, or will they wait until 2007 model year.
      The sloppy steering? just look 225/50 17 on 6.5" wide wheels, BMW puts that size on 7.5" wide wheels. Maybe Hyundai want you to put 215/55 17 winter tires on the OEM wheels.
      The hyundai 3.3 is WAY more powerful than the Accord V6 in normal operation 0-4800rpm, the Accord automatic is torqueless because of NO variable resonance intake manifold that is on the V6 manual & V6 hybrid, and countless TLs (social engineering again)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Tankstelle the AJAC award is the best award any manufacurer can win in Canada. The Azera won beating out the BMW 3, Audi A3 and A4 and several others. The Sonata beating the Camry and Accord. Im suprised you can operate a pc much less drive a car.
      The Sonata and Azera are the best bang for buck period. At least according to 100-150 AJAC writers, but what would they know they only test vehicles for a living.
      If you know so much about cars you would think you would know about AJAC. Your a clown Tankstelle and I think your mom is going to kick you out of her basement soon
      • 9 Years Ago
      And to think that the new Sonatas actually sold at MSRP for a short period when they first hit the dealerships. I wonder what the "gotta have it now" morons, er, people are thinking today, when they hear about all the incentives?
      • 9 Years Ago

      Just simply disregard whatever Tankstelle yapps on otherwise your ears and eyes will be polluted. To me, he just sounds like a big loser with no money to afford a Hyundai.

      In other words, it's simple as one sentence: there are various kinds of idiots out there in the world. And the number will grow if you pay more attention to them.

      Solution: Ignore!
      • 9 Years Ago
      As a former owner of a Hyundai Elantra, I was offered $50 just to test drive the new Sonata, which I did last summer. The Elantra had given me fairly good service with 186K miles over 6 years before it died and so I was in the market for a new car. They did back up their warranty claims with no questions.

      I only had two gripes about the Sonata. 1) The seats are not ergonomically designed for American rear ends and the seat bottom ends mid-thigh (just like the Elantra) so there's no thigh support to speak of. It had caused me back problems in the Elantra. 2) Though it costs several thousand $$ more, the stereo system in the tested Sonata sounded tinny just like in the Elantra.

      I wound up buying a Chrysler Town & Country because the seating was just perfect for me.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Gee I can buy an accord or a cheap korean knockoff that's a copy of the previous accord. which one will I buy........

      • 9 Years Ago
      Hyundai's strategy is quite simple. Get as many butts in their seats as possible, so that the American consumers are aware of the latest Hyundais. This includes fleet sales and major incentives. They've been fighting this uphill battle for 20 years. Only this time, they've managed to get (a projected) 150,000 butts a year in their new Sonata. Me thinks they will be just fine in the long haul.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Anyone know when these incentives are going to expire?? I'm very interested in this car and plan on taking a trip to the dealership myself. Took one for a test drive - and overall, I liked it. Agree with some reviews that say it's suspension is a bit rough. But everything else was very good.

      It's funny to hear people say that Hyundai has always been a bad car and will always be a bad car. Whatever. Try to keep up with evolution I say to all the cavemen out there.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The American consumer has a long memory. This is no different than the uphill battle being waged by GM and Ford against perception.

      Hyundai, for nearly 20 years, was the cheapest, least safe, least reliable vehicle you could buy. Even with the reliability of their efforts from the recent past, a large chunk of the public still views the name plate as third-tier at best.

      It's going to take a while to convince owners of other brands that today's Hyundai is not the same one that pumped out $8000 Excels years ago.
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