• Apr 10, 2007
While comparisons to the Accord and Camry may be more apt, Hyundai has their sights set on more upscale targets. The Korean company has been looking upmarket for vehicles to benchmark when developing their cars, and that philosophy will extend to marketing. One of the new spots touts the Sonata's horsepower advantage over the BMW 525i, while another concedes that even though the Azera can't self-park (a dubious feature, at best), it offers a well-equipped luxury sedan for less than half of an LS460's price, allowing you to pay someone to park your Azera.

It would seem that Hyundai makes a regular practice of looking over the heads of direct competitors, shooting for a segment above their actual market slot. Indeed, the Mercedes ML 'ute was a target when the new Santa Fe was being worked up, and at the Concept Genesis's recent debut during the New York Auto Show, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes were heard, while the existence of Honda or Toyota wasn't even acknowledged. The last Hyundai campaign we can even recall is the "Hyundai, Yes, Hyundai" effort of the early 1990s, when Hyundai's hottest offering was the Scoupe. They've come a long way from building Mitsubishi cast-offs, and Hyundai is now a force to be reckoned with.

[Source: Automotive News (Sub req'd)]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think you are all missing a very interesting point.....

      Their ambitions are to leap-frog the other asian brands. Given their recent successes, the people that should worry are the American 2.5. This focus on benchmarking premium products and building to mid-market prices should serve as a template for how to win the consumer.

      The genesis product will be the one to watch... if they can keep their quality up, they could really spell trouble for the US Brands. Not a good time for GM to withdraw from the RWD game!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thanks Testa Di Cazzo,
      I do agree to a certain extent with everything you say. I think there's a lot of uninformed buyers out there and I do believe they flock to the brands that are pushed on them. I also think that the same rings true of some people who buy the BMWs and Mercedes (one of my co-workers didn't realize his car was RWD until bad weather). I actually was looking at the Camry XLE V6 because i thought that for the price it was a great car. What changed my mind was that I already see so many of the new model on the road that I wanted something a bit different.
      But you're right, I heavily research my cars (And other large purchases for that matter) rather than just accept the marketing behind them. To be honest, the one thing that keeps the RDX from being a slam dunk purchase for me is the fact that at that price point, I think a V6 is expected. This may actually tip the scales toward something else. If I had my way, I'd go with the GMC Acadia, which appears to be a great value for the price, but my wife wants something smaller. I would look at the Ford Edge, but I think its way overpriced and the interior is boring. It has a nice look though. We're also eagerly waiting for the Nissan Rogue to see it.
      You have some great cars though. You're obviously much more of an enthusiast than I am, which explains our different preferences. I just want a car that gets me to work and on road trips safely and comfortably (and has some pick up).


      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry for the double post.. I clicked the wrong link
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hyundai is free to 'shoot for the stars' with its ad campaign, but I seriously doubt that many people will be cross-shopping Sonatas/Azeras with the BMW 5-Series.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hyundai is going to do the same thing Lexus did with Mercedes-Benz, Lexus made luxury cars at a cheaper price than Mercedes-Benz and took took there sales, Hyundai is gonna do the same thing to Lexus
      • 7 Years Ago
      Later on they aired a commercial comparing the Azera to the LS. now THAT, boys and girls, was bold. Reminds me a little of the old Joe Isuzu ads: "the new Trooper is so big, you can fit an entire symphonic orchestra inside..."
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Hyundai is planning on producing a luxury marque, then it would make sense to compare cost versus value. But the fact that they are pitting their regular cars against Lexus and BMW? That's just weird. I don't think anyone in that market would consider buying a Hyundai.

      Some advertising agency pulled the wool over their eyes on this one...
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's an old saying when it comes to selling yourself that you don't speak of yourself in terms of where you are but where you want to be.

      So, if Hyundai indeed wants to be on-par with the BMWs of the world then they should start talking of themselves in that manner. It helps to provide the employees a goal to improve their company and it begins the positioning for achieving that level in terms of marketing.

      If you never try to compare yourself to the 1st-tier competitors then you'll never reach them. And while it may be a stretch now to consider the comparison valid it is the first step towards legitimizing that type of comparison.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hyundai is capable of de-throwning these luxury brands, but I feel they should take out Nissan, Honda and Toyota first, THEN the luxury brands. It may seem like a joke now, but Azera winning BEST LARGE CAR for 2006 from JD power is a sign of things to come. Not to mention all the other numerous awards their cars are all getting. Hyundai realizes all they need to do is improve their brand image. By comparing their products to the top brands in the game, they are doing just that. I think it is exactly the right strategy. Hyundai will continue to surprise people until they are a respected brand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Testa,
      I am well aware that the CR-V and the RDX are the same platform. But, the RDX has a different back end that my wife and I much prefer, a much better fit and finish and a more powerful engine. It also has better noise reducing materials to provide a better driving experience. Also, the technology package is far superior to what is in the CR-V.
      We love our Volvos (my Dad sells them) and we will certainly be looking at the new 70s when they hit the showroom, but I have a feeling that the prices are going to jump because the new one is based on the S80 platform now and the interior is almost an exact copy.
      But I have to disagree with your opinion about Toyota versus Lexus. I've sat in the new Camry and the new ES350. Obviously they are made from the same platform but the interior environments are completely different. As are the ameneties and the engine. So my question to you is the following: The Camry has a huge price differential from the CE up to the XLE V6. Would you still have a problem if the ES350 was sold as a Toyota Camry, but say an XLE premium or something, with the same features and looks? Or is just that you don't like the fact that its an upmarket Camry? I guess the point of my question is that I don't think you can say that the ES350 should be selling at the same price as the Camry because of its additional features, so you would concede it should be more expensive, correct? So the problem lies in the fact that it has Toyota bloodlines? Or do you think it should be cheaper? I'm just trying to understand your argument a bit better. And whats your car preferences?
      • 7 Years Ago
      'the big H" ?? Honda? Halliburton? Hemroids?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hyundai's marketing strategy is actually quite interesting on a positive note. Hyundai has definitely skyrocketed in terms of quality, reliability, and design. They've gone to a caliber where ads that are comparing their products with luxury marques are being taken seriously. The Genesis is actually a really important vehicle for Hyundai. The release date for the Genesis couldn't have been better for them as GM recently announced of their hiatus in the RWD program temporarily. I think the ads regarding on the subject are actually a clever form of marketing. As most commenters have noted, Hyundai isn't trying to cross-shop BMW and Mercedes-Benz consumers to Hyundais. They're actually indirectly targeting Toyota and Honda consumers with this. Toyota and Honda consumers would see these ads and think "The Sonata offers more horsepowers than a BMW?" Frankly, regardless of what statistics they're comparing, it will definitely raise their eyebrows and take a second look at Hyundai. Just 5 years ago, Hyundai offered unreliable, underpowered, and unappealing cars with the only standouts being the warranty and the price. Hyundai followed the "2 for $1" theme which only worked on a certain group of consumers. Now Hyundai is playing like Toyota and Honda, with a much lower price. Equivalent or exceeding quality, equivalently sexy or exceedingly sexy design, equivalent or exceeding reliability and safety, for a lower price. It's a Win-Win situation and, it works.
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