• Aug 5th 2010 at 2:02PM
  • 18
During a speech at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI on Wednesday, Hyundai America CEO John Krafcik became the first executive to commit to a 50-mile-per-gallon fleet average and plans to achieve that goal by 2025. That goes well beyond the 35.5 mpg already mandated under corporate average fuel economy rules for 2016.
Hyundai rose to the top of the CAFE rankings in the U.S. in 2008 and scored a 30.9 mpg average in 2009. Krafcik used the 2011 Sonata as an example of what to expect from Hyundai going forward. When it was redesigned this year, Hyundai opted to forgo the V6 engines available in its competitors and used only four-cylinder engines. The standard Sonata is rated at 35 mpg on the highway and the hybrid coming this fall may hit 40 mpg.

To get to 50 mpg in 2025, Krafcik plans to ramp up hybrid availability with as much as 20 percent of the lineup being partially electrified. Another five percent will be either full battery or fuel cell electric vehicles.

[Source: Hyundai]



• Since 2008 Hyundai has been the most fuel-efficient manufacturer in the U.S.
• Since becoming the leader in fuel economy, Hyundai market share is up 50 percent
• Hyundai's next goal: Average at least 50 mpg by 2025 through innovative Blue Drive™ technologies
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., 08/04/2010

Hyundai Motor America, the leading fuel economy auto manufacturer in the U.S., announced plans to maintain its leadership and achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating of at least 50 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025 for its lineup of passenger cars and light duty trucks.

Current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations require automakers to achieve a CAFE rating of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Before those rules were enacted last year, Hyundai had already announced its own plan to reach 35 mpg by 2015. Hyundai's announcement of this longer-term goal of delivering a minimum 50 mpg CAFE rating by 2025 is consistent with its philosophy of setting stretch objectives that align its resources, challenge its team members, and delight consumers and society.

"We're committed to setting the pace in this industry on fuel economy, and we're inspired by the possibilities that our advanced Blue Drive technologies afford," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. "Getting to 50 mpg and beyond seems like a huge leap, but by making this commitment and aligning our R&D initiatives now, we know we can get there."

Hyundai has shown that customers will flock to high-quality, stylish products offering high fuel economy. The game-changing all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata is the first mid-size family sedan to offer only 4-cylinder engines. Sonata achieves an EPA highway rating of 35 mpg, yet leads competitors in power output through the use of advanced gasoline direct injection (GDI). Sonata's sales were up 48 percent in the first half of 2010, while its transaction prices and residual values now exceed those of most mid-size competitors. The Sonata and its 2.4-liter Theta II GDI engine are built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

"This is our simple formula for success in the automobile industry," said Krafcik. "Rather than fighting fuel economy regulation, we encourage our Hyundai engineers to deliver more fuel efficiency, faster, accelerating the benefits to our customers, society, and the planet."

Since becoming the fuel economy leader in the 2008 model year, Hyundai Motor America market share is up more than 50 percent.

A Global Research and Development Effort

Hyundai's plan to achieve an average of 50 mpg or better encompasses a full line of products, from small cars to larger family haulers. It leverages Hyundai's global Blue Drive strategy, aligning R&D resources at its engineering centers in California, Michigan, Korea, India and Germany to develop more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies. Key enablers are improvements and innovation in powertrains including gasoline direct injection, turbocharging, electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, light-weight materials and design, and more.

2011 Sonata Leads the Way

The 2011 Sonata, which went on sale earlier this year, features a 2.4-liter Theta II GDI 4-cylinder as its base engine, offering up to 200 horsepower and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. By offering only 4-cylinder engines and through other weight optimization efforts, Hyundai engineers were able to reduce the weight of the Sonata by 130 pounds.

This fall, Hyundai will launch the 2.0T 4-cylinder turbo option for the 2011 Sonata and the company's first hybrid in the United States. The Sonata Hybrid features a 2.4-liter Theta II 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor-boosted 6-speed automatic transmission. The Sonata Hybrid incorporates an industry-first lithium polymer battery, which packs greater power density and stability into a smaller, more package-efficient space.

Sonata's Hybrid Blue Drive system eschews the typical continuously variable transmission for a more consumer-friendly step-shift 6-speed transmission, which makes the system more cost-effective and more readily adaptable to other future applications. Sonata exemplifies Hyundai's efforts to bring advanced power train technologies to the mainstream.

Fuel Economy Leadership Since 2008 Model Year

Hyundai achieved fuel economy leadership by topping the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy report for the 2008 model year. The EPA 2009 Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report indicates that Hyundai has the highest 2008 model year laboratory 55/45 fuel economy at 30.9 mpg. Hyundai passed all major manufacturers in combined passenger car and light duty truck fuel efficiency including traditional leaders like Honda and Toyota. The report demonstrates the effectiveness of Hyundai's value-driven fuel-efficiency strategy, which focuses on the intelligent application of cost-effective technologies.

Hyundai is poised to maintain its fuel-economy leadership as projected data for the 2009 model year shows Hyundai retaining its edge over the industry. Forecasts show a 2009 model-year fuel economy rating of 30.1 mpg for passenger cars and light duty trucks. Hyundai is also the only automaker to top 30 mpg in the 2009 projections.[1][1]

Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Reports


Fuel Economy (mpg)

MY 2008 EPA Lab 55/45*


Overall (Cars/Trucks)

















General Motors




* From EPA Table A-7 2009 Trends Report (Appendix A) http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/fetrends/420r09014-appx-a.pdf

**Includes ten highest-volume manufacturers. Based on sales projections for the ten highest volume manufacturers. EPA Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975-2009 Report. Honda includes combined Honda and Acura brands. Hyundai excludes Kia brand.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through about 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sadly, a 50 MPG CAFE fleet average is not all that revolutionary.

      67 MPG CAFE = 50 MPG EPA (2010 Prius)
      52 MPG CAFE = 39 MPG EPA (2010 Fusion Hybrid)
      39 MPG CAFE = 29 MPG EPA (2016 car average)
      35 MPG CAFE = 26 MPG EPA (2016 fleet average)
      30 MPG CAFE = 23 MPG EPA (2016 truck average)
      27.5 MPG CAFE = 21 MPG EPA (current fleet average)

        • 8 Months Ago
        Ah, but you forgot to cheat. An ethanol powered vehicle that gets a 15mpg rating on the EPA scale gets a 62mpg rating on CAFE.

        The article is pure propaganda and shame on ABG for republishing it.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's actually possible for Hyundai:

      1) They are already at 30mpg +.
      2) They have standardized to 4 cylinder engines.
      3) They don't build any truck or truck-like SUV.
      4) They will be unveiling a new hybrid at the North-American auto show. Their goal is to compete with the Prius.

      As for their styling, I find their designs way more inspiring than Honda and Toyota these days. We're a long way from 1980's Hyundai Pony.

      Too bad they have no plan for a pure EV. They could really kick the Japanese where it hurts.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It's a silly promise because we probably won't have any oil to burn in 15 years. lol.
      Either people won't buy gas cars anymore, or they will be so cost prohibitive to operate that 50mpg won't be mandated by CAFE, it'll be mandated by the mind blowing cost of filling up the tank.

      50mpg average is possible today, maybe even in the next 5 years.
      A lineup consisting mostly of hybrids, EVs, and some small gas cars could do it.

      I like Hyundai, but this is a wanky press release. Get back to work, dude John :P
        • 8 Months Ago
        I feel like if any company can do it, it's Hyundai, but I expect them to hit that mark in 10 years or less. It's a bogus statement, but I think Hyundai may be the only mfg giving it a legit effort, so kudos to them for making it a company goal at least. But yeah, if we're not driving more electrics than gas by then I'm going to be pissed.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Bravo for Hyundai. Now if they can transform their smaller vehicles from the ugly toads they are into something desirable like they have done with the larger vehicles...
        • 8 Months Ago
        Should be interesting to see what happens with the Accent. If it has the 1.6L motor it would be pretty exciting. I can't imagine the kind of MPG they could get out of a smaller motor, would certainly make the Fiesta look sub-par.

        They're using the same design language, so it should look decent too.
        Too bad i'm pretty much off the fence in terms of buying a gas car these days.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Whaaaa??? I think the new Sonata is beautiful; especially compared to the older Hyundais. The new Genesis looks sharp (I know, not a small car), the Genesis Coupe looks good, not awesome, but good enough. The new 2011 Elantra is probably the best yet; it's like a Sonata/Civic lovechild. They still have that Korean-esque front to them, where they all look happy/toyish, but it's not overbearing. I think Hyundai is making the most forward progress of ANY automaker at the moment. They've clearly got a ways to go before they'll compete head to head with BMW, but in the low-mid priced vehicle range they're getting good.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I had looked at the Hyundai web site for current models. Looking around the web for the 2011 Elantra, I agree. Nice looking car in line with their larger cars. Now that Accent...
        • 8 Months Ago
        The new Elantra is going to kick ass too. Basically a mini Sonata, excellent 1.6L powertrain. They are making an honest effort. More so than a lot of companies.
        • 8 Months Ago
        So basically what Matt said :P
      • 8 Months Ago
      SO WHAT.

      Do it in two years. That would be news worthy
      • 8 Months Ago
      peak oil will take names and kick ass much sooner than that. 21km/L (50mpg) will have no place in 2025.
      Greece dragged us down with their messed up economy and things are running on idle now but once it picks up again (if oil prices wont permantly dampen growth) then peak oil price spike will hit right away.
      we may already be in a long term state of oil price dampened global economy so peak oil might not be a dramatic visible event and may take years before it's pronounced enough that even the stupid humans realize something has to change.

      not sure if the current ~80$ price is significantly dampening any influential markets.

      in other words, any growth in global economy will be met with a peak oil price spike like we already saw in 2008 which was only stopped by the crashing global economy.
      a rather interesting coincidence btw

      if you haven't seen it graphically go here http://www.livecharts.co.uk/MarketCharts/crude.php
      mouse over and choose options in the top right corner. choose 300units and week as the unit. then you can see the first wave hit
        • 8 Months Ago
        Peak oil and the market crash had nothing to do with our oil supply. Supply and demand were not a problem here. You can correlate whatever number to the global recession you like, but it's not going to produce the real picture.
      • 8 Months Ago
      ... another useful promise... 2025 is just around the corner, and then:
      a) mr Krafcik will still be accountable for his sayings regarding Hyundai products
      b) we will all remember to check whether Hyunday still exists
      c) we will all remember the day MPG was a measure for fuel used to travel distances
      d) ABG will report on whether this promise held water.

      Come on... what a pile of BS. There should be laws prohibiting Automotive-CEOs from referring to the future farther than 5 years.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Just what I was thinking.
        A pile of feel-good drivel.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is a joke right? I doubt any automaker will be selling a car that doesn't get over 50mpg by 2020, and the ones they do sell will be low volume "niche" products for the rich folks that can still afford gas.
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