Hyundai CEO downplays Corvette competitor, warns of CAFE loopholes

Like nearly every other automaker these days, Hyundai is keenly focused on bringing fuel-efficient vehicles to market. That apparently means the automaker doesn't currently see a need for a halo sportscar to compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette, though it recognizes it would be an exciting addition to the lineup. Hyundai's North American CEO, John Krafcik tells Ward's Auto that even though such a model would would be a fun addition to the family, a range-topping sports car would also probably be a poor investment that wouldn't serve the brand properly.
Krafcik is clearly focused on building more fuel efficient machines, and he argues that vehicles like the new Veloster coupe can provide sort of reverse halo from the bottom-up, not unlike the way the CTS has been the star of the Cadillac lineup for some time. This strategy seems like a smart move ahead of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements waiting just a few years down the road.

Every automaker has a reason to be concerned about CAFE, but as Krafcik points out in an interview with Ward's Auto, loopholes exist in the legal requirements that may allow car companies to switch up their product strategy without aggressively pursuing more fuel-efficient products. Larger vehicles are subject to less strict requirements, and Krafcik argues that some smaller vehicles will likely fall by the wayside as an unintended consequence. This sort of thinking could allow a few manufacturers to skirt around the more strict CAFE requirements. An example of this is the decline of the compact pickup truck, which has given way to the less-restricted full-size.

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