Hyundai's strategy paying off Mar 1, 2009 18:02:49 GMT -5
Post by jskalstad on Mar 1, 2009 18:02:49 GMT -5
NOT EVERYONE IS SINGING THE BLUES!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Hyundai's strategy paying off
Detroit's automakers have lost their mojo and not even some of the stellar products they have today are doing much to bring it home.
Hyundai, it appears, has found it.
The South Korean automaker once known for "cheap and cheerful" economy cars has kicked its game up a few notches and even those who chuckled at the thought of owning one now are paying attention.
Ad campaign resonates
Think Sunday. As in Super Bowl Sunday, the day its newest television ads hit the airwaves and took direct aim at luxury carmakers, particularly Lexus and BMW. The spot features execs from other companies screaming about newspaper stories featuring Hyundai's luxury sedan, the Genesis, being named North American Car of the Year at the Detroit auto show.
Having not driven the Genesis yet, I can't tell you if it compares to those other rides, but I can tell you about the commercial -- something that I can't do for the latest BMW or Lexus commercial hot spot. Similarly, I can tell you thanks to its ads, that Hyundai is offering to buy back its cars from people who lose their job (after they've made two payments). Rarely do 30-second spots interrupting a ballgame resonate with me -- particularly car commercials, which historically are among the least memorable.
But Hyundai has done it.
Company thinks ahead
And it's not by accident.
"It's definitely a strategy we're working on," said Dan Bedore, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor America. "... this is not the same company from the 1986 Excel."
Hyundai scored big time during the Olympics, too. The company, figuring the world would be watching, bought the first TV ad space available after Michael Phelps eighth race. Sounds like simple planning, but it's bigger than that. Companies have to be thinking ahead and Hyundai has been doing just that.
Sure, Hyundai still has a long way to go but it is chipping away at new audiences, particularly those that typically don't bag their own groceries or drink beer from a can. Hyundai's commercial during the Oscars resulted in a 27 percent surge in its Web site traffic, automotive research Web site Edmunds.com said in a report this week.
Hyundai's sales increased 14 percent in January, a far cry from the drop of nearly 30 percent or worse from most other major automakers, and they're still swinging for the fences.
That's as it should be. Strike when the iron is hot. Capitalize on your competitors weaknesses. Take what you can get.
Even if that means part of the strategy is explaining how to say the company name -- Hyundai, as in Sunday
www.prestonhyundaiusa.com for more information