Apr
25

Hyundai missing Q1 earnings targets blamed on slow US sales

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2015 Hyundai Sonata

Slow US growth is hampering profits at Hyundai. In its first quarter financial statement, the Korean automaker reported a profit of 1.93 trillion won ($1.86 billion). According to Reuters, this is less than analysts’ expectations and nearly the same as last year.

According to the report, US sales fell by 3 percent in Q1 2014. To make matters worse, the high value of the South Korean currency caused lower profits on models exported from there. On the bright side, Hyundai’s Chinese sales rose by 9 percent, according to Reuters. It’s also working on building a fourth factory there.

The company has had a rough time in the US throughout the quarter. John Krafcik, the CEO of Hyundai of America, stepped down on January 1, and the company was already predicting slow growth in sales for 2014. Falling quality scores for the Sonata and Elantra aren’t helping matters either. However, there may be hope on the way. The second-generation Genesis Sedan was introduced to the US in Detroit, and the redesigned Sonata was recently shown in New York. Successful launches of these important models could prove crucial.

Hyundai missing Q1 earnings targets blamed on slow US sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
23

Hyundai presents 70 movies in 10 minutes… and it’s very strange

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Hyundai 70 movies video

Hyundai i10 ShortCuts 70 films in 10 minutesIt’s not often we can use the term “trippy” to describe anything we post here at Autoblog, but this German video, promoted by Hyundai and starring the brand’s European-spec i10 is trippy, surreal and totally bizarre. And we love it.

Movie buffs will appreciate this ridiculous mix of classic movies into a strange mishmash that makes no sense at all. From Silence of the Lambs to the Terminator series to Pulp Fiction, The Godfather and 300, there’s the list of films parodied in this spot is wildly diverse. We’ve watched a few times, and while we can name the vast majority of classic films shown, we have no idea what the actual point of the video is.

Take a look below and let us know what you think in Comments. But beware, there is some NSFW language.

Continue reading Hyundai presents 70 movies in 10 minutes… and it’s very strange

Hyundai presents 70 movies in 10 minutes… and it’s very strange originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
22

Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

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Hyundai ix25 Concept

Hyundai introduced an all-new crossover concept to the crowds at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, showing the ix25, a near-production concept that heralds the arrival of a new compact CUV for the People’s Republic.

Boasting Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0,” the ix25 is a handsome little soft-roader that we could see slotting in nicely below the vehicle we call Tucson (the rest of the globe knows it as the ix35), and would serve as the entry point for Hyundai’s Chinese CUV range. Under hood sits a familiar 2.0-liter, “Nu” four-cylinder, which we’ve sampled in assorted Hyundais and Kias over the years.

At 168 inches long it’s ten inches shorter than a Ford Escape and five inches longer than the Soul, from sister company Kia. Despite these differences, the ix25 Concept’s wheelbase is less than an inch longer (eight-tenths to be exact) than the Soul’s 101.2-inches. More notably, the ix25 is roughly the size of the new Chevrolet Trax.

Considering the rapidly growing popularity of the B-segment CUV in the US market – initiated by cars like the Soul, popularized by the Buick Encore and brought to the masses by the impending arrival of the Trax and Jeep Renegade – it seems like it’d be a logical move for Hyundai to bring the production ix25 to North America. Hyundai’s already said that it’s looking at the B-segment, meaning we could see the ix25 on our shores sooner rather than later. (Ditch the alphanumeric handle and call it “Mesa,” and it’d fit in nicely with Tucson and Santa Fe, we think.)

Take a look below for a very brief gallery from Hyundai, as well as the official press release on the ix25 Concept.

Continue reading Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
22

Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

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Hyundai ix25 Concept

Hyundai introduced an all-new crossover concept to the crowds at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, showing the ix25, a near-production concept that heralds the arrival of a new compact CUV for the People’s Republic.

Boasting Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0,” the ix25 is a handsome little soft-roader that we could see slotting in nicely below the vehicle we call Tucson (the rest of the globe knows it as the ix35), and would serve as the entry point for Hyundai’s Chinese CUV range. Under hood sits a familiar 2.0-liter, “Nu” four-cylinder, which we’ve sampled in assorted Hyundais and Kias over the years.

At 168 inches long it’s ten inches shorter than a Ford Escape and five inches longer than the Soul, from sister company Kia. Despite these differences, the ix25 Concept’s wheelbase is less than an inch longer (eight-tenths to be exact) than the Soul’s 101.2-inches. More notably, the ix25 is roughly the size of the new Chevrolet Trax.

Considering the rapidly growing popularity of the B-segment CUV in the US market – initiated by cars like the Soul, popularized by the Buick Encore and brought to the masses by the impending arrival of the Trax and Jeep Renegade – it seems like it’d be a logical move for Hyundai to bring the production ix25 to North America. Hyundai’s already said that it’s looking at the B-segment, meaning we could see the ix25 on our shores sooner rather than later. (Ditch the alphanumeric handle and call it “Mesa,” and it’d fit in nicely with Tucson and Santa Fe, we think.)

Take a look below for a very brief gallery from Hyundai, as well as the official press release on the ix25 Concept.

Continue reading Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV

Hyundai ix25 Concept foreshadows B-segment CUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
18

John Krafcik eyes Sonata, talks about his new role

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2015 Hyundai Sonata

General Views From The Chicago Auto ShowAs hundreds of people gathered to watch the unveiling of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, John Krafcik, a driving force behind the new vehicle, found himself in a peculiar position.

He stood far away from the car, away from the crowd. He watched from the Nissan stand as the covers were pulled off the Sonata.

If it was an awkward moment for Krafcik, whose tenure as Hyundai’s chief executive officer ended on January 1, he didn’t show it. He offered effusive praise of the Sonata. “It’s a beautiful car,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful.”

After his contract expired at the end of December, Krafcik, who led Hyundai’s ascension as a key competitor in the American auto industry, quickly moved to his next challenge. Earlier this month, Krafcik joined the board of directors at TrueCar, the car-shopping website that is preparing for its initial public offering, which is expected later this year.

Per Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, he couldn’t talk about the upcoming IPO. But the always-exuberant executive was upbeat about his new gig and the auto industry in general as he paced the show floor Wednesday.

Continue reading John Krafcik eyes Sonata, talks about his new role

John Krafcik eyes Sonata, talks about his new role originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
16

2015 Hyundai Sonata plays a more mature tune

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2015 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai’s new North American CEO Dave Zuckowski pulled a silky sheet off of the redesigned 2015 Sonata here at the New York Auto Show, ushering in not only a new era of domestic stewardship for the company, but also a new, more mature design direction for its mass-market vehicles.

Though we’ve already seen the striking sedan in a wealth of recent photos, seeing the car in person confirmed that Hyundai has another hit on its hands. The Sonata employs the Korean automaker’s new “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0″ design language, which we already witnessed in the new, much lower-volume Genesis. Hyundai describes the language as being more dignified, respectable and confident. We certainly agree with that.

Gone are the swooping lines of old, which grabbed our attention on the previous generation. They’ve been replaced by straight edges and harder angles, most noticeably along the car’s beltline. A larger, more refined grille with a wide air intake leads the car down the road. The stance is athletic, with a steeper, coupe-like roofline, quad chrome-tipped exhaust ports and horizontal lines in the rear, which give the car a planted look. The redesigned headlights are wing-like in appearance and, man, that burnt orange color is sexy.

Under the hood, the engines remain the same – a 2.4-liter four cylinder and 2.0-liter turbo-four – though both have been tweaked to improve performance, mostly in low-RPM situations. Additional updates include a redesigned and bigger interior, which Hyundai says greatly emphasizes ergonomics and comfort, a much more rigid platform, a wealth of new safety features and lots of new tech and infotainment updates, including the smart trunk, first seen on the new Genesis. It’s one of the simplest, yet most novel features we’ve seen in 2014.

There’s a lot to Hyundai’s new midsize sedan. See the full presser below for all the info.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Sonata plays a more mature tune

2015 Hyundai Sonata plays a more mature tune originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
15

Hyundai testing more variants of top-secret commercial van

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Hyundai Commercial Van

Hyundai commercial vanThe commercial van market in the US is exploding with new products at the moment, with entries from Ford, Ram, Nissan and others. And we are seeing images (again) of Hyundai testing its own van in Europe, as well, though it’s not known whether the model will make it to the US. While the company has offered work vehicles overseas in the past, this one appears to be a direct competitor to European vehicles with large bodies and tiny wheels like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

The latest images show off not just the standard commercial van but also the pickup version, and interior for the first time. According to our spy shooters, Hyundai did not want people to see the inside of the test vehicle, reaching out specifically in an attempt to secure the pictures you see here. It’s hard to say what’s worth being so secretive about, but that big infotainment screen certainly looks like a nice addition. We still aren’t sure whether the Korean company has opted for front- or rear-wheel drive for the model, but the gearshift suggests that it’s using a six-speed manual transmission.

The pickup truck version has a cab that looks just like the standard van. Testing this variant suggests that Hyundai is addressing the need for multiple body configurations in the commercial space.

Other than the camouflage and cladding, the enclosed version looks identical to the previous spy shots we saw. Though the previous iteration had blacked out panels along the side where windows might go, indicating a passenger version.

Hyundai testing more variants of top-secret commercial van originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
11

Ward’s releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class

While we’re still a ways off from the automotive awards season proper, where things like North American Car and Truck of the Year, Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year and Car and Driver‘s Ten Best are named, that doesn’t mean there aren’t trophies being handed out to deserving automakers. Ward’s 10 Best Interiors being one of them.

As the name might imply, the magazine focuses on the very best interior treatments in the US market. Whereas some awards purposely exclude extreme, high-dollar offerings, Ward’s considers them – the only requirement is that a vehicle has a “new or significantly redesigned interior.”

Ward’s offered up the list of winners in simple, alphabetical order, and it only seems fair to do the same:

We’ll admit to being surprised by a pair of these – the Kia Soul and Jeep Cherokee – while the rest make a fair amount of sense. What’s most remarkable is the huge range of prices, from the $24,010 Kia to the $372,800 Rolls-Royce.

What do you think of Ward’s findings? Do you agree? Are there any vehicles that should be included in this list? Post your thoughts down in Comments.

Ward’s releases 10 Best Interiors list for 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
04

Ex-Hyundai CEO Krafcik joins TrueCar board amidst IPO plans

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CEO Interview Hyundai

Former Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik has had a tumultuous year. Last June, he won the Automotive Executive of the Year from DNV Business Assurance. Then in December, he suddenly announced he was stepping down from his leadership role at the Korean automaker on January 1, with some suggesting it was because the company’s sales growth was too far below forecasts. Now, it looks like the exec has landed a new role on the board of directors of online car shopping website TrueCar.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Krafcik’s role will be to build relationships with automakers and dealers, but the job at TrueCar won’t be full time. Since leaving Hyundai, Krafcik has also been doing consulting work in Silicon Valley. “It’s helped me understand what I might want to do, full, full time. I am just taking things at the appropriate pace,” he said to the Journal.

Krafcik, who is widely considered one of the industry’s top executives, took the helm at Hyundai America in 2008 and led it to an increase in sales and market share. He was with the company when it won North American Car of the Year awards in 2009 and 2012 for the Genesis and Elantra, respectively.

TrueCar is working to change the way cars are sold by interfacing with buyers and dealers to arrive at no-haggle pricing on cars. A new report by Automotive News suggests that the company is on the verge of an Initial Public Offering. TrueCar has filed its intentions with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, with the IPO to be managed by Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. Back in November, values for TrueCar as high as $1.5 billion were floated, but for its IPO, it’s seeking $125 million.

Ex-Hyundai CEO Krafcik joins TrueCar board amidst IPO plans originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apr
01

2015 Hyundai Genesis priced from $38,000*

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2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan, front three-quarter view

Today’s rear-wheel-drive 2014 Hyundai Genesis sedan with the model’s base 3.8-liter V6 starts at $35,200. Come the new 2015 model, Hyundai has announced that price of entry will climb to $38,000. And if you’re so inclined, the Korean automaker will include its new HTRAC all-wheel drive setup for $2,500, for a bottom line of $40,500. The extra $2,500 for AWD rewards you with more than improved foul-weather handling, as the HTRAC model prepared for cold climes with standard heated steering wheel and rear seats, as well as headlight washers.

If that’s not enough power, stepping up to the company’s well-liked Tau 5.0-liter V8 requires $51,500, a marked $4,100 bump over the price for its 2014 model equivalent, but then again, there’s more standard equipment. And that’s pretty much the top of the line, because the big eight-cylinder can’t be had with all-wheel drive. (Note: *All prices are subject to a $950 destination fee).

Having successfully kept the Genesis’ starting price below $40,000 even after handling and destination, Hyundai has thrown new equipment into the base car beyond its exterior and interior redesign. Gewgaws like paddle shifters, rain-sensing wipers, power folding outside mirrors, power height and lumber-adjustable passenger seat and one-touch power windows in the rear compartment are luxury touches that add more than their raw weight in upscale perception.

The 2014 car currently offers a Premium Package for $4,400, after which you can add the Technology Package for $4,300. The 2015 option structure comprises three packages that also can be stacked: Signature, a $4,000 grouping, includes items like a panoramic roof, power tilt and telescoping wheel and blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert; Technology relieves buyers of $3,500 for lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a seven-inch TFT dash cluster; and Ultimate asks $3,500, but plants the flag with matte finish wood and aluminum trim, a 9.2-inch navigation screen and dual-mode climate control with the drowsiness-fighting CO2 sensor.

The departing 2014 Genesis V8 doesn’t offer any extra packages, but for the new 2015 model, that changes with the $3,250 Ultimate Package – and it already adds the Technology Package from the 3.8-liter as standard. Ultimate buyers receive continuous damping control suspension and a head-up display, among other goodies.

Counting everything, you won’t have a hard time getting rather spendy with the 2015 Genesis sedan, but Hyundai appears to have made it possible to get into its much sharper presentation for a good price. The press release below has all the details.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Genesis priced from $38,000*

2015 Hyundai Genesis priced from $38,000* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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