Nov
25

Hyundai and Kia to hit record 8M sales for 2014

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The logo of Hyundai Motors display durin

Hyundai and Kia are on a sales charge in 2014, and parent company Hyundai Motor Group is increasing projections to a record eight million combined units for the automakers by the end of the year – a bump over the original target of 7.86 million vehicles.

According to Bloomberg, the key to the growth is beating expectations in Brazil, China and India, and strong crossover sales are also helping the bottom line. In the US, both automakers are doing well this year. In October, Hyundai saw a six percent dip in monthly sales, but through the first 10 months it sold 607,539 vehicles, compared to 601,773 at this point last year. Kia has done even better with 489,711 units sold from January to October, versus 456,137 for the period in 2013.

The good news is a welcome antidote to negative headlines like investors’ anger over Hyundai’s $10 billion land purchase in Seoul, South Korea. The two automakers also had to pay a $300 million penalty to the Environmental Protection Agency for misstating fuel economy on some models.

While sales may reach a new record, profits might not grow as much with them. The strong Korean won means that Hyundai and Kia have a tougher time keeping up profit margins compared to Japanese competitors with a weaker yen.

Hyundai and Kia to hit record 8M sales for 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
20

2015 Hyundai Azera is refreshed, may still be on life support

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2015 Hyundai Azera

What you see above is the 2015 Hyundai Azera. It’s slightly refreshed for the new model year, with a new grille, lighting elements and fascia joining some newly standard technology bits inside the cabin. Other than those few updates, this is the same Azera we’ve known and loved since its most recent redesign for the 2012 model year.

Thing is, we’re not sure if the Azera will actually live past 2015 here in the United States. Hyundai has said that it still sees some space above the Sonata midsize sedan and its larger and more luxurious Genesis Sedan for a vehicle sized and priced like the Azera, but just hasn’t been able to find many buyers who agree.

Put simply, if you like what you see in the 2015 Azera, now would be a good time to mosey on over to your nearest Hyundai dealer to see if this fullsize sedan suits your specific needs better than competitors like the Chevy Impala, Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse.

2015 Hyundai Azera is refreshed, may still be on life support originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
17

Hyundai US marketing chief steps down

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Gadget Show

For the past four and a half years, Hyundai’s marketing efforts in America have been steered by Steve Shannon. But now the Korean automaker is going to have to find a new marketing guru, because Shannon has reportedly stepped down with apparently immediate effect.

A career automobile marketer, Shannon came to Hyundai early in 2011 after over a quarter century at General Motors, effectively switching places with Joel Ewanick and Chris Perry, who moved from Hyundai to GM the previous year.

During his 25 years in Detroit, Automotive News points out, Shannon worked with such brands as Buick, Oldsmobile, Saab and Hummer. He was particularly instrumental in launching the Saturn brand and served as executive director of marketing for Cadillac prior to moving to Hyundai.

Over the course of his tenure at Hyundai Motor America, Shannon was widely credited with increasing the brand’s market share in the US, but came under fire when its sales began to stagnate more recently.

Hyundai has reportedly yet to identify a successor to Shannon’s post, saying that he left to “pursue other opportunities.” We’ll be watching to see where he lands next, and who Hyundai names in his place.

Hyundai US marketing chief steps down originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 16 Nov 2014 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
12

Hyundai, Kia announce buyback plan for angry Korean investors

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Policemen walk past a logo of Hyundai mo

Hyundai’s controversial decision last September to move its Korean headquarters to an expansive (and expensive) new facility was met with a swift backlash by shareholders. After making the biggest land purchase in South Korean history, the company’s share price took a nine-point nose dive.

Now, in a bid to get back in the good graces of its stockholders, Hyundai and its subsidiary, Kia, will make a $615-million stock buyback plan. Reuters claims this is the first time in ten years that Hyundai has made a buyback offer with the explicit purpose of pumping up share prices.

The total deal bumped up Hyundai’s share prices 5.7 percent while Kia is up two percent, although neither company has fully recovered from the battering that followed the headquarters announcement. It’s unclear what else it will take for Hyundai to recover the ground it lost during the land deal.

Hyundai, Kia announce buyback plan for angry Korean investors originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
10

2015 Hyundai Azera appears refreshed in Miami

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2015 Hyundai Azera

Hyundai has taken the unusual approach of debuting a newly refreshed model – the refreshed 2015 Hyundai Azera – at the Miami International Auto Show instead of one of the larger usual suspects (the LA Auto Show is just around the corner). According to Hyundai, Florida is a large market for the Azera sedan, which surely had something to do with the decision to debut in Miami.

There aren’t many big changes to the Azera for 2015, but what has been updated is meaningful, starting with redesigned front and rear fascias, standard 18-inch alloy wheels and LED fog lights on Limited models. Inside, an eight-inch display – all the better to work with Hyundai’s latest Blue Link system – joins a new center stack design as notable improvements. On the safety front, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic alert and Lane Change Assist are now standard.

Power still comes from the well-regarded 3.3-liter V6 with 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. While none of the changes for 2015 are likely to make the Azera into a best seller in the highly competitive large-car market, where models like the Chevy Impala, Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse live, not to mention Hyundai’s sibling from Kia, the Cadenza, we’re sure Azera buyers will be happy with the updates all the same.

The question remains, how much longer will there be an Azera in the United States? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, feel free to click on the image above to enlarge (we’re requested more photos and will update this post with a full gallery as soon as we have one) and read the press release below for all the details from Hyundai.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Azera appears refreshed in Miami

2015 Hyundai Azera appears refreshed in Miami originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 09 Nov 2014 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
06

Hyundai brings 1,000-hp Genesis Coupe to SEMA, and plenty more [w/video]

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Hyundai SEMA Customs

Hyundai has a thirst for horsepower. How else could we explain the scene you see above, in which there exists a 708-horsepower front-wheel-drive Sonata tuned by Bisimoto (black and white, above left) powered by Hyundai’s 2.4-liter Theta II engine? Or the little red number you see hiding in the background, which, at an even 1,000 horsepower, is “the most-powerful 2.0-liter Genesis Coupe ever built,” says Hyundai?

In addition to those two powerhouses, the white Sonata (above right) was styled by John Pangilinan to “[connect] Los Angeles street art culture with automotive enthusiasts,” whatever that means, and it joins an ARK Performance-tuned Genesis Sedan meant to go head-to-head with Mercedes AMG and BMW M and another Genesis Sedan tuned by Toca Marketing Group with a twin-turbo’d 5.0-liter Tau V8.

All in, that’s five heavily modified vehicles being shown at the 2014 SEMA Show by Hyundai (not to mention any more customs not actually sponsored by the automaker itself), and each of them is pretty successful as far as we’re concerned. Check them all out for yourself in the image gallery above, and read all the details in the press release below, where you’ll also find a video of the builders discussing each of their creations.

Continue reading Hyundai brings 1,000-hp Genesis Coupe to SEMA, and plenty more [w/video]

Hyundai brings 1,000-hp Genesis Coupe to SEMA, and plenty more [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
03

Hyundai-Kia fuel-economy errors trigger $300M in federal penalties [w/video]

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2012 Hyundai Accent

This amount includes $100-million in civil penalties, the largest such fines in EPA history.

Hyundai and Kia are getting more than a slap on the wrist for overstating the fuel economy of an estimated 1.2-million vehicles in their 2011-2013 model ranges. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board are hitting the automakers with collective penalties valued at around $300 million for Clean Air Act violations. This amount includes $100-million in civil penalties, the largest such fines in EPA history. Specifically, Hyundai is paying a $56.8 million penalty and relinquishing 2.7-million greenhouse gas emissions credits. Kia is paying $43.2 million in penalties and giving up 2.05-million credits.

Those emissions credits are estimated to be worth around $200 million by the EPA, and the agency is also requesting a further $50-million investment to prevent future Clean Air Act violations from the automakers. CARB will receive $6,343,400 of the $100 million settlement.

Hyundai says that it is forming “an independent certification test group” to supervise testing, training and reporting. The automaker is also auditing its 2015-2016 model-year vehicles to check their accuracy. Hyundai and Kia previously announced owner compensation programs for the differences in fuel economy ratings and Hyundai tells Autoblog that it has since settled all related consumer lawsuits.

This settlement comes in reaction to the Korean brands’ infamous fuel-economy markdowns in 2012. The EPA claims that over the life of these vehicles, they will add 4.75-million metric tons of CO2 more than the EPA had certified, hence the credit penalties it is assessing. “In processing test data, Hyundai and Kia allegedly chose favorable results rather than average results from a large number of tests,” said the agency in its statement. On its end, the regulator is planning to issue more specific rules on economy testing for all automakers.

For its part, Hyundai continues to cite not only a “data processing error related to the coastdown testing method” that’s part of the EPA test schedule, but also vagueness within certain parameters of the government-mandated testing (including things like a wide allowable temperature spectrum and tire condition during testing) for inconsistencies in fuel-economy measuring.

Scroll down for Hyundai, Kia and the EPA’s statements of the settlement. There’s also a helpful video from Hyundai explaining more about how fuel economy is tested, including detailing some of the issues it has with the EPA’s testing methodology. For its part, Kia has posted more details about its side of the settlement on the Frequently Asked Questions portion of its Kia MPG Info website.

Continue reading Hyundai-Kia fuel-economy errors trigger $300M in federal penalties [w/video]

Hyundai-Kia fuel-economy errors trigger $300M in federal penalties [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
01

Hyundai beefs up HB20 R-Spec in Brazil

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Hyundai HB20 R-Spec Concept

If you’ve been following the news from the Sao Paulo Motor Show, you’ll likely have seen not only a series of new concept cars, but also a whole mess of production vehicles you never knew existed because they were developed specifically for the Latin American market. One of them is the Hyundai HB20.

Hyundai Brasil makes the HB20 in Sao Paulo for local consumption in three forms: there’s the HB20 hatchback, HB20S sedan and HB20X crossover. It’s the former which it has transformed into the R-Spec concept you see here.

Decked out in matte blue, the HB20 R-Spec concept packs an aggressively upgraded aero kit, extra cooling ducts, 17-inch alloys, LED headlights and an interior with leather trim and striped seats. Even if we don’t know what’s under the hood, it all looks pretty convincing, and makes us wish Hyundai would offer it Stateside as part of the Accent family with which it shares its underpinnings.

Hyundai beefs up HB20 R-Spec in Brazil originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nov
01

Hyundai/Kia’s Prius rival to arrive by 2017

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Hyundai Prius-fighter spy shots

The Toyota Prius is the undisputed king of the hybrid market, but Hyundai and Kia are hoping to challenge its reign in the coming years with their own dedicated model. However, in all likelihood this is the same technology being shared between them. “We will take the lead in the future by raising the competitiveness of our environment-friendly cars like hybrid-only cars, plug-in hybrid cars and fuel cell hydrogen cars,” Hyundai Motor CEO Kim Choong-ho said to Reuters, during the launch of another vehicle in South Korea.

While Kim didn’t say when the model would be ready, Autocar in Europe spoke to people at Kia, who said that the company’s own hybrid was two years away and codenamed the DE. The initial vehicle is reportedly a five-door hatchback that’s about 169-inches long, with more conventional styling than the Prius. Its powertrain is reportedly based around a 1.6-liter engine with electric assist. A plug-in version might follow later, and other bodystyles on the platform are possible. A recently spotted test mule might show the current state of development on the project (pictured above).

According to Reuters, the decision for the new vehicle comes in order to meet tighter emissions in some markets. However, it seems like a challenging move for the US market. Hyundai already sells its Tucson fuel cell in limited quantities and the Sonata hybrid, and Kia has the Optima hybrid and Soul EV. Industry analysts are also predicting that hybrids might have a hard time versus internal combustion engines in the coming years. In addition, Toyota is rumored to get fuel economy close to 60 miles per gallon for some versions of the next Prius. All of these factors make selling the models here a potentially difficult undertaking.

Hyundai/Kia’s Prius rival to arrive by 2017 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oct
30

Hyundai sells its 10,000,000th Elantra

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2014 Hyundai Elantra

There aren’t many nameplates that have sold over 10 million units in the history of the automotive industry. In fact there have only been ten, and now Hyundai has joined the list for the first time with the Elantra.

Launched 24 years ago, the Elantra has far and away been Hyundai’s top selling model. Now in its fifth generation, the Elantra is sold as a coupe, sedan and wagon, and under the Avante name in its home market. It’s one of the top selling cars in the world, and Hyundai has earned the right to crow that it has sold its 10,000,000 of them globally. That means that, on average, Hyundai has sold more than 45 new Elantras every hour of every day of every year since its introduction in 1990.

Other models in the 10 Million Club include the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, VW Beetle and Golf, and the Ford Model T and F-Series. The latter might still be considered the most impressive, selling over 34 million units – the vast majority in the US – to be America’s top-selling vehicle for over 30 years running.

Continue reading Hyundai sells its 10,000,000th Elantra

Hyundai sells its 10,000,000th Elantra originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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