These are challenging automotive times! Bankruptcies, mergers, Toyota down,
the Porsche shuffle and on and on. So, which car company is making headway
and should the others be concerned about?
Well, there is one automaker that wants it badly and it is starting to show in
the American and other markets globally. The company is in fact Hyundai
Motors. It is the automaker that offers the 10 year 100,000 mile warranty.
The warranty ‘was’ viewed as a means of offering customers confidence to
help quiet their doubts about quality and repair concerns.
The prevailing view was that drivers would still prefer a Toyota with less
of a warranty than a Hyundai because they would not need to take time at
the Hyundai repair shop even if the repair was covered. However, there has
been a shift at the automaker. And what was the shift?
In 1999 the company’s founder, Ju-Yung Chung passed the corporate leadership
to his son, Mong-Koo Chung. And unlike his father who focused on volume,
the son made quality Hyundai’s priority. Hyundai is working to become more
exclusive! I recently did an article on marquee automakers remaining exclusive.
To see the article visit: Will marquee automakers be able to increase sales
Quality at Hyundai is not just hoped for, rather, it involves the company
setting aggressive goals and a seven day a week 24 hour operational hub
called the Global Command and Control Center (GCCC). The facility is
modeled after the CNN newsroom in Atlanta (although, Hyundai’s facility
is located in Seoul South Korea). The facility contains dozens of computers
that keeps tabs on Hyundai’s operations around the world in Europe, Japan,
Beijing, and North America. Parts shipments are monitored from the time
they leave the supplier until they reach Hyundai plants. No outsiders are
allowed to enter the GCCC.
And what about where the rubber meets the road? The public’s perception
of Hyundai has changed from the automaker providing merely inexpensive
and adequate vehicles with a good warranty to the maker of reasonably priced
quality vehicles with compelling designs and a real customer focus. Examples
of the ‘customer focus’ include Hyundai being aware of the public’s concern
about job security amide the financial crisis. Thus, the company responded
with the ‘Hyundai Assurance’ buyback program and the ‘Hyundai Payment
Protection’ program. As fuel price were another consumer concern, the
automaker came out with the ‘$1.49 Per Gallon’ guarantee for a year.
To read about and see the company’s upcoming Hyundai Sonata sedan
visit my San Francisco Examiner article: 2011 Hyundai Sonata.
What is Hyundai’s goal? To top Toyota and the others! The automaker is
seriously working at it day and night and the others are starting to take an
awareness of the automaker from the back of their minds to the front and
Hyundai – the car company that customers love and competitors dislike!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He
welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: