By Hyunjoo Jin, Reuters
SEOUL - Optimism over Hyundai Motor Co's first major makeover of its key models in about five years may fizzle as some industry insiders question whether the redesigns are too conservative for international tastes.
Hyundai is facing fierce competition in its home market of South Korea. Free trade deals opened the door for U.S., Japanese and European rivals, who are chipping away at its share in a market where it is accustomed to dominating.
To better compete, the company plans to launch a new, significantly redesigned version of its Genesis large car as early as next month, and a revamped Sonata mid-sized sedan early next year, although neither is likely to carry a new engine.
Hyundai is expected to tone down Sonata's bold lines and curves in a bid to appeal to a broader audience and boost sagging volume growth, particularly at home. But that could backfire in other vital markets such as the United States, where its flashier style is popular and has helped Hyundai establish a credible presence over the past few years.
There's little question that Hyundai has emerged as a tuner's favorite, and few have pushed the limits quite like John Pangilinan. The SEMA stalwart is known for turning out candy-colored Korean tuning jobs, and has now teamed up with Hyundai for this bright blue Genesis coupe.
Set to debut next month in Vegas, the JP Edition Genesis Coupe features flared fenders designed by Jon Sibal, a carbon aero kit and custom headlights, topped off by by an Atlantic Blue metallic paint job with custom graphics. But that's just what you can see. Under the hood, the JP Genesis packs an AEM cold air intake, ARK Performance exhaust, turbo downpipe, KW coilover suspension, Whiteline sway bars, ARK strut, 19-inch forged alloys, Toyo rubber and Brembo brakes.
Inside it's got Recaro buckets, a racing harnesses, GoPro camera, Alpine sound system and Katzkin suede and leather upholstery. The finished package will be on display at SEMA, but in the meantime you can scope out the full details in the press release below.
A prolonged U.S. government shutdown is damaging consumer confidence and may trim October new-vehicle sales by as much as 10 percent, said John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor Co. (005380)’s U.S. sales unit.
The standoff in Washington that began Oct. 1, leaving some government agencies closed and federal workers furloughed, is generating “anxiety” for many people, Krafcik said in an interview with Sara Eisen, an anchor of Bloomberg Surveillance.
“It’s that anxiety that keeps customers, potential buyers, on the sidelines when making a big purchase like an automobile,” he said. “We’ll probably see the industry off five to 10 percent this month, compared to where it was in September. I think a lot of it has to do with this shutdown discussion.”
Auto sales were a consistent bright spot for the U.S. economy this year until September, when fewer sales days in the month than usual led to 2013’s first decline in deliveries. The year’s final quarter, when carmakers sell off previous model year vehicles and transition to newer products, tends to be a strong sales period for the industry.
Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), in collaboration with FOX Philippines, gets zombie-fied, just in time for the premiere of Season 4 of the most watched and anticipated drama series on cable TV.
Hyundai’s close association with The Walking Dead has raised the global car brand’s level of cool. The kiwi green Hyundai Tucson has become a star in its own right as the getaway car of Rick Grimes’ band of survivors. Hyundai’s subsequent creation of The Walking Dead Chop Shop app fired the imagination of zombie-philes the world over to design their own Zombie fighting machines.
This October, HARI treats the public to a month-long The Walking Dead-themed promotion, kicking off with the first-ever Filipino-made zombie survival car, a Tucson designed by Atoy Customs.
Early sightings of the zombie car have created a huge buzz on the popular social networking sites.
Catch the Hyundai zombie survival car as it continues to make rounds in the following areas: