By Tom Krisher (Associated Press)
In this Sunday, Nov. 16, 2013, file photo, a model poses next to a Hyundai Tucson facelift on display at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, In 2014, Hyundai says it will starts selling Tucson SUV powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. It will be the first mass-market vehicle of its type to be sold or leased in the U.S. AP/Lai Seng Sin, File
DETROIT — For years, the joke in the auto industry was that a mass-produced car that runs on hydrogen was always a decade away.
That will change next year when Hyundai starts selling a Tucson SUV powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. It will be the first mass-market vehicle of its type to be sold or leased in the U.S.
"These things are now ready for prime time," John Krafcik, Hyundai's North American CEO, said last week. His company plans to announce details of the new Tucson on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Even as the industry focused on battery-powered and hybrid cars, automakers such as Hyundai, Honda and Toyota kept up research on fuel cells. Now they appear to have conquered obstacles such as high costs, safety concerns and a lack of filling stations. These vehicles could help the companies meet stricter future fuel-economy standards.
Now Fifth Ranked Non-Premium Brand; Up Six Places from 2012
Top Asian Brand in Mass Market Segment
COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 14, 2013 – Hyundai’s dedication to enhancing the customer buying experience resulted in the industry’s largest rank improvement in the recently announced J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM. Hyundai finished as the fifth best mass market brand, moving up six spots since the 2012 study. Hyundai’s score improved 27 points to 677 in the 1,000 point scale, the second biggest point move among the 19 non-premium brands.
“Hyundai dealers have invested heavily in delighting customers in every interaction, particularly during the buying process,” said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president, national sales, Hyundai Motor America. “Achieving the largest rank improvement in the SSI Study shows these efforts are paying off. We believe our engaging salespeople also led the way in determining a customer’s needs so they can pair them with a Hyundai that best fits their lifestyle.
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.