Hyundai: the brand in demand

Hyundai reported record sales in 2012, making the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders top 10 best-sellers list by volume last year.

But in little over a decade, how has Hyundai turned itself from a budget brand into a player in the premium automotive sector? Here’s how…

While Hyundai has established itself in the upper echelon of almost every area the Korean firm hasn’t forgotten its roots.

It still offers brilliant value for money – 75% of Hyundai buyers in 2012 thought so, described as “conquest customers” coming from other brands to Hyundai.

It’s all about customer contact too, which is why Hyundai has invested heavily in its products, its dealer infrastructure and training of its staff.

Last year Hyundai recruited 63 new dealers in the UK – that’s 40% of its overall franchises.

According to Hyundai Motor UK CEO and President Tony Whitehorn, “The brand has fundamentally changed in such a short period, that’s why Hyundai is investing heavily in Europe and especially in the UK.”

It’s all about customer trust and transparency – and offering its Five Year Triple Care warranty package, what better way to build a relationship with buyers than including this industry-leading coverage for free with all new Hyundais.

There are no catches, just a fully transferable unlimited mileage warranty that includes five year’s coverage, five year’s roadside assistance and five year’s vehicle health checks absolutely free.

It’s knowing what the customer wants and delivering that in a hassle-free all-encompassing package. In that respect Hyundai has nailed it.

Alongside great product, you have to have great people. Which is why Hyundai has sunk a huge commitment into its dealer staff, training 16,000 new employees in the UK last year.

Hyundai has now got its own European headquarters in Frankfurt, too. Put simply, while its heritage might be in Korea, in this continent today, it really is a European brand.

70% of all of the firm’s cars sold in Europe are built in Europe, with the stunning crop of next generation Hyundais – such as the i30 Hatchback and new Santa Fe 4×4 – designed in Frankfurt as well.

The firm isn’t leaving its traditional brand values behind – style, technology and innovation at accessible prices – it’s just moving forward to deliver these qualities with a better outcome for the customer.

Hyundai’s work is paying off, too. It’s now the world’s 53rd most valuable brand, according to Interbrand, making it more valuable than Audi, Adidas, Facebook and Starbucks.

So with that reputation built up already, what it Hyundai going to do in 2013?

Keep an eye out on T W White & Sons’ blog for the inside line on the firm’s plans for the next 12 months.