"The people who are most concerned about Hyundai are not the (U.S.) domestic automakers, but Toyota and Honda
Mark Phelan - FREEP
- November 15, 2009
Competition always breeds excellence --Ed.
Anybody who dismisses Hyundai's recent success as a cash-for-clunkers-fueled aberration is in for a rude surprise in 2010.
Hyundai is virtually alone in selling more cars in recession-ravaged 2009 than in 2008. Driven by smart marketing and strong new vehicles, Hyundai's 2009 sales are up 4% versus this time last year. The Korean automaker's second brand, Kia, is riding a similar wave, with sales up 6.7%.
No other manufacturer comes close to that performance. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Toyota have all seen their 2009 sales fall from 20% to 39%.
Hyundai benefited greatly from the cash-for-clunkers program, but its performance grew from several basic strengths. Barring disaster, Hyundai and Kia are in the big time to stay.
"They've made very substantial gains in styling and even bigger ones in quality and reliability," said Joe Phillippi, principal of AutoTrends Consulting, Short Hills, N.J.
Trouble for Toyota, Honda
The South Korean giant will amp up its challenge to Toyota to be the leading Asia-based automaker with a handful of key new models in 2010.
"Hyundai is now the equal of the top Japanese companies," said Aaron Bragman, research analyst in the Troy office of IHS Global Insight.... [Read More]