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Hyundai Hits The 200,000 Mark With Sonata

Sedan also up for North American Car of the Year.

by on Dec.23, 2010

The Hyundai Sonata tops 200,000 sales.

Sales of the Hyundai Sonata have topped 200,000 units, so far this year, making it one of the auto industry’s top success stories of 2010 — and a key factor as the South Korean automaker heads to an all-time sales record.

Hyundai will sell more than 530,000 vehicles in the United States, company officials said, and more than 110,000 in Canada for the first time ever.

“Sonata has delivered some pretty incredible results for us this year,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. “Sonata is the Hyundai brand and it’s appropriate it has led to our best year ever.

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Year-over-year, the launch of the newest version of the Sonata has generated an incremental 90,000-unit increase in sales.  And that’s just in the U.S.

“The Sonata has been an integral part of Hyundai’s transformation in Canada,” says Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

One of the keys to the Sonata’s strong sales is Hyundai’s decision to go with an all-four-cylinder powertrain line-up.  The midsize sedan’s fuel efficiency ratings now set the pace in the segment, with the base powertrain yielding a first-ever 35-mpg highway rating for a non-hybrid, a remarkable 33-mpg highway rating for the turbocharged 2.0T (which packs 274 horsepower, more than any V6 in the segment), and a best-ever 40-mpg highway rating for the breakthrough Sonata Hybrid featuring industry-first lithium-polymer battery technology, Hyundai executives note

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata - the Hybrid shown here - is one of three finalists up for the coveted North American Car of the Year trophy.

The 2.0T, incidentally, generates a segment-leading 137-hp per liter, besting just about every other vehicle in the industry in power-density, from the Buick Regal Turbo at 110-hp per liter to the Lamborghini Murcielago at 98-hp per liter.

Midsize car buyers, meanwhile, aren’t the only ones apparently impressed by the 2011 Hyundai Sonata.  The sedan is one of the three finalists for the prestigious North American Car of the Year trophy.  It’s up against the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, with the results of voting by the 49 NACTOY jurors set to be announced on January 10, 2011, the opening press day of the North American International Auto Show.

Hyundai previously won, in 2009, for the new Genesis sedan.

Hyundai Recalling Nearly 140,000 Sonatas

Steering defect could cause the 2011 model to lose control.

by on Sep.27, 2010

Hyundai will recall nearly 140,000 2011 Sonata models because of a a steering defect.

Federal regulators have announced the recall of nearly 140,000 Hyundai Sonata sedans due to a potential steering problem that could cause a loss of control.

The recall, announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers the majority of the latest-generation Hyundai midsize sedan, specifically those manufactured between December 2009 and September 2010.

According to a NHTSA statement, “On some of these vehicles, the steering column intermediate shaft universal joint connections may have been either improperly assembled or insufficiently tightened.”

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In rare instances, the agency says, it is possible that a vehicle may experience a reduction or complete loss of steering capability due to the manufacturing defect.

Hyundai produces the Sonata at a plant in Alabama, its first assembly line in North America.

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Q&A: Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik

Staying hungry to stay ahead.

by on Feb.19, 2010

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik reveals the new Sonata at the LA Auto Show, last November.

You’ll find John Krafcik out running, every morning, before he sits down with the reporters gathering in San Diego for this week’s launch of the all-new, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.  “Stay humble, stay hungry,” is a favorite phrase for the lean and trim CEO of the Korean maker’s fast-growing U.S. subsidiary, and it’s one that informs the way he runs both his life and his company.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Hyundai was the butt of jokes for late-night comics, a company struggling to just hang on in the hotly competitive U.S. market.  But things have shifted dramatically as the maker has rebuilt its product line and its image, reversing a long-standing reputation for bland design, boring products and questionable quality.

Market share jumped from 3.0% to 4.2% last year – amidst a downturn during which Hyundai was one of only three brands to actually grow volume – but 2010 will be the real test of Hyundai’s turnaround.

(Click Here for the results of a new study revealing Hyundai, Ford making significant gains in share, loyalty and more.)    (more…)