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Posts Tagged ‘dave zuchowski’

Management Shake-up as Hyundai Ousts U.S. CEO Zuchowski

Ouster doesn’t directly address an off-kilter model mix.

by on Dec.21, 2016

Hyundai's Dave Zuchowski, shown at the launch of the 2015 Sonata, spent three years as U.S. CEO.

Dave Zuchowski, the widely respected CEO of Hyundai Motor America has been summarily ousted by the company’s Korean headquarters.

The departure of the long-time Hyundai executive, who was named CEO in 2013, comes at a time when Hyundai has lost some of its momentum in the American market – though various industry observers said they question how much blame can be ascribed to Zuchowski considering he has long been pressing to flesh out Hyundai’s slim line-up of light trucks at a time they are gaining momentum while traditional passenger cars falter.

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Hyundai representatives had no immediate comment on the news beyond the announcement that Jerry Flannery, currently HMA’s executive vice president and general counsel, will step in, at least temporarily, as Zuchowski’s replacement.

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New Genesis Brand Taking Cautious Approach to Growth

Flagship G90 to be one of six new models in the works.

by on Aug.11, 2016

The 2017 Genesis G90 replaces the old Hyundai Equus and targets the big Mercedes S-Class.

With the launch of the big G90 sedan, the all-new Genesis brand plans to take on some of the world’s toughest luxury competitors, products like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The luxury arm of Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., Genesis is nothing if not ambitious, with a total of six products scheduled to fill its line-up over the next five years. Those range from a compact sports coupe to a large SUV and tackle some of the luxury markets best-known entries, including the classic BMW 3-Series.

A Luxury You Can Afford!

The Genesis name has been around for almost a decade, making its original debut as the first luxury model from Hyundai itself. But after years of resisting plans to create a separate luxury division, Hyundai reversed course, last year announcing it would spin off Genesis and turn it into a brand of its own.

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Hyundai Set to Launch 1st Pickup, Flood of New SUVs

Official Santa Cruz announcement to come by April.

by on Jan.29, 2016

Hyundai won raves for the Santa Cruz concept, a car-based pickup unveiled in early 2015.

In a market increasingly dominated by pickups and utility vehicles, Hyundai is “out of whack,” with a car-dominated model mix, but that’s about to change, says the company’s top U.S. executive.

Sometime before April, the Korean carmaker is formally planning to announce it will build the well-received Santa Cruz pickup that debuted in concept form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. But it will be just one in a flurry of new crossover-based models for both the mainstream Hyundai and new Genesis luxury brands, officials have confirmed.

“We’re out of whack, a fish swimming upstream,” in the current environment, said Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski, noting that while truck models currently account for 58% of the U.S. vehicle market, they make up barely 27% of Hyundai’s American volume.

Keep on Truckin'!

And without getting more in line with market trends, Hyundai is beginning to see its steady growth begin to sputter, officials acknowledged during a media preview of the new Elantra sedan in San Diego.

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New, Active Safety Tech Reducing Rear-End Crashes by As Much as 40%

New study finds “significant” benefits from auto-braking and collision warning technology.

by on Jan.28, 2016

An illustration by Mercedes shows how radar-based Emergency Auto Braking works.

New active safety systems, such as forward collision warning and emergency auto-braking, are having a major impact on the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities, according to police reports from the U.S.

According to a deep dive conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, automatic braking systems yield a 40% reduction in rear-end crashes, while collision warning systems alone have cut the collision rate by 23%. The IIHS study estimates that if all vehicles on the road were equipped with these technologies, that would have prevented about 700,000 police-reported rear-end crashes in 2013.

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“The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads,” says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. “As this technology becomes more widespread, we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end crashes. The same goes for the whiplash injuries that often result from these crashes and can cause a lot of pain and lost productivity.”

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Feds, 18 Automakers Agree to Form Broad Consortium to Improve Auto Safety

First joint project to focus on cyber-security; concept modeled after successful aerospace effort.

by on Jan.15, 2016

U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx, surrounded by industry leaders, at the news conference.

© 2016 TheDetroitBureau.com

In an unprecedented move, 18 global automakers have agreed to form a broad consortium aimed at not only developing advanced safety technology but also bringing it to a broad a range of consumers as quickly as possible.

The concept was modeled after a similar and successful program developed by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration to work with aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus.

The Last Word!

The first of what could become a wide range of projects is already underway, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned. The members of the new consortium agreed earlier this month to pool resources in an effort to thwart the threat of hackers. Cyber-security is considered a critical issue as the industry adds more digital technology to vehicles and works towards a collective goal of putting autonomous vehicles on the road.

The new safety consortium is a “strong start,” and a “new approach,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, surrounded by senior executives from all 18 automakers.

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Automakers Shift Production as Sedans Slide, SUVs Surge

More Santa Fe Sports, fewer Sonatas, at Hyundai’s Alabama plant.

by on Jan.08, 2016

The Santa Fe Sport. Hyundai believes it could sell lots more if it had the production capacity.

Hyundai plans to add production of its Santa Fe Sport at its assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama this coming summer, hoping to keep up with a surge in demand for utility vehicles driven, at least in part, by low fuel prices.

The boost in production of the Santa Fe Sport will come at the expense of the Hyundai Sonata, since the capacity of the Alabama plant will remain around 400,000 a year. But that’s no surprise, industry analysts say, as Sonata sales in the U.S. slipped 1.7% in 2015 due to lagging demand for sedans, in general. Sales of the compact Hyundai SUV, however, were limited by a lack of supply.

We're Your Trusted Utility!

And Hyundai isn’t alone, said Stephanie Brinley, a senior automotive analyst with IHS Automotive. “What we are seeing in the 2015 results is an increased appetite for SUVs, with sedans taking a hit.”

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Hyundai Takes on BMW with New AG Sedan

No plans for U.S. market; another BMW-fighter in development.

by on Jun.02, 2014

The new Hyundai AG is based on the maker's more mainstream Grandeur/Azera model.

Increasingly intent on becoming a player in the luxury car market, Hyundai has pulled the wraps off a new large car, codenamed AG, designed to take on high-line competitors such as BMW and Audi.

The Korean carmaker has already pushed into the luxury market with the flagship Equus and mid-range Genesis – the latter newly updated for 2015. But senior company officials have confirmed plans to expand their line-up of upmarket offerings.

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The new sedan making its debut at the Busan Motor Show, however, is targeted specifically at the Korean luxury market which has seen a surge in growth among imports like BMW, Audi and Mercedes.  Codenamed the AG, the new Hyundai offering is not expected to be shipped to the U.S. Other new luxury offerings are under development for export, sources with the maker told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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After Genesis: Hyundai Looking to Take on BMW 3-Series

But Korean carmaker won’t flood showrooms with luxury models.

by on Apr.08, 2014

The new Genesis sedan will attempt to take on German rivals, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, more directly.

In the beginning, there was Genesis.  But even as its second-generation luxury sedan begins rolling into showrooms, Hyundai is looking at its options for expanding its presence in the luxury car market, the maker’s top U.S. executive told TheDetroitBureau.com. And one very strong possibility will be to take on the vaunted benchmark of the compact luxury segment, the BMW 3-Series.

But it has already ruled out several possibilities and Hyundai Motor America’s new CEO Dave Zuchowski cautions that there’s a limit to how many new upscale models it plans to put in its showrooms.  Despite the higher profit potential of cars like the Genesis and even bigger Equus, he stressed, Hyundai isn’t walking away from its traditional “value” segment focus.

Auto Insight!

“Genesis is our halo vehicle,” said Zuchowski, during an interview in Phoenix following a media drive of the 2015 luxury sedan.  “It elevates our brand and says we can compete with the best in the world.  But Genesis is all about image and prestige and the Sonata is all about volume,” the new CEO stressed, referring to the next-generation midsize sedan due to follow later this year.

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