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Hyundai Refines Equus for 2014

From “cheap and cheerful” to posh and luxurious.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Hyundai's 2014 Equus features 30 new and enhanced features to compete against some tough competiton.

If you still think “cheap and cheerful” when someone mentions Hyundai, you obviously haven’t checked out the changes the Korean carmaker has undergone in recent years. And nothing symbolizes that more than the Equus, the maker’s big sedan that takes aim at some pretty formidable competition in the premium-luxury segment.

Less than three years after reaching U.S. shores, the Hyundai Equus is set to undergo some significant updates for the 2014 model-year, which Hyundai revealed this week at the New York Auto Show. That’s probably no surprise considering the tough competition it faces from Europe, Japan and the U.S., notably an all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class the German maker plans to reveal in just a couple months.

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According to Hyundai, there are “30 new and enhanced features,” starting with some immediately obvious tweaks to the exterior and interior. They include new front bumpers and a revised grille, as well as the addition of standard LED fog lamps and new 19-inch “turbine blade” wheels.

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Hyundai Chief Sees Slowdown in Sales Growth

Capacity can’t keep up with demand, so maker shifts goals.

by on Jan.18, 2012

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik.

It was a good year for Hyundai – perhaps too good.

The Korean carmaker, long known for providing cheap and cheerful econoboxes, scored a solid hit with its must upscale model ever, the premium-Luxury Equus.  It landed its second win with a coveted North American Car of the Year trophy for the compact Hyundai Elantra sedan.  And it saw sales surge to another record.

The numbers would have gone even higher, contends John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, if the maker had enough capacity.  “Even in the worst days after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, our inventories have been shorter than either Toyota or Honda,” he said during a conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com.

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The Korean carmaker is actively looking for ways to boost production at its Alabama assembly plant, as well as at a factory run by its sibling Kia providing some additional product for Hyundai dealers.  But barring a sudden slowdown in sales, Krafcik believes Hyundai can’t come near to meeting potential U.S. demand in 2012.

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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…)