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Fiat Chrysler Eyes Alliance with Hyundai

Marchionne says no merger in the works.

by on Dec.04, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said an alliance or a partnership with Hyundai would make sense for FCA.

After seemingly laying off talking about potential deal, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is at it again, talking up the possibility of a partnership with Hyundai on technical projects.

Marchionne, during an appearance in Milan over the weekend, was careful to rule out any kind of merger with Hyundai after a flurry of reports this summer that FCA as eager to find merger partners for its automotive business.

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“We already buy components from (Hyundai) … let’s see if we can agree on other points, especially for the development of transmissions and hydrogen,” Marchionne told journalists, adding there was “nothing to announce for the moment.”  (more…)

Hyundai Ups its Game With New Kona Crossover

Little ute, big expectations.

by on Nov.29, 2017

Hyundai is looking to close a big gap in its product portfolio with the new Kona crossover.

Hyundai has a big gap in its small-car line-up, one it aims to fill with the debut of its new Kona crossover making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

One of eight new or substantially refreshed CUVs Hyundai plans to launch by 2020, the Kona fills a yawning gap below the current Tucson and Santa Fe models. And it finally lets Hyundai Kona take on competitors like the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V and the upcoming Ford EcoSport in what is expected to be one of the U.S. market’s fastest-growing segments over the next few years.

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“We’re confident it will set new standards for its segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning for Hyundai Motor America. (more…)

Union Strike Could Short-Circuit Critical Launch of Hyundai Kona

Workers protest anticipated job cuts.

by on Nov.28, 2017

The debut of the Hyundai Kona in the U.S. could be in jeopardy due to a strike by workers in South Korea.

At a time when SUVs dominate the American automotive market and are gaining traction across the globe, Hyundai has been caught short. The Korean carmaker is hoping to regain momentum with the launch of an all-new third utility vehicle, but the launch of the 2018 Kona could be off to a bad start as workers in Seoul shut down production.

Union leaders called for a walkout to challenge what they believe are job cuts coming on the assembly line at Hyundai’s big home market assembly plant. And they’re warning that the strike could get even bigger, according to the Reuters news service.

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Relations have traditionally been tense between Korean workers and management, though after some relatively peaceful times there have been a number of confrontations during the last two, including shutdowns at plants run by both Hyundai and its sibling brand Kia. (more…)

Hyundai Planning to Add, Update 8 CUVs by 2020

Kona model will kick off ute assault.

by on Nov.15, 2017

The Hyundai Kona made its official public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Struggling to adapt to rapid changes in the U.S. new vehicle market, Hyundai plans to introduce eight all-new or significantly updated crossover-utility vehicles by 2020, the automaker revealed during a media briefing on Wednesday morning.

The wave of new models will range from a sub-compact, or A-segment ute up to a three-row, eight-passenger offering. The Hyundai Kona, set to be unveiled at the upcoming Los Angeles Motor Show, will become the first of the new products to go on sale.

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“CUVs are what’s really driving growth in the U.S. market,” said Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president of corporate planning, and the lack of a full range of utility vehicles is a key reason why analysts say Hyundai has lost momentum over the last several years after a decade of rapid growth.


Hyundai May Build New Pickup, SUV in U.S.

Move would require expansion of Alabama plant.

by on Nov.10, 2017

Hyundai won raves for the Santa Cruz concept, a car-based pickup, which it sorely needs in its U.S. line-up.

Slow to adapt to the shift from passenger cars to light trucks, Hyundai Motor Co. is racing to add new SUVs, as well as its first pickup truck, to its line-up, and it is giving serious consideration to producing them in its Alabama assembly plant.

Hyundai was one of the fastest-growing brands coming out of the American economic recession, but its growth has stalled over the last few years, analysts largely pointing to the Korean carmaker’s limited SUV options — the Santa Fe and the Tucson – at a time when light trucks account for nearly two-thirds of the American automotive market.

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Hyundai officials have confirmed plans to expand the mix, with at least one, and likely two more SUVs coming. A version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz pickup is also nearing production and expected to be launched as early as the 2019 model-year.


Hyundai Quarterly Profits Down — Again

Sales up globally, except in China and U.S. market.

by on Oct.26, 2017

Hyundai's delay in expanding its SUV and crossover line-up continues to haunt the automaker.

Hyundai Motor continues to pay for its slow acceptance of the move away from sedans and into sport-utilities and crossovers by U.S.  and Chinese consumers as it reported its third-quarter profits dropped 20%.

The South Korean automaker’s profits have fallen each quarter since 2013. Hyundai’s overall vehicle sales actually increased about 7% thanks to the popularity of its new products, Hyundai Kona and Genesis G70.

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However, that wasn’t enough to counter the sales declines the company’s two biggest markets: the U.S. and China. In the U.S., the company is still lagging its competitors in the breadth of its utiliy vehicle offerings.  (more…)

Hyundai’s Got Big Plans for Smart Stream Gas, Diesel Engine Family

Korean maker also reveals next-gen fuel-cell technology.

by on Oct.24, 2017

Hyundai's new Smart Stream family of engines, includes gasoline- and diesel-powered models.

Under pressure to boost mileage and reduce emissions, Hyundai Motor Group has unveiled a new powertrain family, dubbed Smart Stream, that eventually will be used in all of the carmaker’s vehicles – which means those sold through the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands.

The Smart Stream engines will be available in both gasoline and diesel configurations and will be part of a broader powertrain push by the Korean carmaker that also will include new plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric drivelines. Hyundai also showed off its next-generation fuel-cell technology at the International Powertrain Conference that opened in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday.

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Eventually, the Smart Stream family will consist of 10 different gasoline engines, as well as six diesels and six transmissions. But the roll-out won’t be completed until 2022, the company said during the conference, which has attracted about 1,200 engineers and academics from around the world. (more…)

Hyundai, Bisimoto Team Up for 80 MPG HyperEconiq

Tuner shifts gears, puts emphasis on efficiency, rather than performance.

by on Oct.11, 2017

Bisimoto's HyperEconiq takes Hyundai's Ioniq hybrid to a new level, getting 83 mpg.

We’ve seen automotive tuner Bisimoto partner up with Hyundai for a series of impressive, high-performance custom projects in recent years, and with the annual SEMA show just around the corner they’re pairing up this time. But this time around, the focus is on fuel efficiency.

California-based Bisimoto has taken Hyundai’s already high-mileage Ioniq hybrid to create the HyperEconiq, in the process upping its numbers substantially, a series of 83 tests yielding an average of 83 miles per gallon. That compares impressively with the 58 mpg Combined rating achieved by the stock Hyundai Ioniq.

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Bisimoto suggests it was able to get there by using what it describes as “the best hypermiling, economy and friction tech.” A quick glimpse reveals a handful of modifications its made, including the use of wheel spats to reduce drag around the rear wheels, but there are also a number of upgrades hidden under the stock Hyundai Ioniq’s skin. (more…)

Hyundai Gives Buyers Assurance with New Car Sales Process

New plan allows buyers to return car after three days.

by on Oct.10, 2017

Hyundai unveiled its new Shopper Assurance program designed to eliminate the frustration of buying a new car from its dealers.

Hyundai Motors unveiled its plan to become the latest automaker to attempt to streamline and improve the customer experience with auto dealers through its new “Shopper Assurance” program.

The new program focuses on four pillars: transparent pricing, flexible test drives, streamlined purchasing and a three-day money-back guarantee. If these concepts sound vaguely familiar, they should as most of them have been attempted before by other automakers.

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“For nearly a decade, the word ‘Assurance’ has been synonymous with Hyundai and represents our efforts in redefining the car ownership experience,” said Dean Evans, chief marketing officer, Hyundai Motor America. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

A sporty hatchback in a sea of crossovers.

by on Aug.29, 2017

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is a new hatchback that gives the maker a chance against popular crossovers and sport-utes.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport is something of a segment buster in a world where the automotive fleet is broken up into categories like passenger cars, pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles and crossovers.

But as a hatchback, the Elantra GT isn’t all that easy to define. It doesn’t have the lifted seating position of a SUV and overall design reduces vehicles overall height, leaving it with the low-slung profile of a passenger car. The cabin is also surprisingly quiet, making it easier to hold conversations on a longer drive.

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With its scaled down proportions, the Elantra GT Sport is bound to remind some older motorists of a small station wagon or the Euro-style hatchbacks popular during the 1970s and 1980s. However, Hyundai’s designers have given the car’s exterior sheet metal character and a contemporary appearance. (more…)