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Hyundai Tops Toyota, Honda in Owner Loyalty

“The power of attractive design.”

by on Jul.19, 2011

A "product renaissance" is helping Hyundai improve owner loyalty, according to a new study.

The upstart Korean automaker Hyundai has arguably done the best job of gaining ground at the expense of Japanese makers still struggling with shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Indeed, it seems like a lot of things are going right for Hyundai which now has topped traditional leaders Toyota and Honda in terms of owner loyalty, according to a new study.  The news lends credence to claims by the Korean maker that it will set another U.S. sales record this year.

According to online sales and data service KBB.com, 52.3% of Hyundai buyers researched another model by the Korean maker as they searched for a new vehicle during the second quarter of 2011.  That compares to:

  • Honda at 49.7%;
  • Toyota at 47.7%;
  • Ford at 45.4%; and in fifth place
  • Subaru at 44.8%.

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Some industry analysts might question the metrics used by KBB, as loyalty is more traditionally defined as someone owning a vehicle actually purchasing a model from the same brand again.  But the research reflects general trends in Hyundai’s favor.

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Chrysler Taking Its Cues From Hyundai

U.S. makers hopes to emulate Korean carmaker’s turnaround.

by on Nov.15, 2010

Can Chrysler pull off the turnaround Hyundai has achieved? The maker hopes to begin in 2011.

For years, U.S. automakers – as well as many of their import rivals – have aimed to emulate the success of the industry’s global sales leader, Toyota.  But as Chrysler struggles to rebuild, in the wake of last year’s bankruptcy, it is targeting a very different manufacturer’s formula for success: Hyundai.

In recent years, the Korean carmaker has shown it possible to reverse a reputation for poor quality while transforming itself from a bargain basement retailer into one offering great value for the money.  It has been steadily gaining not just sales and market share, but increased consideration by those who, just a few years ago, wouldn’t have even dreamed of walking into a Hyundai showroom.

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“Frankly, our strategy is based on what Hyundai did,” Chrysler marketing manager Bruce Velisek told TheDetroitBureau.com during a weekend preview of the new Dodge and Chrysler line-up.

With the launch of its 2011 models, the start of what Chrysler claims will be a complete revamping of its line-up under the guidance of Italian partner Fiat, the U.S. maker faces many of the same problems as Hyundai did.

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Hyundai Drops Price, Boosts Mileage on ’11 Sonata

Can it gain ground against a weakened Toyota Camry?

by on Feb.02, 2010

Coming at you...the 2011 Hyundai Sonata will get a class-leading 35 mpg Highway.

Hyundai may have made it just a little bit more difficult to justify buying a hybrid.  The automaker’s all-new, 2011 remake of the Sonata will deliver a class-leading 35 miles per gallon, even while the maker has announced that it is cutting the base price of the sedan by about $225.

The midsize car gets more than just a modest update for the upcoming model-year.  The 2011 Hyundai Sonata will feature an all-new design, reflecting the Korean carmaker’s new “Fluidic Sculpture” design language.

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And though it’s officially a midsize model, the interior package now falls into the Large Car category according to the EPA.

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Imports Retain Lead – but Detroit’s Big Three Closing Quality Gap Fast

Lexus and parent Toyota again top new J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey.

by on Jun.22, 2009

Detroit's Big Three makers made huge strides in quality, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, but the single highest-quality product was the Lexus LX sport-utility vehicle.

Detroit's Big Three makers made huge strides in quality, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, but the single highest-quality product was the Lexus LX sport-utility vehicle.

Despite distracting financial problems, Detroit’s Big Three automakers showed a substantial improvement in off-the-assembly-line quality, according to the latest Initial Quality Survey by automotive gurus J.D. Power and Associates.

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors’ various brands scored a collective 10% improvement on the closely-watched 2009 IQS, though the industry, as a whole, experienced significant improvements.  That means that while the so-called quality gap is closing, imports once again retain the lead.

Among the 37 brands included in the yearly quality report, long-dominant Lexus again took the number one spot with an average of just 84 problems reported per 100 vehicles, (or 84 PP100).  Porsche, which had led the list for the last two years, slipped into the number two spot, while Cadillac jumped from 10th to 3rd.  Significantly, the Korean maker, Hyundai, surged to the 4th position, a major gain for a manufacturer long relegated to the bottom end of the quality charts.

The industry average, for 2009, came to 108 problems – down from 118, last year – which works out to just slightly more than one per vehicle, though Mini, the lowest-ranked maker, suffered from 165 PP100.

“It’s fair to say that new vehicle quality is better than it’s ever been,” said David Sargent, JDPA’s vice president of automotive research, “in terms of the absence of problems.”

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comNotably, four Detroit brands – Cadillac, Ford, Chevrolet and Mercury – ranked above the industry average.  And Power officials reported that on the whole, the Big Three “outpaced (the) industry-wide improvement” in quality.

“Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, the Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success,” noted Sargent.

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