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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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Hyundai Recalling Nearly 500,000 Sonatas Due to Potential Engine Failures

A second recall covers smaller Accent models.

by on Sep.25, 2015

The Sonata's American-made engine is being blamed for the recall of 470,000 sedans.

Hyundai is recalling nearly 500,000 Sonata sedans because a manufacturing problem could cause their engines to fail.

Hyundai has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that engines produced at its powertrain plant in Alabama may not have been machined properly. As a result, metal debris can block the flow of oil to the connecting rod bearings. That could cause the engines to stall and, in turn, lead to a crash.

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The problem affects both 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines used in 470,000 midsize Sonata sedans sold during the 2011 and 2012 model-years. Those vehicles were all assembled by Hyundai in the United States.

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Hyundai Agrees to $17.35 Million Fine from NHTSA

Feds slap maker for failing to report brake problem in five days.

by on Aug.08, 2014

Hyundai was fined $17.35 million for failing to report a brake problem on 2009-2012 Genesis sedans.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied a $17.35 million fine against Hyundai for taking too long to report a brake defect on 43,500 vehicles. The fine is the first evidence that federal regulators are stepping up enforcement, officials said.

“Safety is our top priority, and all automakers should understand that there is no excuse for failing to report a safety-related defect, as required by law,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “This Administration will act aggressively and hold automakers accountable when they put the American public at risk.”

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Earlier this year, the agency fined General Motors a record $35 million for its handling of the ignition switch problem that resulted in the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles, 13 deaths and dozens of injuries. GM recently began accepting claims from victims and their families injured or killed as a result of the problem, and it set aside $400 million to pay the claims. (more…)

Hyundai Issues Third Recall in One Week

Korean maker recalls 420,000 vehicles.

by on Aug.01, 2014

Hyundai is recalling 61,000 Veracruz models from 2007-2012 for electrical issues.

After recalling 889,000 Sonatas a few days ago, the company added another 420,000 vehicles to its recall list, including the Sonata again, for brake, electrical and rust issues.

The South Korean maker is taking back 225,000 Santa Fe crossovers in 20 cold weather states. The 2001 to 2006 model year vehicles may have rusted coil springs that could fracture and puncture a tire. The springs impacted are in states that use salt on their roads in the winter.

The Last Word!

For the third time, the company is recalling Sonatas. This time, 133,000 2011 Sonatas may be leaking brake fluid, which could cause the car to take longer to stop and perhaps end up in a collision. (more…)

Hyundai Takes Aim at Toyota with 2015 Sonata

New Korean sedan tones down styling, adds more features.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Hyundai's Dave Zuchowski introduces the new Sonata at the New York International Auto Show.

Not all that long ago, Hyundai was an afterthought in the competitive midsize sedan market, largely focusing on bargain hunting buyers. But all that changed, a few years back, when it introduced a stylish new remake of the Sonata sedan, the first model to showcase its distinctive “Fluidic Sculpture” design language.

For 2015, the Korean carmaker is rolling out an all-new version of the Sonata, and while it is toning down the previous model’s sometimes over-the-top angles and curves, Hyundai is growing more confident it can take on even some of the midsize segment’s most formidable players, notably including the Toyota Camry.

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“The Sonata has been playing a key role in Hyundai Motor’s rapid growth in the global market, as well as leading the development of the Korean auto industry. We are confident that the all-new Sonata will change the landscape of the global midsize sedan market,” said Choong Ho Kim, the maker’s president and CEO, said when the all-new version was unveiled in South Korea last month. Now, U.S. buyers will have a chance to decide as the all-new Sonata makes its American debut at the New York Auto Show. (more…)

Hyundai Stepping up the Pace with Vehicle Debuts

New Genesis, Sonata expected to make an impact.

by on Apr.02, 2014

Hyundai is ready roll out the 2015 Genesis this month, while the Sonata will be available this summer.

After something of lull last year, Hyundai is preparing to replace two key vehicles, the Genesis and the Sonata, as it begins to pick up the pace of its product launches.

Dave Zuchowski, chief executive officer Hyundai Motor America, said the introduction of new vehicles was vital to Hyundai’s growth, following the 2008-2009 recession, “Our product cadence has been very aggressive and that’s contributed to our success,” he said. “We doubled our volume over the past five years.”

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Even though the company’s expansion was slower last year, Hyundai’s sales still grew by a modest 2.5%. In addition, Hyundai’s standing with customers has steadily improved and they are also quick to recommend the brand to others. (more…)

Hyundai Experiences Déjà vu on Mileage Rating

Korean automaker overstates Sonata’s capability.

by on Mar.17, 2014

Hyundai is restating mileage numbers again. This time it accidentally handed out press materials for the new Sonata with the incorrect figure.

Like a relentless case of déjà vu, Hyundai is restating the mileage rating on another one of its vehicles. This time the 2014 Sonata sees its rating drop from 29.6 mpg to 28.4 mpg.

The new model went through a redesign and as part of that, the South Korean automaker tested the car at its facilities and actually determined the mileage to be 28.4 mpg; however, the number changed between the time of those results and press materials were developed. The company told media at its debut in South Korea that the mileage rating was 29.6 mpg.

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The company caught the error and issued an apology to the media that attended the event. (more…)

Google Gains Foothold in New Vehicles

New partnership expands behemoth's impact on auto industry.

by on Jan.07, 2014

The new partnership between Google and several auto companies means more Android apps and systems will find their way into new cars and trucks.

Google’s reach into the automotive industry just extended a little further with the announcement of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA): a group of auto and technology companies looking to expand the use of Android systems to vehicles.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology behemoth is already helping to lead the development of autonomous vehicles. Now, the company will have an impact on the driving experience before those hit the roads as Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia signed on to the partnership. Google extended an open invitation to other automakers as well.

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“The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone,” according to the release. (more…)

Hyundai North America CEO Krafcik Leaving Company

No official reason given for departure, but contract not renewed.

by on Dec.27, 2013

John Krafcik is no longer CEO of Hyundai North America. No explanation was given for his departure.

In a surprise move and without clear explanation, John Krafcik is out as President and CEO of Hyundai North America despite the fact he oversaw the maker’s most successful rise in sales and market share during his five-year run.

Dave Zuchowski, currently Hyundai’s executive vice president of U.S. sales, will take over as President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2014.

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It has been widely reported, several Hyundai competitors targeted Krafcik for senior management positions. While no official explanation was given for his departure, sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com the recruiting was not the reason his contract was not renewed. (more…)