Friday, September 28, 2007

Hyundai Knows You Want a BMW

Saw an interesting out-of-focus full-page ad on the back of the NYT business section this week, something about a car should have more airbags than cupholders, with as the only call to action. So I went. A nice site, really, but this copy at left struck me as odd. Sort of like, "Hey, we know. Our logo sucks, but our Korean overlords won't let us change it. So stop being so shallow about brand image and deal."

Hyundai has always had trouble with image in the US. At first it was their name that no one knew how to pronounce. Then it was getting people over the hurdle of buying a Korean car. We knew German, Japanese, Swedish, Italian, French and British, but we didn't even know Korea made cars. Then it was the fact that Hyundais were perceived as a cheap unknown, with no record for reliability. When I see the Hyundai logo on the front of a car, I still have a hard time shaking those early notions I attached to the Hyundai name, and to a lesser degree, their logo.

But Hyundai's image has changed now in the minds of many, and Hyundai is currently the 6th largest car maker in the world. Still, I don't think I'd ever buy one.

Or maybe I would if they changed their logo.

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  • And the really cool thing is how they were able to keep their logo from looking like Honda’s. They look nothing alike.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at September 29, 2007 at 2:22 AM  

  • Logo aside guys, Hyundai's been doing a lot of things right.

    I'm a city boy, not a car guy in the slightest, but I'm very aware that Hyundai's cars have been getting serious props from the trade press and that they're now an option people are taking seriously.

    I really like the new campaign-- definitely a case of the right thing at the right time to capitalize on their newfound seriousness.

    By Blogger Toad, at October 1, 2007 at 10:57 AM  

  • As I wrote though Toad, I've driven and owned pretty much everything, including my current ‘Power to Surprise’ Kia, and both Hyundai and them are doing well because they’re offering perceived value–but that’s about it. I’m already cringing thinking about the resale value I won’t have.

    Where people think though that they’re getting value is with the extra cupholders and places to hide juice boxes, and an extended powertrain warranty. But really, that stuff should be standard for any car these days.

    They may be getting there, but they're not there yet.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at October 1, 2007 at 9:05 PM  

  • @Make the logo bigger.

    We just bought a 07 Santa Fe. It's better than my 05 Infiniti/Nissan G35. The engine is not over tuned unlike my G35 and interior fit and finish is much better. As for the resale, when I tried to sale my G, most I can get (market value) is around 18 - 20K. This is a 05 G, was 35K when new, just 2 years ago. So much for their resale value.

    I'm waiting for Hyundai's new Genesis.


    By Anonymous Dan, at October 1, 2007 at 9:57 PM  

  • (I should say my Kia is a 2004 Sedona.) It definitely won't hold up to the resale my 2004 Camray will have.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at October 2, 2007 at 1:08 PM  

  • (The Camray is Hyundai's Camry knockoff btw.)

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at October 2, 2007 at 5:06 PM  

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