Originally Posted by captainaudio
As I stated in an earlier post Hyundai is targeting a younger buyer who is looking to spend less than a BMW costs just as Toyota did in the 70s. When that buyer gets older and more affluent Hyundai will be ready with a car for him to move up to and there is a good chance that he will remain loyal to the brand.
As for heritage, there is a point in time at which that does not really matter. Does anyone buying a BMW feel that it has less heritage than a Mercedes because Mercedes is an older company? Are Lamborghini buyers concerned that the brand is younger than Ferrari? A 25 year old car buyer will not view a brand that has been around all of his life as the new kid on the block or as an upstart. We are at the point now where it is possible that there are Lexus buyers who rode home from the hospital they were born in in a Lexus. The reality is that Lexus, BMW and Mercedes are running about neck to neck in terms of sales in the Luxury and Near Luxury segments.
If there is anyone here who won't buy a Hyundai because they don't think it has a status image or because the brand lacks "herigage", Hyundai is not trying to convince you otherwise. They are looking to the future and are planning to be there waiting in 10 to 20 years when the people who are driving Sonatas today are ready to move up the ladder.
So you can post on a BMW forum all day stating "LMAO", "BMW FTW", "BMW>Hyundai" ,"Hyundai will never compete with BMW" or "I would never buy a Hyundai". Hyundai is not trying to sell to you. They know where their market is now and they know where they want it to be in 15 years. If they have a sales motto it is probably "Today Honda and Toyota, Tomorrow BMW and Mercedes"
What some of the people here don't seem to realize is that in 1968 BMW was the upstart and General Motors had 50% of the domestic market. The BMW 1600 appealed mainly to younger people who were looking for a good performing affordable car. To the mass market the 1600 did not have the prestige of a Camaro Z28, Pontiac GTO, or Boss 302 Mustang let alone a Cadillac or a Buick.
And perhaps Hyundai does have "a long way to go" and perhaps it it will "take a long time". It took BMW a long time and it took Toyota (Lexus) a long time. Hyundai knows that and they are prepared to wait. You can counter with all the "A Lexus is a rebadged Toyota with no soul" posts you like. The bottom line is that those who are voting with their wallets are voting for BMW and Lexus in about equal numbers and I have no reason to doubt that in 10 to 15 years Hyundai will be a prominent player in that space as well. Whether you happen to agree with the reasoning behind the choice of the buyers of BMWs competitors or not is irrelvant. A lost sale is a lost sale and lost market share is lost market share. Telling the stockholders that it doesn't count because the sales were lost to "inferior brands", "cars with no soul or heritage" or "Korean junk" is simply not going to fly.
Product and brand management are part of long term, strategic programs. And Hyundai is no joke. Look at where that brand's come in the last 10 or 15 years. Yeah, it WAS a joke -- up until about the mid/late 90s. Then they started offering REALLY long warranties. Why was this? To get people to buy? Maybe. Or maybe to really learn (LEARN) how to make cars that DON'T break. To get their hooks into a certain market segment (less affluent) and "be there" for them as they mature / increase buying power.
GE used to make microwave ovens. Then the Koreans learned how to. Now, GE jokes about making microwave ovens on 30 Rock (wait, Comcast owns NBC now, but that's beside the point).
To all the fanboyz who are lolling and lmaoing to death, think about this. Would you rather have peak HP or more area under the curve? Take a look at the *rate of change* in Hyundai's cars vs, say BMW / Merc / Jag / etc and it's pretty astonishing. Yeah, they had a long way to go and you can argue that the easy part (climbing the steep, shorter part of the learning curve) is done. But you have to give respect.
And just like Lexus gets respect on Top Gear, don't be surprised when it's Hyundai's turn. Remember, the Japanese made sh*tboxes a long time ago. It's about LEARNING. And yeah, you probably aren't the target market - and that's okay for Hyundai.
I, for one, will carefully consider relevant competitors when it comes to features, performance and styling for the price. "Heritage" doesn't repay me for lost 12V power jacks, map pockets or lack of standard features found in cars down-segment. Let's see how things unfold - and remember that competition all around benefits the consumer.