Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hyundai highlights $3.1B U.S. spending plan before Trump inaugurated

SEOUL, South Korea — Hyundai Motor Group said Tuesday it will significantly increase its investment in the U.S. while Donald Trump is president and is considering building a new U.S. factory.
Chung Jin Haeng, a president of the world's fifth-largest automotive group, said Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and their affiliated companies will spend $3.1 billion by 2021 on research and development and maintaining their factories in Alabama and Georgia.
That represents a 50% increase from the $2.1 billion the companies invested in the U.S. in 2012-16. The increased spending comes mostly from research and development, as the South Korean maker of the Genesis and Tucson invests in artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, environmentally friendly cars and other future technologies.
Chung said Hyundai will study building a new U.S. factory if demand for cars rises during Trump's administration. The new administration's promise to create 1 million jobs and attract new companies could stimulate demand for cars and other products, he said.
"If there is such a sign, we will immediately review (the new plant)," he told reporters. "We won't miss when the time is right."

Hyundai did not provide any further details about a possible new plant.
The South Korean group does not usually disclose its five-year investment plan for specific countries, and the announcement of the U.S.-specific investment plans comes just a few days before the president-elect takes office on Friday.
Since Trump won the election, he has badgered auto companies about building their cars in the U.S. rather than Mexico.
The South Korean automotive conglomerate has not yet drawn public attention from the president-elect, who threatened to impose a border tax on vehicles made in Mexico by Ford,  General Motors and Toyota.
Automakers have responded to Trump's threat by affirming their commitment to the U.S. market. Earlier this month, Ford announced it had scrapped plans to build a new $1.6-billion small-car factory in Mexico while Fiat Chrysler announced a $1-billion investment plan in its two U.S. factories.
Nearly all automakers build small cars in Mexico to take advantage of its lower wages.
Hyundai is not an exception. When Kia's first Mexico plant launched operations just two months before the Nov. 8 election, the group said about 80% of the vehicles assembled there will be exported mainly to the U.S. and other countries. The plant has a capacity to turn out 400,000 cars per year.
That Mexico plant is now "a source of worry" for the carmaker, Chung said, without elaborating.  He said Hyundai does not plan additional investments in Mexico.
He denied that political pressure was behind the company's announcement of its U.S. investment plan.
"The U.S. market is strategically important for us," he said. "Success or failure in the U.S. market is a measure of global success."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hyundai "Hands On" Contest Puts Washington In Touch with a New Car!

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington's favorite reality show returns! The Hands-On Contest at The Washington Auto Show® will put a handful of lucky Washingtonians in touch with the chance to win a brand new Hyundai Tucson!
The legendary Hands-On Contest, in which show guests must stay in nearly constant physical contact with the prized vehicle for a period of several days, first wowed Washingtonians in 1999 when the match came down to a test of wills between an officer from the army and navy. This year's contest, which will run from Tuesday, Jan. 31 through noon on Sunday, Feb.5, will feature a host of locals who will compete for the chance to drive home in a new 2017 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD.

"The Hands-On Contest is a hallmark of The Washington Auto Show that puts the thrill of a new car within arm's reach," said Kevin Reilly, president of Alexandria Hyundai and board member of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association, producer of The Washington Auto Show. "We are grateful to the Washington Area Hyundai Dealers for sponsoring this contest and giving away this vehicle, allowing us to showcase Hyundai's cutting-edge technology and innovative new models such as the 2017 Hyundai Tucson SE FWD."
For a chance at competing in the Hands-On Contest, area residents must register via www.washingtonautoshow.com, no later than 12:00 noon on January 23, 2017.  They will be asked to provide a short explanation of why they want to win the car. Thirty applicants will be chosen from that pool of registrants to qualify for the next round, from which a final group of 10 will be screened and selected by The Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA) to participate in the final stage of the competition.
Contest rules require that all participants keep their "hands on" the Hyundai for the duration of the contest. Finalists will be positioned around the prize vehicle at random by the judges and must be continuously in physical contact with the vehicle at all times (excluding sanctioned breaks). If a participating contestant does not maintain continuous contact with the vehicle for any reason, including reward challenges, that contestant will be disqualified.
The last person remaining in physical contact with the prize vehicle will win it. In the event that the end of the live contest leaves more than one finalist, a random drawing will be conducted by the sponsors to determine the winner.
Each participating contestant will be responsible for acquiring his or her own food and beverages. Each contestant may bring no other personal property to the contest except for the following: one blanket, one change of clothes and one set of toiletries. Once the contest has begun, no additional personal property will be permitted. A regular break of exactly 15 minutes is scheduled every three hours. (Participants returning late from these breaks will be disqualified.) No electronic devices, reading, writing or drawing materials are allowed, and smoking, alcoholic beverages, offensive language and physical contact between contestants are prohibited. Family, friends and onlookers are encouraged and welcomed, but only contestants are allowed within the confines of the contest space.
The Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), producer of The Washington Auto Show, will have complete judging and management authorization on behalf of all sponsors.
The contest is open to all legal United States citizens 18 years of age or older. Contestants must be at least 18 years of age by December 31, 2016 to participate. All entrants must have a valid driver's license and proof of insurance. 
No Purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited. All federal, state, local laws and regulations apply. For complete contest rules or more information about The Washington Auto Show, visit www.washingtonautoshow.com.
The Washington Auto Show has become a beloved annual tradition among Washingtonians who marvel at the growing display of mobility technologies, exotics, stars and cars, interactive displays, contests and mascots. Hundreds of new vehicles and concepts from 38 domestic and import manufacturers will fill the Washington Convention Center with three levels of advanced exhibits.  The event is open to the public January 27 to February 5. For the latest schedule and details about discounts through METRO along with special promotional prices for students, seniors and children, please visit The Washington Auto Show online at: www.washingtonautoshow.com.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hyundai Elantra Eco: Good mileage and an upscale feel

WASHINGTON — Hyundai’s compact sedan, the Elantra, has been redone for 2017.

I was impressed last year after I spent a week with the top-of-the-line Limited trim level, which carried a more luxurious list of features and options than many compact sedans. The Eco trim level is all about better fuel economy at a reasonable price.
The way Hyundai approaches better fuel economy is to go with a smaller turbocharged engine. Usually, going to a smaller engine means a big loss in power. Luckily, that isn’t the case here.
There might be fewer ponies under the hood, but the Elantra Eco seems faster and more refined than the larger, coarser engine in other Elantras. The Eco is more alive; it’s a little peppy around town and has no problem keeping up with traffic.
The transmission is also different when you choose the Eco trim level. The regular automatic is changed to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. It usually behaves like an automatic, but feels like a manual when starting from a stop sometimes; it takes a few minutes to get used to it.

The ride is pretty quiet for a compact sedan, and the small 15-inch wheels and tires with large side walls provide a very nice cushioned ride. After a week of driving, I managed 34.4 mpg with a healthy dose of city driving and, in mixed-driving conditions, just a bit under the sticker’s 35 mpg.
When you choose the Elantra Eco, it means you lose the leather seats from the Limited model I drove last year, but the cloth seats are still pretty solid and a step up from the previous generations’ materials. You still get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and the front seats are also heated. The other materials seem to be an upgrade for 2017. There still is a good amount of hard plastic, but with a better finished look.
Rear seat space is good for the class as well, with space for adults. Trunk space is a bit smaller than some of the competition.
Rest assured that with its lower price — around $21,500 — it’s not a stripped economy-minded compact. A large seven-inch touch screen and six-speaker sound system are nice touches. There’s no built-in NAV, but both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported, so you can use your phone for NAV when needed. There is even a rear-vision camera and blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert — a pleasant surprise at this price.
The exterior has changed for 2017; it now looks like a smaller Sonata sedan, with the same sort of front-end styling. That large grill lives boldly up front, and it’s really rather large. There are interesting LED running lights for daytime driving under the regular headlights; it seems to be a signature feature for the new Hyundai models.
Those wheels are pretty small, and they look a bit odd on a modern car, but that’s the sacrifice for better fuel economy, I guess. The side view is rather sleek-looking, with a higher trunk line meeting a sloping roofline. I also like the blacked-out trim around the windows. It’s a nice touch with the scarlet red paint.
After a week with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco, I came away impressed with the value for the money on this compact sedan. It comes off as a more expensive-looking car than the sub-$22,000 price tag.
With handsome looks and a lot of features, road warriors can have a value-packed machine with a long 10-year powertrain warranty for extra peace of mind.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

IONIQ Continues to Charge Ahead - Awarded Best Small Hatch at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2017

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Jan 12, 2017) - The Hyundai IONIQ has been awarded Best Small Hatch at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2017, beating competition from the Renault Megane and MINI Clubman.
The IONIQ Hatchback received praise from all the COTY judges for its green powertrains, combined with a chassis that delivers a good driving experience and its stylish body design. UK COTY judges said:
"IONIQ scores for its choice of three good eco drivetrains and is also decent to drive, with a good ride and refinement." Paul Hudson
"Hyundai has produced a solid model to take on the competitive segment." Olivia Gauch
"It's an intelligent proposition for its flexible electric technology - and the design is edgy enough to reflect this." Nargess Banks
"Technologically pioneering in terms of the range of powertrains, and the car is stylish and without the compromises offered by other alternative-fuelled vehicles." Paul Barker
"Out-Priuses the Prius with a three-car range in a single swoop. A very impressive first effort." Nat Barnes

"The fact it offers three greener powertrains is a masterstroke. Why has nobody done this before? A great reputation for reliability, decent real-world economy from the petrol engine and looks that are sufficient to make a statement without looking polarising." Keith Jones
"With hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric options, the IONIQ takes on the Toyota Prius (hybrid & plug-in) and Nissan Leaf (EV only) and arguably offers greater attributes than both - from lower prices to better driving and visual appeal." Guy Bird
Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK said "IONIQ has only been available since October yet has already received praise for its eco credentials and also its more mainstream capabilities. The award for Best Small Hatch from the UK COTY judges once again proves that Hyundai is offering exactly what the market wants - eco-friendly vehicles that drive well and look good that are also cost effective to run."
IONIQ - along with 11 other winning cars - will now go forward to a final category to decide the overall UK Car of the Year 2017. The winner will be announced on 24th February 2017.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hyundai Brings Cars into the Living Room with Mobility Vision Concept

Hyundai Brings Cars into the Living Room with Mobility Vision Concept
Hyundai showed that it is possible to bring cars into your living room with its Mobility Vision Concept at the CES Show in Las Vegas.
The Mobility Vision concept imagines a future in which an autonomous car can be parked right next to the living room and becomes just another piece of furniture. The driver’s seat is mounted on an arm that can easily pivot and extend into the living room where it can serve as a replacement for a chair or a sofa. When the motorist needs to leave the house, it can pivot right back into the car to resume its role as a car seat. Instead of conventional side-hinged doors, the vehicle would have a single, large door that swings upwards and give unobstructed access to the passenger compartment.
In addition to the seat, users would be also able to use other features of the car like its air conditioning unit and sound system instead of their home air conditioning system and home stereo respectively. The car is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that generates power and it can serve as a backup source of power if the power fails.
Hyundai does not expect Mobility Vision to reach the production stage anytime soon. However, the Korean car manufacturer is definitely investing a substantial amount of time and money into the development of convenient, high-tech features that improve the lives of motorists.
Hyundai Motor recognizes the significance of connected technologies and the extent to which they could benefit our customers’ daily lives,” affirmed Hak Su Ha, the director of Hyundai’s design center.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Hyundai envisions a car that senses and cures your road rage

Horsepower and fuel efficiency are still top of mind for carmakers, but now so is something else: your mood.
Hyundai Motor has unveiled a concept cockpit for a car that it says could "monitor the physical and mental state of the driver."
Determining a driver's mental state will help ensure the "optimum health and mental attitude" for safe driving, Mike O'Brien, vice president at Hyundai Motor Americas, said Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Tracking heart rate, posture, breathing and facial feature recognition, the car would deliver "mood bursts" to make the driver calmer or more alert, Hyundai said in a statement.
The "burst" could include adjusting the seat position for either more alertness or relaxation, as well as adjustments to the warmth of the car's lighting, temperature, music volume and even the scents of lavender or eucalyptus inside the car, Hyundai said.
For now, the "mood bursts" are limited to a virtual reality experience, offered at CES.
Other companies are already taking a similar approach: Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang expressed comparable ambitions in his keynote address the show, saying a car should act like an artificially intelligent co-pilot, using facial recognition, lip reading and gaze tracking to tell whether a driver is "too aggravated" and needs to pull over.
An AAA study last year found that nearly 80 percent of drivers "expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel" in the previous year. One such confrontation recently made headlines after a toddler was shot in an alleged road-rage encounter. 
Hyundai's simulation is part of a larger push toward autonomous vehicles, which will soon be safer than human drivers, according to proponents like Huang.
For Hyundai, the future of the car is also clean and connected. The company also announced on Wednesday that it would partner with Cisco to ensure security for self-driving connected cars, and that it would release a new hydrogen fuel cell car by 2018.
"We are joining the party by sharing our own vision for future mobility," Hyundai Vice Chairman Eui-sun Chung said in a speech. "It's the start of a new year, and if you spent any time at this show, you will hear people say that we are at the start of a new era. … This has huge implications for mobility."

Thursday, January 05, 2017

CES: Hyundai unveils electric Ioniq Scooter concept

The concept fits in the Ioniq's door when it's folded up.

Hyundai is showcasing a compact electric scooter at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Ioniq Scooter concept was cleverly designed to fold up and fit in the door of the Ioniq, the brand's new Prius-fighting hybrid. A special charging port integrated into the door panel lets users top up the scooter's battery pack on-the-go.

Folding the scooter out is a simple operation that can be performed with just one hand. A thumb switch located on the right handlebar moves the scooter forward when it's scrolled up, and applies the brakes when it's scrolled down. Alternatively, the rider can come to a stop by pushing down on a pad located over the rear wheel.


The folding Scooter was designed for first- and last-mile mobility, meaning it takes the rider to and from the place where his or her car is parked. Range hasn't been revealed yet, but the battery pack only needs to store a few miles' worth of electricity at most. A look at the digital speedometer reveals it can hit at least 12 mph, which is plenty for a two-wheeler developed largely for sidewalk use.

Hyundai hasn't revealed what the future holds for the Ioniq Scooter concept.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Hyundai Motor America Reports Seventh Consecutive Year Of Record Sales

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor America today announced its seventh consecutive year of record U.S. sales of 775,005 units, an increase of 1.75 percent.  For the month of December, sales were down 1.9 percent.  
Hyundai Division posts sales of 60,572 units in December
"As consumer confidence surged in December, to the highest level in more than a decade, we were able to capitalize on that and set a new record for sales in 2016," said Derrick Hatami, vice president of national sales for Hyundai Motor America. 
The SUV/CUV segment led the charge for Hyundai with Tucson setting not only a record in December, but also for the year, with sales up four percent for the month and 41 percent for the year.  Combined sales of Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport were up 14 percent for the month, making it the best Santa Fe December ever, while also achieving double digit growth on the year.
Genesis Division posts sales of 1,733 units in December
"The G90, a finalist for North American Car of the Year, saw sales move up 26 percent over the previous month, as dealer inventory continues to improve," said Erwin Raphael, general manager of Genesis in the U.S. market. "The brand overall was up 33 percent and we look forward to building upon that momentum in 2017."
SALES BY BRAND

DEC/2016
DEC/2015
CY/2016
CY/2015
HYUNDAI    
60,572
63,508
768,057
761,710
GENESIS
1,733
0
6,948
0
TOTAL
62,305
63,508
775,005
761,710
MODELS
CARLINE
DEC/2016
DEC/2015
CY/2016
CY/2015
ACCENT      
4,159
2,718
79,766
61,486
SONATA
13,802
22,820
199,416
213,303
ELANTRA   
19,556
14,242
208,319
241,706
SANTA FE
10,862
9,518
131,257
118,134
AZERA
384
358
4,942
5,539
TUCSON
8,676
8,311
89,713
63,591
VELOSTER
2,699
2,246
30,053
24,245
GENESIS
426
3,094
23,230
31,374
EQUUS
8
201
1,361
2,332
G80
1,354
n/a
6,166
n/a
G90
379
n/a
782
n/a