Monday, November 21, 2005
HYUNDAI WILL BROADEN PEOPLE-MOVER LINEUP
HYUNDAI WILL BROADEN PEOPLE-MOVER LINEUP WITH ENTOURAGE MINIVAN October 27, 2005 Vehicle expands line which will include All-new 7-passenger SUV and 6-passenger cross-over Hyundai Motor America announced today that it will introduce the Hyundai Entourage minivan to the U.S. market in spring 2006. The Entourage will later be joined by two other all-new vehicles with six- and seven-passenger seating – an innovative six-passenger cross-over, and a seven-passenger unibody SUV – giving Hyundai a substantially increased presence in these market segments. The company has decided to move ahead with its original plan to introduce the minivan because of demand changes in the U.S. market. To better capitalize on this demand, Hyundai also increased the level of product differentiation to make it a better fit in the automaker’s expanding lineup. “After we locked in our large cross-over and upper-midsize SUV plans earlier this year, we continued to study the minivan segment,” said Robert Cosmai, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “The surge in gas prices, which we believe is not short term, and the resulting movement away from truck-based full-size SUVs has given additional life to the traditional minivan segment. Surveys show the number of consumers moving from full-size SUVs to minivans is up over 40 percent. So we gave our product development teams in Korea and the U.S. the challenge to ensure the Hyundai minivan would better capture our brand identity and sufficiently differentiate us from our sister company’s product. We think they’ve done a great job, especially given the tight timing we’ve had to work with.” The new Hyundai Entourage, which will debut as a 2007 model year product in mid-2006, was introduced to dealers yesterday at Hyundai’s annual dealer show. The all-new minivan will lead its segment in standard safety equipment, with Electronic Stability Control, 6 airbags, and anti-whiplash front seat head restraints. It shares its 3.8-liter V-6 and sophisticated 5-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s new premium sedan, the Azera. It will also be the first minivan to offer power sliding doors as standard equipment. “At Hyundai, we believe the equipment that people really want should be standard,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai’s Vice-President of Product Development and Strategic Planning. “We’ve done it with safety equipment throughout our lineup, we’ll be doing it with satellite radio beginning later next year. With the Entourage we’re making power sliding doors standard, as our research shows more than 80 percent of minivan owners want this feature. These moves give us tremendous economies of scale, as well as delighted customers." Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 675 Hyundai dealerships nationwide. Always remember to visit Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.