Monday, January 30, 2006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2006 CONTACT: Cindy Castro 617/632.5379 Gary Rome 413/236.4328
Gary Rome Hyundai Regional Director for the Jimmy Fund’s Western New England Office Jennifer O. Capshaw WHAT: Gary Rome Hyundai continues his commitment to the Jimmy Fund by giving $10,000 to help fund pediatric cancer treatment and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. For the past seven years, Hyundai Dealers have contributed more than $4 million to the Jimmy Fund. Most of the funds are generated through car sales, but Gary Rome and his team went the extra mile and created a fun new way to help raise more. This year, Gary immortalized Buddy, his Jack Russell terrier who stars in Gary Rome Hyundai TV commercials and can be seen playing at the dealership, by creating the Red Sox Buddy. Customers who contributed $20 to the Jimmy Fund received an adorable Red Sox Buddy as a thank you. Buddy, and the whole Gary Rome Hyundai team, will be on hand to help give their $10,000 gift to the Jimmy Fund. To get your Red Sox Buddy go to visit: WHERE: Gary Rome Hyundai 1000 Main Street Holyoke, MA 01040 WHEN: Thursday, February 2, at 3 PM * Since 1998, Hyundai dealerships have been helping kids fight cancer. Their support of groundbreaking pediatric cancer research and care began at the world-renowned Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Contributions from each Hyundai vehicle sold in the Eastern Region during the year will fund innovative research at Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund and go to regional pediatric cancer care programs across the country. Hyundai and its dealers are proud to the first and only automobile manufacturer in the U.S. to focus exclusively on raising awareness and funds for fighting childhood cancers.

Friday, January 27, 2006

2006 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2006 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla vs. Hyundai Elantra Review How the Toyota Corolla stacks up against the Hyundai Elantra by Nigel Cooper, Topanga CA 2006 Toyota Corolla Price Range: $13,780 - $17,780 2006 Hyundai Elantra Price Range: $13,299 - $15,845 Handling With its tighter turning circle, the Hyundai is very likely more maneuverable than the Toyota, something to consider if you do a lot of city driving; on the flip side, keep in mind that a vehicle with a tight turning circle may feel a bit twitchy on the highway. Drivetrain The Hyundai Elantra's engine isn't much bigger than the Corolla's. Torque is roughly equivalent to acceleration, and in this respect, the Hyundai Elantra is considerably more powerful than the Toyota Corolla. Utility There's no clear winner between the Toyota Corolla and the Hyundai Elantra regarding hauling capacity. The Toyota Corolla and the Hyundai Elantra can accommodate the same number of passengers. The Elantra outpulls the Toyota Corolla by a sizeable margin. Convenience You'll likely take the Hyundai Elantra for a fill-up roughly as often as the Toyota. The Hyundai Elantra's fuel tank will need to be replenished slightly more often than the unit in the Toyota Corolla. Comfort While the front cabin in the Hyundai offers a bit more head room than the Toyota Corolla, there honestly isn't much of a difference. While the rear of the Elantra provides a bit more head- and leg-room than the Toyota Corolla, there really isn't much of a difference. Dimensions The Elantra is a little heavier than the Toyota Corolla. The Toyota Corolla's tank is about the same size as the Hyundai's, though the Elantra's is a little bigger. The Hyundai Elantra and the Toyota Corolla compete for the same parking spaces. Cost The destination charge is a standard charge for transporting the vehicle from its point of origin to the dealer. It costs approximately the same to get the Hyundai to the dealership as the Toyota Corolla. Regarding gas mileage, the Toyota Corolla bests the Hyundai. The Hyundai pales in comparison to the Toyota Corolla regarding gas mileage. In terms of MSRP, the Hyundai doesn't cost much less than the Toyota Corolla. Overview The basic warranty that comes with the Toyota Corolla isn't quite as generous as the Hyundai's. Source: Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Toyota sees Hyundai as threat in US

Toyota sees Hyundai as threat in US Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:55 PM ET By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia auto correspondent DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp., one of the world's most successful automakers, claims to be afraid of a lot of things: complacency, competition, and success itself. But in the United States, rival Hyundai Motor Co. may well be at the top of Toyota's list. "We're worried about them," Yukitoshi Funo, chairman of Toyota Motor Sales USA, told reporters in Detroit this week. "Our main competitors here are essentially Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Hyundai, but Hyundai is the one we are very carefully watching," he said on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show here. South Korea's top automaker, until recently a target of jokes about broken-down parts, has dramatically raised its profile on the world stage with a benchmark study by research firm J.D. Power showing an improvement in quality to match the best Japanese brands. Hyundai now sells far more cars than Volkswagen AG, Mazda Motor Corp. and Subaru in the U.S. It expects sales to rise more than 10 percent this year to over 500,000 units, in an overall market that it reckons will shrink. In 2005, Hyundai's sales fell 7.7 percent to 418,615 units, giving it a market share of 2.5 percent. "The quality story is resonating," Bob Cosmai, chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, told Reuters at the Detroit show. "We're broadening the depth of our product line, and it's a great value story. When I joined the company at the end of 1990 we sold 90,000 cars, so we're making our presence really known." Unveiling the remodeled Santa Fe sport utility vehicle at the show, Cosmai said its popular model would be priced "thousands of dollars" below a comparably equipped Toyota Highlander with six airbags, electronic stability control and other advanced safety features. As Cosmai admits, Hyundai's path to success has been modeled closely on Toyota's strategy of striving for top quality and competitive prices, and appealing to a broad range of customers with wide-ranging cars. That's what worries Toyota most. "Honda and Nissan are also formidable rivals, but they have a distinct business approach and profile from us," Toyota's Funo said. "Hyundai, meanwhile, is essentially doing what we're doing." But Funo added that Toyota would not and could not compete with Hyundai on prices, and would instead focus on building its brand and value. "Our costs aren't as low as Hyundai's. We don't want to compete on their terms," he said. His Hyundai counterpart, meanwhile, seemed to be adopting Toyota's characteristic modesty when asked how the South Korean company stacked up. "I'm not sure anyone's a big threat to Toyota right now," Cosmai said. "They're a very successful company," he said, adding that Hyundai benchmarked much of its processes and design characteristics around Toyota. "We have a long way to go." (Additional reporting by Fred Katayama) Source:

Monday, January 16, 2006

State-of-the-art motoring: A look into Hyundai's new Alabama Plant

State-of-the-art motoring By David Irvin Montgomery Advertiser At the technical center's diagnostics area, engineers test cars for durability. This machine continuously opens and shuts car doors to simulate many years of wear and tear on the vehicles. SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The Alabama delegation got an extremely rare inside look at the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in this rural Michigan township Monday. The $68 million facility officially opened in October and the operations there have been mired in secrecy. At the grand opening, journalists were constrained to a small area of the property, Hyundai officials said. But on Monday, state and local Alabama leaders, along with an Advertiser reporter, were granted extensive access to the technical center, which drives the technical end of Hyundai's competitive strategy. "It was state-of-the-art equipment that they had," said Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright. "I was impressed with the building itself. It had a lot of modern amenities." Hyundai officials said the modern amenities and advanced engineering tools are there to elevate the carmaker to a place of prominence in the North American market. The 200,000-square-foot facility currently has 150 workers -- many of them engineers -- but that number should grow to 300 to 350 in the next few years, officials said. In room after room, engineers were breaking down the competition's cars, testing Hyundai safety features, working toward reducing emissions and inspecting the stress fractures in metal. In one room, car doors were opened repeatedly and slammed shut, and the Alabama group watched a 10-pound model of a human head fired into the inside wall of a car. "People don't realize how much work goes into the cars. They just get that car at the final point of sale," said Kerry Christopher, a media relations manager for Hyundai. "It's not like anything else in the world because you are aiming at something that hasn't happened yet." But to aim into the future often means looking at the past. Hyundai officials are using the HATCI facilty to reverse engineer competitors' cars in an effort to catch up quickly. John Juriga, a senior engineering manager at HATCI, said Hyundai is not ashamed of "benchmarking," or reverse engineering, other automakers' cars. That was evident this past Sunday at the North American International Auto Show, when the company unveiled its new 2007 Santa Fe and said it was benchmarked off Lexus and Volvo vehicles in the same class. "We are a humble company," said Juriga Monday while standing in a room at HATCI full of racks and racks of dismantled car parts from other manufacturers. "We don't just want to take a nibble, we want to take a bite," he said. Hyundai officials have used aggressive rhetoric in recent days explicitly or implicitly targeting Japanese automaker Toyota, which has one of the largest market shares in the country. Bob Cosmai, the president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Co., said the new Santa Fe, Hyundai's crossover SUV, would come in thousands of dollars less than the Toyota Highlander. And he said with North American sales approaching 500,000, "we are definitely on their radar screen." And Juriga said, "People compare us to where Toyota was 20 years ago, but we don't want to take 20 years to get to where Toyota is today." However, one industry analyst said Hyundai, even though it is growing sales nicely, should be prepared to wait. "It's not going to happen overnight," said Erich Merkle, a forecaster for auto industry research firm IRN. "I know there is a lot of aggressive talk on the part of Hyundai, but in all honesty, I don't see how they can grow any faster than Toyota did in the last 15 or 20 years." But he added, "I know for a fact that Honda and Toyota are looking over their shoulders at Hyundai." In December, the governor of Michigan announced that HATCI will launch a $90 million expansion at its site near Ann Arbor, adding hundreds more jobs to the area. Bright and others said they wish the HATCI had located in Montgomery, but admits the local and state incentives offered by Michigan were too steep for Montgomery to handle, especially after so many incentives were offered to bring the Hyundai plant to Montgomery. Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

2006 Hyundai Azera First Drive

An H-badged sedan with style and substance…and it’s not a Honda
by Thom Blackett

Introduction Wherever you look, people are trying to move up. With each step up the socioeconomic ladder, we reward ourselves, whether it’s with a better apartment in a nicer neighborhood, eating at restaurants with linen rather than paper napkins, wearing clothes with trendy labels instead of low price tags, or driving a car with leather seats by a respected nameplate. People invest in themselves, but it’s not just something we do – businesses do it, too, especially car companies. In recent years, both Subaru and Volkswagen have tried to reposition their brands as upscale alternatives to the status quo. Now the new kids on the block, the Koreans, are having a go at upward mobility. Kia started the trend a few years back with the Amanti, and now, for 2006, Hyundai is taking a shot at the entry-luxury market with the all-new Azera, a stylish flagship sedan that marks the demise of the generic XG350. Prices for the Azera start at about $25,000 for a cloth-clad model, though Hyundai executives claim that a fully-loaded Azera won’t break the $30,000 threshold, and that’s with a 263-horsepower V6 and a healthy list of amenities and safety equipment, not to mention the heralded 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. But are buyers interested in a Hyundai that can teeter on $30,000? As far as the company has come in recent years with models like the redesigned Sonata sedan and the Tucson SUV, only time will tell if shoppers are willing to lump luxury and Hyundai together, especially in the face of stiff competition in a crowded segment. Based on a brief drive, we’d say that Hyundai has put together a great first attempt, albeit one that needs a few more minutes in the oven before being offered to finicky customers. Model Mix Hyundai’s new flagship will be offered in two trims: SE and Limited. The SE model is expected to start below $25,000 (including a $495 destination charge) and includes standard features such as front fog lights, premium cloth seats, power heated rearview mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The standard sound system includes a CD player, an MP3 player, and steering wheel controls for volume, mode and mute – but no button for tuning the radio. The “base” 2006 Hyundai Azera SE also includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; power adjustable front seats; a tilt and telescopic steering wheel; a 60/40 split folding rear seat; and a compass. Optional equipment consists of a power sunroof, carpeted floor mats, an upgraded audio system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer, and heated front seats with five settings. If the SE doesn’t offer enough stuff, the 2006 Hyundai Azera Limited comes loaded with luxury for an estimated price of $27,000. That added coin buys standard leather upholstery, a power rear window sunshade, heated front seats, an electroluminescent gauge cluster, 17-inch alloy wheels, floor mats, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, and chrome bumper accents. Buyers looking for a fully pimped Azera Limited can add power folding mirrors; a power sunroof; an upgraded sound system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer; a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel; power foot pedals; a memory function for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and steering wheel; and rain-sensing windshield wipers. For most people, the better value is found in the SE model with its long list of standard features and lower sticker price. The SE has the same styling and powertrain as the more expensive Limited model, and like all Hyundais, comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, a seven-year/unlimited miles corrosion warranty, and five years of roadside assistance. However, if you want all of that with leather seats and a wood steering wheel, you’ve gotta pony up the cash for a 2006 Azera Limited. Nuts and Bolts At the heart of the 3,629-lb. Azera is an aluminum, dual overhead cam, 24-valve, 3.8-liter V6. This engine features continuously variable valve timing, a horsepower rating of 263 that peaks at 6,000 rpm, and 255 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm. According to the EPA, the Azera should achieve 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The Azera’s front wheels are driven by a five-speed automatic transmission that offers a Shiftronic manual shifting feature to make the driving experience a bit more engaging, while front ventilated discs and rear solid discs address the issue of braking. Stretch and lengthen a Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan, and you’ve got the foundation for the new 2006 Hyundai Azera. Like the Sonata, the 2006 Hyundai Azera is suspended up front by double wishbones with coil springs, with a multi-link independent setup out back. – Both ends of the Azera get stabilizer bars. Connecting it all to the road are 225/60R16 tires on the SE, with the Limited getting larger 235/55R17 rubber. Steering is courtesy of an engine rpm-sensitive rack-and-pinion system. Design In many ways the 2006 Hyundai Azera resembles the smaller Sonata, with smooth, rounded body lines, large wraparound taillights, and rectangular yet streamlined headlight housings. But unlike its comparatively diminutive sibling, the Azera incorporates a center panel that creates the illusion of a full-width taillight, and the rear haunches are significantly flared, trailing off alongside a raised trunk lid. It’s a look that hints at the much-maligned bustle-butt of the BMW 7 Series, a design that has been copied to varying degrees other manufacturers, as well. The rear perspective also conjures up thoughts of the old Mazda 929/Millenia, while the sloping C-pillar creates a short trunk lid, much like the redesigned Lexus GS and IS models. The Azera’s front end looks a bit like a previous-generation Toyota Camry from certain angles, but with a mild power dome on the hood. Overall, Hyundai designers have included so many existing styling cues as to make the Azera unique – and attractive. Shoppers known for conspicuous consumption may pass on this flagship because of its badge, though chances are they wouldn’t be walking a Hyundai lot in the first place. Inside, the 2006 Azera Limited we tested was loaded with more luxury than we’d ever seen, or expected to see, in a Hyundai. Indeed, the Azera Limited offered much of what we’d expect in an entry-luxury car, with a few exceptions. But, our tester was approaching $30,000, and at that price it gets harder to pass muster. On the plus side is the padded dash cap that continues onto the upper door sills, underlined by silver plastic and real wood trim. That wood is also found on the Limited’s steering wheel, door handles, and shift knob. Textured metallic trim accents the area around the gear selector. The door panels are trimmed with leatherette inserts and soft plastics, with nicely padded armrests on the doors and the center console. The seats in the Limited are wrapped in soft leather, and the pillars are covered in the same mesh material that is used for the woven cloth headliner. Radio and climate control buttons are simple and easy to understand and reach, and storage is plentiful, consisting of pop-out front door pockets, a lined pocket on the center dash, two center armrest pockets, and a total of four cupholders. All passengers are coddled with well-cushioned seats, though the center of the front seatbacks is hard, meaning that back seat riders might get banged up knees. Thankfully, the rear seat is spacious, so knee/seatback confrontations are likely to be rare. Behind that rear seat is one of the most impressive trunks we’ve ever seen. Every inch of the cargo area is lined, from the floor and sides to the lid and even the roof of the trunk – finding bare metal is a challenge back there. Even the hinges are covered in plastic sheaths. If you’re into trunks, you owe it to yourself to check this one out, and don’t miss the lockable rear seatbacks and multiple tie-down points. Nothing’s perfect, including the interior of the 2006 Hyundai Azera. Our main complaints focused on a few signs of obvious budget-cutting. Silver door handles mirror the silver trim on the dashboard – not chrome or metallic door handles, just cheap silver plastic ones with visible casting flash. For a part that gets touched so often, a better part is in order here. Next is the hard plastic surrounding the main controls in the center of the dashboard, which looks and feels cheap in stark contrast to the soft and plush material used directly in front of the driver and front passenger. Hyundai, if you’re intent on using that cheap stuff, at least try to hide it. That leaves the rear seat. We appreciate the functionality of the split folding rear seat, but each section of seatback in our test car felt rickety when folded down, as if it was moving on one working and one broken hinge. Repeated use would likely only exacerbate the problem. Finally, that brings us to the topic of the Azera’s build quality, both inside and out. Admittedly, we were driving early production models, but Hyundai reps told us they’d been gone through with a fine-toothed comb, so they should be up to snuff. Aside from that questionable folding rear seat, we noticed minor misalignments in the trunk lid and hood, headlights and taillights that didn’t sit equally flush on the right and left sides, and a larger gap on the right side of the dash versus the left. None of these were alarming, but as noted earlier, the critiquing pen uses more ink as the price increases, and even without that extra level of attention, the 2006 Hyundai Accent, also showcased at the same event, exhibited fewer build quality issues. Safety Besides the outstanding warranty, Hyundai executives are touting another primary reason for buying the company’s cars – safety. Like its competitors, this Korean manufacturer designs all of its new cars to achieve five-star ratings in all crash tests (though the Azera hasn’t been officially tested yet, so the verdict is still out). To meet this goal, the 2006 Azera features the requisite front and rear crumple zones, hood buckling creases, side impact beams, and the usual gamut of structural enhancements. However, Hyundai has added a slew of standard equipment to help ensure that the Azera’s occupants are kept as safe as possible in the event of an accident. That list starts with a standard four-wheel antilock braking system, complemented with electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control, and traction control. There are eight airbags fitted into each Azera – two in front, two front side, two rear side, and two full-length curtains. Though the rear center passenger doesn’t get an airbag, he does get a three-point seatbelt and an adjustable headrest. Riders up front get active headrests that feature a groovy adjustment feature, allowing for not only vertical movement but also three forward settings. Driving Impressions Along the scenic route between San Diego and southern California’s wine country near Temecula, we had a chance to get a sense of how the 2006 Hyundai Azera behaves in city and highway driving, and a few twisty segments uncovered what this large sedan has, or doesn’t have, to offer driving enthusiasts. Walking away from the experience left us with mixed feelings. There’s lots to love about driving the Azera, including its comfortable driving position aided by the power seat, power adjustable pedals, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and excellent visibility (those large mirrors and small windows in the rear pillars really help). And that 263-horsepower V6 provides plenty of punch for any situation; even at full revs it sounds thoroughly refined, serving to keep the cabin, with its triple-sealed doors, extremely quiet. The five-setting front seat heaters work quickly, and the radio and climate controls are all within an easy reach. The suspension absorbs road irregularities with nary a mention to the car’s occupants. Add in well-modulated, capable brakes, and you’ve got the recipe for a great cruiser. And if the 2006 Hyundai Azera is anything, it’s a cruiser – great for comfortable, stress-free jaunts around town or cross-country treks. But for someone who enjoys driving, the Azera is a snooze…consider it the Korean Buick Roadmaster. The five-speed automatic transmission operates fine under normal driving conditions, but when looking for immediate passing power on the straight-aways, there was a noticeable delay before the tranny kicked down a few gears to offer up the necessary gusto. The Shiftronic feature is a nice touch, though transitioning through the gears requires holding the shifter forward or back for a second or two rather the simple tapping motion found on competitors. Steering is light and never truly communicative, there’s a good dose of body roll in even the most gradual sweeping curves, and the total lack of side seat bolsters doesn’t help in tighter corners. During our drive, the word uttered most often was “floaty.” For those people who seldom find themselves on twisty roads and enjoy setting the cruise control at 65 mph on long stretches of straight asphalt, the Hyundai Azera is sure to impress. However, if “hairpin” and “decreasing radius” are terms associated with your weekend plans, this is not the ride for you. FAQ Will the 2006 Azera be built in Hyundai’s new Alabama assembly plant? The 2006 Hyundai Azera will be built in Korea, and according to company officials there is no plan to move assembly to the U.S. What is most impressive about the 2006 Hyundai Azera? While the 263-horsepower V6 and exterior styling are praiseworthy, it was the interior of our Azera Limited that we found to be most impressive. From the soft, high-quality leather upholstery to the extremely quiet and smooth ride, this car makes a new, more upscale statement for Hyundai, as it should for close to $30,000. What is least impressive about the 2006 Hyundai Azera? There is nothing glaringly wrong with the Hyundai Azera, though we think some drivers may long for a more sporting nature. The suspension is smooth but floaty like a typical Buick, the seats lack side bolstering, and the steering is light. None of these are necessarily bad traits, but they may turn off buyers looking for an alternative to more athletic models like the Honda Accord, Nissan Maxima, or Volkswagen Passat. Specifications Test Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Azera Limited MSRP: Estimated to be about $27,000; the destination charge is $495 Engine Size and Type: 3.8-liter V6 Engine Horsepower: 263 at 6,000 rpm Engine Torque: 255 lb.-ft. at 4,500 rpm Transmission: Five-speed automatic Curb Weight, lbs.: 3,629EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway): 18/27 mpg Length: 192.7 inchesWidth: 72.8 inches Wheelbase: 109.4 inches Height: 58.7 inches Legroom (front/rear): 43.7/38.2 inches Headroom (front/rear): 40.2/38.2 inches Max. Seating Capacity: 5 Max. Cargo Volume: 16.6 cu. ft. Competitors: Buick LaCrosse CXS, Buick Lucerne, Chevrolet Impala LTZ, Chrysler 300 Limited, Ford Five Hundred Limited, Honda Accord EXL V6, Honda Accord Hybrid, Lincoln Zephyr, Mercury Montego Premier, Nissan Maxima SL, Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited, Toyota Avalon Limited, Volkswagen Passat 3.6L Source:

Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Avalon of Hyundais! 2006 Hyundai Azera.

2006 Hyundai Azera New entry in the near-luxury market costs less and offers just as much
AutoWeek Published
12/29/05, 12:27 pm et
____________________ AT A GLANCE: 2006 hyundai azera
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $24,995
Powertrain: 3.8-liter, 263-hp, 255-lb-ft V6; fwd, five-speed automatic
Curb Weight: 3629 pounds
0 to 60 mph: 6.5 seconds (mfr.)
Fuel Mileage (EPA combined): 22.2 mpg Watch out, Toyota, Hyundai has built a better Buick than even you. And watch out Buick, too, while we’re at it.
While the enveloping Avalon wheels out of showroom doors somewhere between $27,000 to more than $33,000, the similarly sized and slung Hyundai Azera is expected to start at less than $25,000. And it’s worth it. We drove a couple of Azeras for a couple hundred miles and found them perfectly comfortable and capable.
Hyundai calls Azera, “The Next Big Thing.” Get it? ’Cause it’s a big car, see? Hyundai said Azera has more interior volume than not just the Avalon, but the BMW 760i and Mercedes S-Class as well. Though it will mostly compete against Avalon, Nissan Maxima, LaCrosse, Lucerne, Ford Five Hundred and the similar Kia Amani.

It rides on a stretched and widened Sonata platform with a fairly curvaceous exterior (curvaceous is in the eye of the beholder, but it looks nicer than the XG350 it replaces).

Azera’s 3.8-liter all-aluminum V6 with 24 valves, dual overhead cams and continuously variable valve timing replaces the 3.5-liter from the old XG350. The new engine bumps horsepower from 194 to a formidable (for a V6) 263. Torque twists from 216 lb-ft to 255. With a curb weight just around 3700 pounds, depending on how it’s equipped, Hyundai claims a 0-to-60 time of 6.5 seconds, the quickest Hyundai ever. The latter figure ties with the Avalon. Imagine the grudge matches in the gated retirement communities!

All Azeras come with smooth and silent five-speed automatics.

Suspension is also all-new, with double wishbones up front and independent multilinks in the rear. A Bosch-designed electronic stability control program helps keep the Azera from exceeding the laws of physics. While we didn’t push it, Azera felt more responsive than its predecessor. The handling is stately, formidable and safe, not lively. It might even be more tossable than an Avalon, though we didn’t drive the two back to back. It achieves the comfortable luxury setup that buyers expect.

Inside it was as quiet as a library and lacked nothing you’d expect in an entry luxury ride. Standard features include everything from rain-sensing wipers and power-adjustable pedals to remote locks with engine immobilizer and a power rear sunshade that retracts when you back up.

Is this the same company that sold Excels here just 15 or so years ago?

Azeras are available now.

Hyundai expects to sell between 30,000 and 40,000 a year, which is entirely doable once word gets out how cushy they really are. And with a 10-year warranty, what’s not to love? What are you looking for, prestige? Buy a hat!

Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Monday, January 09, 2006

2007 Santa Fe Official USA site

All-New 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Debuts at North American International Auto Show Hyundai's Second-Generation Santa Fe Tackles Toyota RAV4 and Highlander
DETROIT, Mich. January 8, 2006 The all-new 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe made its North American debut today at the 2006 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). With its segment-leading standard safety technologies, all-new unibody SUV platform, bold new styling, a choice of fuel-efficient V6 powertrains, and Hyundai's first SUV third-row seat, the Santa Fe becomes a "must-drive" for consumers shopping in the crossover segment. As the first production vehicle designed at Hyundai's design center in Irvine, Calif., the Santa Fe is targeted to meet American consumers' demand for safety, style, sophistication and performance. Before designing it, however, Hyundai engineers benchmarked the world's leading unibody SUVs, including the Lexus RX, Acura MDX and Volvo XC90. The result is a more exciting and upscale Santa Fe that combines the best attributes of SUVs with the driving character of a mid-size sedan. Hyundai packed the all-new Santa Fe with the industry's most effective safety technologies, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), anti-whiplash active head restraints and six airbags including side air curtains, which help protect occupants in all three rows during side impacts. CHOICE OF V6 ENGINES Santa Fe will be available with a choice of two powerful and efficient V6 engines: the new 2.7-liter Mu and the modern 3.3-liter Lambda. The standard 2.7-liter V6 is upgraded for 2007 and now includes Variable Valve Timing and a Variable Intake System to produce more than 180 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque (preliminary estimates). This new 2.7-liter V6 produces more horsepower and torque than its predecessor, with improved fuel economy. The 3.3-liter Lambda V6 is lighter, more fuel efficient and cleaner burning than the previous-generation Santa Fe 3.5-liter V6, while producing an additional 30 horsepower. Preliminary output estimates are more than 230 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. of torque. SEGMENT-LEADING SAFETY The all-new 2007 Santa Fe continues Hyundai's leadership in standardizing the industry's most effective safety technologies. The new Santa Fe features six standard airbags, including side air curtains for all three rows of seats. The combination of side and curtain airbags, which help protect the head and body during side impacts, can reduce fatalities by more than 45 percent, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Side curtain air protection is optional on many compact and mid-size SUVs, including Toyota RAV4, Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. In addition, all Santa Fe trim levels come standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), one of the industry's most effective life-saving technologies. NHTSA studies show SUVs equipped with ESC experience 63 percent fewer fatalities in single-vehicle crashes. Santa Fe joins Tucson, Sonata, Azera, and Entourage as vehicles in Hyundai's growing lineup with standard Electronic Stability Control -- a commitment to this sophisticated and effective automotive safety technology that is unmatched by any other non-luxury automotive brand. Front and rear disc brakes are standard and are coupled with a four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) to optimize brake performance even with differing vehicle loading. BOLD DESIGN With dramatic new styling that is assertive, refined and confident, the all-new Santa Fe exterior showcases the evolving face of the Hyundai brand. At 184.1 inches long, the new Santa Fe is about seven inches longer than its predecessor, one inch wider and almost two inches taller. Its 2.9-inch wider track -- wider than Toyota Highlander or Ford Explorer -- provides a strong stance, improved handling and increased interior room. EFFICIENT INTERIOR The all-new 2007 Santa Fe is one of the most package-efficient crossovers on the market. Hyundai accomplished this by developing an all-new platform that avoids the compromises inherent in typical mid-size car/SUV platform sharing. For example, although the 2007 Santa Fe is 2.1 inches shorter than the Lexus RX330, its first- and second-row seats have more head, leg, and shoulder room than the RX, with enough room left over to allow an optional third-row seat not available in the Lexus. ALL-NEW, PURPOSE-BUILT PLATFORM The second-generation Santa Fe rides on an all-new, purpose-built unibody SUV platform with a 106.3-inch wheelbase that is 3.2 inches longer than its predecessor. This chassis was specifically designed to deliver more of the ride and handling balance that resonates with crossover shoppers. The 2007 Santa Fe achieves a 50-percent improvement in body bending rigidity over the prior model and is 59 percent stiffer than Toyota Highlander. This stiff body structure provides a more refined sedan-like ride. Thanks to the new suspension geometry and wider track width (which enables greater turn angles), Hyundai engineers tightened Santa Fe's turning circle by nearly two feet -- an advantage Santa Fe drivers will appreciate in their daily driving. HYUNDAI VALUE A well-equipped 2007 Santa Fe, with standard Electronic Stability Control, six airbags, anti-whiplash active front head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, heated power mirrors, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, 16-inch aluminum wheels, dual exhausts and roof rack will be priced thousands of dollars below a comparably-equipped Toyota Highlander, carrying on the Santa Fe tradition of exceptional value. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION The 2007 Santa Fe will be built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing America (HMMA) in Montgomery, Ala. Production of the Santa Fe is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2006, with vehicles arriving in dealerships during summer. By the end of 2006, Hyundai will manufacture more than half of its total U.S. sales volume in Alabama. HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through 695 dealerships nationwide. Source: Hyundai Motor America Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine Announces 2006 International Car of the Year Awards Winners

DETROIT, Jan. 7 PRNewswire ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine (RTM) announced its10th Annual International Car of the Year Awards (ICOTY) winners at a blacktie ceremony today. Held at the Detroit Marriott Hotel, RTM hosted more than600 industry leaders and media on the eve of press week of the North AmericanInternational Auto Show. A jury of 12 nationally-renowned automotive journalists selected the Top10 automobiles with ballots tabulated by J.D. Power and Associates. And the winners are: * Car of the Year: Dodge Charger * Truck of the Year: Hummer H3 * Pick Up Truck of the Year: "Most Athletic" Honda Ridgeline * Sports Car of the Year: "Most Sex Appeal" Pontiac Solstice * Sedan of the Year: "Most Dependable" Hyundai Sonata * Luxury Car of the Year: "Most Respected" Mercedes-Benz CLS500 * Minivan of the Year: "Most Compatible" Honda Odyssey * Entry Level Car of the Year: "Most Spirited" Audi A3 * Crossover of the Year: "Most Versatile" Dodge Magnum SRT8 * SUV of the Year: (Tie) "Most Resourceful" Ford Explorer and Range Rover Sport "The ICOTY awards focus on the emotional connection between car andconsumer; how vehicles reflect our lifestyles and self image, an attitude theaverage consumer can identify with," says RTM Editor-In-Chief CourtneyCaldwell. RTM also recognized veteran automotive journalist David E. Davis, Jr. withits third annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Described as "the dean ofAmerica's automotive critics" by Time Magazine, Davis is widely recognized asthe guru of the automobile industry. RTM also presented its second annualHEART STRING Award for best car commercial in 2005 for the Nissan 350Z. ICOTY sponsors included DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Detroit MarriottHotel, Shell Oil, Dolby Laboratories, Ford Motor Company, General MotorsCorporation, OnStar, Hyundai Motor America, Subaru of America, AmericanSuzuki, BMW NA, American Honda, Nissan NA, and U-Haul International. Mediasponsors included MSN Autos, and About ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine, established in 1989, is a comprehensive onlinemagazine specializing in automotive, travel and personal safety topics. RTMprovides content and resources from which consumers can make informed andintelligent decisions regarding their automotive, travel and personal safetyneeds. For more information, visit . SOURCE: ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

2006 Hyundai Sonata VentVisors now available

All new 2006 Hyundai Sonata Vent Visor made from durable high impact acrylic. Custom fit for your new Sonata. Made of reinforced acrylic in dark smoke grey, the Vent Visor keeps rain out and lets fresh air in. Vent Visors also reduce heat buildup in parked cars by allowing windows to be kept partially open, and install easily with 3M brand OEM-approved tape. Manufactured by Auto VentShade, a division of Lund International.


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All Auto VentShade products come with a limited lifetime warranty* and their commitment is for your complete satisfaction. Auto VentShade products have been protecting and styling vehicles since 1935. They know how important it is to protect your valuable investment, so that's why they design products that are both functional and look cool. Made of a rugged impact-modified acrylic, they install quickly and easily with 3M Acrylic Foam Tape. Auto Ventshade is quality QS-9000/ISO 9001 certified for the design, manufacturing and distribution of Automotive Accessories. *For warranty information please see Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe: Comming Soon

Over the past couple weeks I have searched the internet for the new upcomming 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. Below is what I have found. We at Gary Rome Hyundai hope you are as excited as we are with the new 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe's design.

First Spy shot found,
Spied! 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe
August 2005
These photos capture a prototype Santa Fe without any front-bumper disguise, thus giving us a clear view of the SUV’s bold new looks.
With the new Hyundai Tucson filling the role of compact SUV in the model lineup, Hyundai is now free to grow the Santa Fe in size and move it up to compete with larger SUV’s like the Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander. The increased size will allow the Santa Fe to have a third row of seats for the first time. The new Santa Fe will be built on a platform that is shared with the new Hyundai Sonata sedan, and the Santa Fe will also be built at Hyundai’s new plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
Styling is all new and ditches the quirky looks of the current Santa Fe in favor of a modern bold look with a large forward-sloping grille. The rounded shape of the front-end gives the new Santa Fe a unique design by eliminating the typical protruding bumper used on every other SUV.
2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Will Be Bigger, More Stylish By Phil Lienert Date posted: 07-14-2005
The addition of the Hyundai Tucson compact SUV to the company's lineup has given Korea's top automaker the opportunity to expand its flagship SUV. As you can see from these photos, the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe will be considerably larger than the current 2005 Santa Fe and will be positioned within the brand to compete with more upscale vehicles.
Also evident from our spy shots is the change in design direction for this upcoming version of the Hyundai Santa Fe, due out toward the second half of 2006. The company has more or less replaced the 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe's awkward lines with a more sculpted and distinctive look.
An increase in its overall length will allow the 2007 Santa Fe to contain, for the first time, a third row of seats, moving it more or less into the same class as larger Japanese SUVs such as the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
The 2007 Santa Fe's interior should be more refined than the current edition in order to match the exterior's move toward a less quirky appearance. Hyundai had more room to work with the Santa Fe this time around as the Tucson has now assumed the role of its entry-level SUV.
Hyundai was able to increase the 2007 Santa Fe's size by moving the vehicle's construction to the same platform that was used to build the brand-new 2006 Sonata sedan. And like the Sonata, the 2007 Santa Fe will be built at the company's recently opened facility in Montgomery, Alabama.
Don't expect any big surprises under the hood of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. In fact, it's likely that the vehicle will carry over the 2005 Santa Fe's 3.5-liter V6, perhaps with a little bit more in the way of horsepower, though.
Look for the official debut of the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Spy Shots: ’07 Hyundai Santa Fe Coming to America, the long way. by Hans Lehmann/Hidden Image (2005-07-11) Hyundai has been on a new-product blitz, bringing to market one new vehicle after another. So far Hyundai has introduced the Tucson and the Sonata, and has put out official information on the Azera. Still to come is an all-new Hyundai Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle. These photos capture a prototype Santa Fe without any front-bumper disguise, thus giving us a clear view of the SUV's new looks. With the new Hyundai Tucson filling the role of compact SUV in the model lineup, Hyundai is now free to grow a larger Santa Fe and move it up a size class to compete with larger SUVs like the Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander. The increased size will allow the Santa Fe to have a third row of seats for the first time. The new Santa Fe will be built on a platform that is shared with the new Hyundai Sonata sedan, and the Santa Fe will also be built in Hyundai's new plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Styling is fresh and ditches the voluptuous looks of the current Santa Fe in favor of a look with a large, forward-sloping grille. The rounded shape of the front end gives the new Santa Fe a unique design by eliminating the typical protruding bumper used on every other SUV.

Bigger is better for Santa FE Tuesday 15th November 2005 Christmas has come early at Auto Express - our spy photographers have caught Santa Fe on film. This amazing picture reveals Hyundai's all-new SUV totally undisguised and ready for the road, months ahead of its official launch. Left exposed in broad daylight, the new Santa Fe's sleek lines are a radical departure from the bulbous look of the existing version, and help take the model upmarket. Set to go on sale in the UK next autumn, the 4x4 will be available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. And the VGT - Variable Geometry Turbo - badge on the side of this car reveals it's the 2.2-litre oil-burner, which is likely to be the top seller. The new Santa Fe will be larger than the outgoing model in order to widen the gap between it and the smaller Tucson. The extra size has allowed engineers to fit a versatile seven-seat interior - making the off-roader a viable alternative to a full-size MPV. Expect plenty of equipment as standard, too, while Hyundai's pioneering five-year warranty will also be a major selling point. Prices have yet to be finalised, but more details are likely to be announced closer to the car's official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March next year. Following the launch of the Santa Fe, Hyundai will then turn its attention to its larger 4x4s. While the Terracan will continue unchanged until at least 2008, a new big off-roader is already being developed in the US to offer a cut-price alternative to Land Rover's Discovery. Chris Thorp

Hyundai Santa Fe December 2005 Getting established in the SUV market isn't easy - just ask Hyundai! The firm already has three 4x4s in its line-up, but only the entry-level Tucson is capable of challenging for class honours. That's a situation the all-new Santa Fe hopes to change. Designers have banished memories of the current bulbous and ungainly machine to the history books, and instead have created a distinctive looking five-door SUV. Inside, the makeover is almost as striking, but although the cabin has a more upmarket feel, and for the first time seven seats, the plastics still appear cheap. As with the Sonata saloon, the Santa Fe has a prominent centre console, but the layout has been brought up-to-date. While a 2.7-litre V6 petrol variant will be available, the 151bhp 2.2-litre diesel driven here should account for most sales in the UK. Replacing the outgoing 2.0-litre oil-burner, the new unit delivers an extra 36bhp and an impressive 343Nm of torque. From a standstill, the diesel engine is a little unresponsive, but once on the move it provides smooth acceleration whether mated to manual or automatic gearboxes. A part-time four-wheel-drive transmission system also ensures the Santa Fe is never short of traction, as it feeds power to the rear wheels when the front tyres slip. Engineers have fitted stiffer suspension to the new model, and as a result the Santa Fe doesn't offer as smooth a ride as the class-leaders. The benefit comes in the corners, where body roll is more controlled and handling is impressive in all but the tightest of bends. Safety hasn't been forgotten either, with six airbags, EBS, ABS, traction control and active headrests all available. Prices are expected to rise over the current version, with the line-up likely to start at around £21,000. We'll have to wait until we drive the Santa Fe in European specification to see if Hyundai has got a potential class-leader in its ranks, but the early impressions are encouraging. Charley Chae

____________________________________________________ Note: the above information was taken from a UK web site. The Diesel and turbo engines will most likely not be available in the USA. The USA 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe will most likey see the 3.3V6 currently used in the 2006 Hyundai Sonata or the 3.8 V6 currently used in the 2006 Hyundai Azera. The redesigned 2.4L 4 cylinder, currently used in the 2006 Hyundai Sonata, may also make its way in to the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. ____________________________________________________

2007 Hyundai Santa Fe launches in Korea Posted Nov 22nd 2005 3:30PM by Stuart Waterman Filed under: SUVs Little information other than what we can glean from the pictures, but what we can see shows that the new Santa Fe is a huge improvement over the current version. Hyundai's Santa Fe-dedicated website is here (warning - lots of Flash). Autoblog reader Source1 reports that a Hyundai dealer told him that we can expect two engines, a 3.3-liter putting out 240-250 hp, and a 3.8-liter with 275-285 hp. Much more after the jump!
Pictures from the Hyundai Official Santa Fe webstite here.
Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The History of Hyundai

Hyundai History Hyundai's Founding Chairman Chung Ju-Yung - 1915 - 2001 Chung Ju-Yung was born in North Korea in 1915 as the eldest son of a poor peasant farming family. At the age of 18, he set off for good to Seoul with hopes of finding a better life. Success was not immediate. He worked in various jobs, such as railway construction, bookkeeping and dock work. Mr. Chung's first experience as an entrepreneur came in 1938 when he started his own rice store. However, he was forced to close his business a year later because of the policies of the Japanese occupation forces. After the liberation of Korea in World War II, Mr. Chung went into business repairing trucks for U.S. Armed Forces. He then went into the engineering and construction business, eventually building multibillion-dollar mega-projects around the world. His venture into the shipbuilding business is legendary. Despite a lack of experience in shipbuilding, he persuaded a customer to give him an order to build a ship for tens of millions of dollars. Now the company that he started is the largest shipbuilder in the world. By sheer force of effort and creativity, Mr. Chung built businesses that helped make Korea the economic powerhouse that it is today. From humble beginnings, he rose to great heights. But even at the peak of his success, he remained disciplined, lived simply and worked hard. In his final years, he turned his efforts toward the reunification of Korea. This son of a farmer sought to open avenues of communication between the North and South Korean governments and between the people, north and south. In private talks with leaders, in cross-border business ventures and in grand gestures, such as driving 1000 cattle back to North Korea, he helped bring hope back to the most cherished goal of reuniting the Korean people. It may well be that this final act of kindness and concern, while acting as an ambassador of peace, may be viewed by history as Mr. Chung's greatest achievement. Our Honorary Founding Chairman had many great philosophies that he lived by, but the one that we should all remember is: "It is failures rather than successes that teach us invaluable lessons - It is not necessary to remember one's success. That should be remembered by others instead. Rather, we should remember our losses and failures - Those who forget their failures will fail again and again." Hyundai - An Overview Hyundai's cars and sport utility vehicles continue to provide customers a high level of content and performance at an affordable price. Every vehicle in the lineup demonstrates Hyundai's emergence as an auto manufacturer whose products compete successfully in technology, quality, styling and refinement with automobiles from around the world. Hyundai sold its first car, the subcompact Excel model, in the U.S. in 1986. At the time, few Americans had ever heard of Hyundai or its products. Since that time, Hyundai has expanded and upgraded its product line in the U.S. and now accounts for more than two percent of the U.S. auto market. Hyundai now markets a full line of vehicles from the subcompact Accent to the award-winning Santa Fe sport utility vehicle to the luxurious XG350 sedan. The vehicles were developed exclusively by Hyundai Motor Company and are fitted with engines and transmissions designed and engineered by Hyundai. Hyundai Motor Company Chung Ju-Yung founded the Hyundai Motor Company in 1947 as Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Hyundai Motor Co. (HMC), established in 1967, is the auto sales leader in the Korean domestic market and exports vehicles to 190 countries worldwide. Hyundai Motor Co. operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, located on Korea's southeast coast. In 1996, Hyundai opened the Namyang Technology Research Center, which includes a complete testing facility with a 2.8-mile oval test track and a new $40 million aeroacoustic wind tunnel. That same year, HMC began production at its state-of-the-art Asan Plant, located southeast of Seoul. Hyundai now operates eight research centers in Korea along with four international centers, including Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc., in Ann Arbor, MI, and Hyundai California Design Center in Fountain Valley, CA. Hyundai's automotive technology centers employ approximately 4,100 researchers with an annual budget of five percent of current revenues. Current research projects include: electric-powered vehicles, low-emission gasoline engines, solar- powered vehicles, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles. The Hyundai California Design Center, established in 1990, creates and develops both production vehicles and cutting-edge design concepts for the automotive market. Several innovative vehicles have emerged from the design center including three concept roadsters, HCD-1, HCD-2, HCD-6, a hybrid sport utility vehicle, HCD-3, the CrossTour sport utility vehicle (HCD-5) and the HCD-7 luxury sedan. The influence of the California Design Center can be clearly seen in the sleek lines of the first generation Hyundai Tiburon sporty coupe and the Santa Fe sport utility vehicle. A Look Back - Hyundai's Entry into the U.S. Market The timing of Hyundai's entry into the U.S. market in 1986 was ideal. At that time, most automobile manufacturers had abandoned the entry-level market in favor of high-end, high-priced vehicles, leaving a large void in the market. First-time car buyers such as college students and young families were not able to find adequate, value-equipped cars that met their needs, yet were priced within their economic means. In February 1986, Hyundai launched its subcompact Excel model in the U.S. market. Customer response was immediate; in just seven months Hyundai Motor America had sold its 100,000th Excel. Total 1986 sales numbered 168,882 - an industry record for an import car distributor in its first year. Hyundai sales averaged 1,431 units per dealer, another sales record. In 1987, Hyundai sales continued to soar, reaching a record of 263,610 units. What makes this sales performance even more remarkable is that it was done with dealers located in only 31 of the 50 states. In the early years, Hyundai concentrated its sales efforts primarily on the West and East coasts, as well as in the southern states. In 1987, Hyundai expanded into the central portion of the United States, opening a central region office near Chicago. Today there are four regions and nearly 600 Hyundai dealerships nationwide. Hyundai Motor America As the presence of Hyundai automobiles and Hyundai Motor America continued to grow in America, the company began to expand its operations and service networks nationwide to more effectively serve the needs of dealers and customers. In 1988, HMA opened a $21 million, 300,000 square-foot parts distribution center in Ontario, CA, to facilitate parts deliveries to Hyundai's expanding dealer body. The next year, HMA opened a $16.6 million, 342,000 square-foot office complex and parts distribution center in Aurora, IL. Today, Hyundai also has regional offices in Jamesburg, N.J., Austell, GA and Aurora, IL. In addition, the New Jersey facility also incorporates a parts distribution center. In 1990, Hyundai Motor America moved its national headquarters from Garden Grove, CA, to a new 18-acre site in nearby Fountain Valley, CA - an investment of $18 million. In addition to corporate offices, this facility also houses HMA's western regional office, Hyundai's California Design Center, the National Service Center and the National Headquarters of Hyundai Motor Finance Co. Hyundai Motor Finance Co. (HMFC) launched in 1990 with a capital investment of $15 million and 22 employees. HMFC now employs nearly 200 people and has accumulated a portfolio of nearly $500 million. Hyundai Motor Finance Co. serves Hyundai dealers nationwide with individual customer financing and dealer inventory financing. Also in 1990, HMA opened a $12.2 million port facility in Portland, Oregon. It features a large dock area, a 45,000 square-foot processing building, a holding lot for incoming cars, as well as an area for rail car and vehicle transport. Other Hyundai port facilities are located in Wilmington, CA; Brunswick, GA; Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD; and Fort Worth, TX. A new corporation called HK Logistics America (HKLA), formed in March 2003, is now responsible for all vehicle logistics management for Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America in the U.S. HKLA is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif. and has 11 port operations (nine water ports and two inland processing centers) located in eight U.S. states. In April of 2002, Hyundai broke ground in Montgomery, Alabama for its first U.S. automobile assembly plant, a $1 billion investment that is scheduled to open in 2005 and employ nearly 2,000 people. The facility, to be built on 1,600 acres, is expected to assemble 300,000 vehicles per year. The first two vehicles scheduled to be produced in the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) assembly plant are the revised Sonata and Santa Fe models. In February of 2003, the new $25 million state-of-the-art Hyundai-Kia Motors Design & Research Center opened in Irvine, California. The 90,000 square foot design and technical center houses 100 auto designers, engineers, model makers and technicians, many who were responsible for design successes such as Hyundai's Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle and its HCD-6 and HCD-7 concept vehicles, as well as Kia's KCD-1/Slice concept vehicle. Also in early 2003, a ceremonial groundbreaking event was held for the new Hyundai/Kia proving ground in the California desert near Edwards Air Force Base. This testing facility is scheduled to be constructed in the next two years. After nearly 18 years in the U.S. automobile market, Hyundai continues to reinforce its commitment to sell innovative, high-quality vehicles at the most affordable prices. Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 600 Hyundai dealerships nationwide. Source: Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Korean automakers improve quality

Korean automakers improve quality Perception in U.S. is still that Kia and Hyundai are affordable but poorly made. By Rick Popely Special to The Morning Call After test-driving a Honda Civic, Michael Gurin bought a 2006 Hyundai Sonata because of its roomier rear seat, additional safety features and lower price. Including discounts from the dealer, Gurin paid $16,000 for the midsize Sonata, some $2,000 less than the price he was quoted for the Civic, a compact sedan. Hyundai, once a car that cash-strapped consumers bought as a last resort, now competes with Japanese brands renowned for their quality. Fellow Korean brand Kia also is wooing customers from the Japanese, and both are attracting the young buyers the auto industry covets because they will buy several more cars in their lifetimes. ''The Japanese are starting to get worried about the Korean brands for the same reasons the domestics worried about the Japanese,'' said Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research. ''The Japanese are looking over their shoulders right now. ''A recent J.D. Power survey of 34,000 new-vehicle buyers this year concluded that fewer people feel compelled to ''buy American'' and more accept Korean brands. CNW says the median age of Hyundai buyers is 30 and for Kia it is 28, the youngest in the industry. The average age of Honda and Toyota buyers is 42 and the industry average is 45. Spinella says price remains a key attraction for Hyundai and Kia, but they also click with consumers by offering more standard features than rivals. And there's that 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty when most automakers limit theirs to three years/36,000 miles. The Sonata, for example, has standard stability control, traction control and side-curtain air bags, features that are optional or not available on some rivals. Besides, Sonata and the other Korean vehicles are ''not my father's Camry,'' Spinella says, meaning that young buyers typically reject what their parents drove. Spinella says the Koreans attract buyers from Japanese brands more than domestic brands because those are the ones they target. Hyundai, for example, compares the Sonata to the Camry in its marketing. Owners of domestic vehicles tend to shop domestic brands first. ''It's a cultural shift,'' said Dennis Galbraith, a Power senior director. ''The idea that people only want to buy American is going away. ''Hyundai, which marks its 20th year in the United States in 2006, started in the United States with the $4,995 Excel subcompact. The rock-bottom price enabled Hyundai to sell 168,882 cars in 1986, a record for an import brand in its first year in the United States. Shabby quality, however, damaged the company's reputation, and sales fell to 90,217 by 1998. Sales have more than quadrupled since to 418,615 last year and are up 8 percent this year, putting Hyundai ahead of Pontiac, 411,991 to 401,518 through November. Hyundai, now the fourth-largest import brand behind the Japanese Big Three of Toyota, Honda and Nissan, expects to sell close to 500,000 next year and reach 1 million by 2010. Toyota, the No. 1 import brand, will sell about 1.75 million this year. Fueling that optimism is that Hyundai is following the same path as the Japanese Big Three: Gain a foothold with inexpensive cars and then grow market share with broader lineups that appeal to a bigger audience. Hyundai has seven models now and plans ''a minimum of 12'' in a few years, said John Krafcik, vice president of product development and strategic planning for Hyundai Motor America. Among the new models will be the Entourage minivan in 2006 and a sport-utility vehicle due early in 2007 that will be larger than the midsize Santa Fe, which also will grow to hold seven passengers instead of five. ''We don't have a vehicle with three rows of seats now, and we know we're losing big chunks of customers because of that,'' Krafcik said. ''But next year, we'll have three . ''The Power Information Network, the data-gathering unit of J.D. Power and Associates, says that half of those who traded a Hyundai this year bought another Hyundai. That ranks Hyundai fourth in loyalty among all brands, behind Honda, Toyota and Lexus. ''They [other brands] have the advantage of full product lines. If someone wants to move up to a pickup or large SUV, Toyota and Chevrolet have them,'' Krafcik said, predicting Hyundai's loyalty will grow with its lineup. ''We've been primarily a sedanmaker, so we don't have that advantage yet. ''Hyundai and Kia have talked about offering a pickup, though neither has announced plans to do so. Kia's sales have more than tripled since 1998, to 270,000 last year, and are up 3 percent this year. Hyundai owns a controlling interest in Kia, and the two share some models, though with different styling. Despite their recent success, both suffer from earlier quality lapses, says Chris Denove, a partner in J.D. Power. ''Without question, Hyundai and Kia are two of the most improved brands as far as quality,'' Denove said. ''Unfortunately, consumer perception has lagged behind, so that many consumers still don't shop those brands because they don't think the quality has improved. ''It takes a long time for consumers to realize that improvements have been made.'' As recently as 2001, Hyundai ranked 29th among 36 brands in Power's initial-quality study and Kia ranked last. In this year's study, which measures problems in the first 90 days of ownership, Hyundai ranked 11th, ahead of Honda and Nissan. In 2004, Consumer Reports magazine named the Sonata the most reliable vehicle of that model year. Kia ranked 30th in Power's Initial Quality Survey this year, and owners still report more problems than the industry average (140 per 100 vehicles versus 118). The questions range from mechanical issues, such as how difficult the car is to start, to the amount of wind noise in the cabin. Kia began selling cars in the United States in 1993 and aims to sell 500,000 vehicles per year by 2010, adding four or five vehicles to its current lineup of seven. Rick Popely is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Always remember to visit for latest deals available Gary Rome Hyundai , Hyundai Accessory Store and Hyundai Performance Auto Parts.