Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2007 Hyundai Elantra: Preview

2007 Hyundai Elantra Preview

Attractive value for less than $14,000 by Thom Blackett Oh, those Hyundai guys, they can be clever buggers. During the official launch of the 2007 Elantra at the 2006 New York International Auto Show, Hyundai’s vice president of product development, John Krafcik, boasted that his company’s updated sedan outclassed benchmarks like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. In terms of quality and features, that may or may not prove to be the case, but more literally, the 2007 Elantra has grown to become an EPA-rated midsize car, technically out-classing the compact Honda and Toyota. Nice play on words, Mr. Krafcik. Besides being bigger, the redesigned Elantra greets the 2007 model year with an all-new look, from the sleek new body to the revised interior, a more efficient four-cylinder engine, a bevy of safety features like standard side and side-curtain airbags, and a base GLS model that is said to sticker at less than $14,000. Couple all of that with Hyundai’s excellent warranty, and it’s easy to see why this little ride needed to stretch a bit. Unfortunately, the issue of gas prices and fuel economy continues to be relevant, leading more buyers to look at smaller cars to do more of everything – they’ve got to offer comfort, acceptable performance, utility, lots of desirable features, and good looks. Hyundai aims to please on all fronts with the 2007 Elantra, a ride accented by a stylish new design, a cabin that qualifies it as a midsize sedan, a long list of standard items included in the GLS’s sub $14,000 base price, and a competent powertrain that promises improved fuel economy over the outgoing model. The Elantra is Hyundai’s best-selling model, recently surpassing one million sales since being introduced in the U.S., and the changes for 2007 will help it charge on to the two-million mark. Due to its larger size, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra is classified by the EPA as a midsize sedan, putting it in the unenviable position of competing with cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. However, due to its low price and dimensions more in line with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, this popular Korean nameplate will continue to do battle with compact rides. And that’s a good thing, since its 2.0-liter engine would get smoked by true midsize rivals. The Elantra’s 16-valve four-cylinder engine, featuring continuously variable valve timing, puts out 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm with an ultra low emissions vehicle (ULEV) rating; the so-called Green States, such as Maine and Vermont, get a super ultra low emissions (SULEV) rating that drops horsepower to 132 and torque to 133 lb.-ft. A partial zero emissions (PZEV) rating is expected for California. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Under the new skin is fully independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, a power rack-and-pinion steering system, and a four-wheel antilock disc brake setup with electronic brake force distribution. Three versions of the 2007 Hyundai Elantra are available: GLS, SE, and Limited. Though it’s the bottom-rung player, the GLS comes well equipped with items like front-side and side-curtain airbags, front active headrests, antilock disc brakes, power windows, a tilt steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and a 60/40 folding rear bench seat. For a bit more coin, options such as a 172-watt sound system, air conditioning, a power sunroof, and a Sport Package can be added. Poised in the middle of the lineup is the SE, which ups the standard content list with fog lights, heated mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 tires, remote entry, a leather steering wheel, the 172-watt radio with steering wheel controls, cruise control, and a power mirrors and power door locks. The Limited trim gets standard leather upholstery and heated front seats, with unique options like a 220-watt sound system with an MP3 player and six-disc CD changer. Hyundai continues to impress with capable, stylish products that often offer an unexpected level of refinement, especially given their price points. And, of course, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty only serves to sweeten the pot.

There’s still room for improvement, and those stylish looks are sometimes too heavily influenced by the brand’s competitors, but there’s no arguing with the company’s recent success. The 2007 Elantra should only bolster the Hyundai’s already good fortunes with its attractive design, upgraded interior, focus on safety, and overall bang for the buck. Official pricing has not been released, though company officials claim that the base GLS will sell for less than $14,000. Models will go on sale during the latter half of 2006. Source: autosite.com

Friday, August 25, 2006

Winning Respect

WINNING RESPECT The Sonata Makes Driving A Sweet Song By Joe Kovach, Autoweek Magazine August 28, 2006 Issue In the first quarter of its yearlong stay, the Hyundai Sonata persevered with only backhanded compliments such as, "It's a nice car for the money. In the second quarter it won us over. One staffer said, "Not only does the interior have leather seats, butt-warmers and nice trim, the outside looks good, too. I wouldn't be ashamed to drive it all the time." Indeed. You can sense a pleasantly surprised mood in the logbook. Resembling a '70s/'80s Toyota (practical, bullet-proof and economical), no mechanical problems befell the Sonata in the 6812 miles we've put on the odometer. And we registered no major complaints about one of the cheapest vehicles in our fleet. Sonata is even better looking than most Toyotas of 30 years ago. "This Sonata is more than I expected," an editor wrote. "It's a handsome package, with near-Accord looks in a clean and unassuming wrapper that doesn't scream 'Look at me,' but is in no way ugly. Inside the fits and materials are excellent, the comfort good, the controls laid out well (except for maybe the steering wheel controls mounted too low on the wheel). The doors close with a solid thunk and everything feels well-built." We noted fuel mileage is lower than the EPA's 24.5 rating based on 20/30 mpg (city/highway). One theory is the fine 3.3-liter V6 tempts us with its 226 lb-ft at 3500 rpm, leading us to seek 6000 rpm, where it makes 235 hp. We have no complaints about the five-speed automatic with a Tiptronic-like auto-manual either. "The Sonata is a serious attempt at competing with Camry and Accord, and it stacks up favorably," said a staffer. "Fully loaded Camrys and Accords come in around $30,000, and that's why the Sonata is tough to beat." The managing editor says, "This is the best $23,000 car on the planet." The question at the halfway point is whether the Sonata, like a Toyota, will remain bulletproof for another six months.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gary Rome Hyundai and the Jimmy Fund

Gary Rome Hyundai is pleased to announce its support once again for the annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Last year, Gary Rome Hyundai donated $10,000 to pediatric cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through the support of New England-area Hyundai dealers, other Hyundai dealers across the country, and Hyundai Motor America, nearly $7 million total has been donated to the Jimmy Fund since 1998. Although donations, are mainly generated through vehicle sales, dealers like Gary Rome come up with innovative ways to further their support. Through Gary Rome Hyundai, contributors to the Jimmy Fund can now be a Buddy to help research pediatric cancer. In return, they'll receive their own cuddly "Buddy" in return. "Buddy" has been a popular character in TV commercials and at Gary Rome Hyundai for years. Now you can have your very own Red Sox jersey Buddy and help fund pediatric cancer research at the Jimmy Fund. A $20 donation gets you the cuddly Buddy and proceeds will go to The Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Last year, Gary Rome Hyundai donated $10,000 to the Jimmy Fund. To get your own Red Sox jersey Buddy and help strike out cancer, visit our store at 1000 Main St. in Holyoke Massachusetts or order online at http://www.hyundaiaccessorystore.com/Jimmy_Fund_Buddy.html today. Supplies are limited. For more information about Gary Rome Hyundai's support of pediatric cancer research, and Hyundai products, please visit our website at http://www.garyromehyundai.com.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

2007 Hyundai Elantra: Preview

2007 Hyundai Elantra: Preview By MALCOMM GUNN, Wheelbase Communications You might have taken the Elantra for granted in the past, but Hyundai challenges anyone to ignore its mighty marvel this time around. For 2007, this increasingly popular economy car hits the highway in a larger size and with more style and features to tempt buyers. If you haven't visited a Hyundai showroom lately, you're in for a big surprise. In the last two years, the company has completely revamped its entire lineup — seven models in total — adding the new Tucson mini-ute, Azera luxury sedan and Entourage minivan, and remaking the Santa Fe off-roader and Accent and Sonata passenger cars. The fourth-generation Elantra replaces a well-received version that was introduced in 2001, a model that managed to cut a wide swath through the North American small-car landscape. Hyundai has capitalized on this momentum and created a car that strives to out-do just about every other competitor in terms of size and features. Outside, the Elantra's packaging has been significantly altered with a more rounded front end that appears similar to that of the smaller Accent and bigger Sonata. Although not exactly head turning, the overall design carries a certain Euro-influenced style that is attractive in its own way. Thus far, the four-door sedan is the only body style available, but don't count out an eventual return of a four-door hatchback, a mainstay model of the previous Elantra. Twisting the ignition key engages a 138-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's essentially a carryover from the previous version. Note that the output in California and some northeastern states is reduced to 132 horses due to tighter emissions regulations, which traditionally have a negative impact on performance. The motor is matched to a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. Three trim levels include the base GLS that's fitted with the bare econo-car necessities although six airbags and anti-lock brakes are included. Opting for the SE adds air conditioning, heated side mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, telescoping steering wheel, 16-inch alloy rims and a 172-watt audio system. At the top of the range is the Limited that includes all of the SE's content as well as leather-covered seats (heated in front) and interior trim. The stand-alone option list is short and includes a power sunroof and a 220-watt sound system with a six-disc CD changer. Always standard, of course, is Hyundai's warranty, which provides five years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection and 10 years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Vehicles such as the class leading Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are the professed targets for Hyundai and, given the Elantra's increased volume, features and safety content, the company is certainly closer. source: southcoasttoday.com

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hyundai Brand Value Rises Businessweek

Hyundai Brand Value Rises Businessweek Calls Brand “Big Winner”
--- Jumps nine positions in Best Global Brands survey by BusinessWeek/Interbrand --- Biggest increase of automakers (Seoul, Korea) Hyundai Motor Co. has emerged as one of the world’s leading brands ranking 75th overall, according to the 2006 Best Global Brands survey jointly conducted by Interbrand, a leading consultancy in branding and BusinessWeek, the New York-based global media organization. The 17 percent increase since last year in the value of the Hyundai brand earned the Korean automaker the title of fastest growing automotive brand and a place among the top five biggest gainers in brand value, causing the magazine to label Hyundai one of its “Big Winners”. Last year, in its debut appearance on the Best Global Brands list, Hyundai ranked 84th. With a brand value estimated at $4.1 billion, the power of the Hyundai brand on a global basis now surpasses several competitors. “This survey tells us what many people already know: That Hyundai is a fast-rising star,” said Hyundai’s Vice President for brand strategy, Brandon Yea. “Our brand management is supported by continuous improvement in the quality of our products,” he added. Public perceptions of the Hyundai brand have been transformed as a result of dramatic improvements in the quality of Hyundai vehicles. In turn, this has fueled a steady increase in sales and confidence in the brand among both customers and dealers. Hyundai’s pursuit of a better balance between quantitative and qualitative growth has benefited from the company’s brand management. Brand management issues now influence decision-making in styling, marketing and communications as well as at the retail and after-sales service levels.
Interbrand Ranking 2006 Result
OverallAutomotiveRankingBrandBrand Value(Billlion $)
7 1Toyota27.9
102M. Benz21.8
295Ford 11.0
Interbrand (www.interbrand.com), the leading brand consultancy and authors of the annual ranking of “The Best Global Brands” in partnership with BusinessWeek was founded in 1974. Interbrand has offices in over 30 cities in more than 20 countries around the globe and clients from among the most respected businesses. BusinessWeek is a leading global business media organization which was founded in 1929 and is published by the McGraw-Hill Companies, BusinessWeek has more than 4.7 million readers each week in 140 countries. Local language editions include Chinese, Russian, and Bahasa Indonesian. Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group which in 2005 sold 3.7 million vehicles to ranked as the world’s sixth largest automotive manufacturer and includes over two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Hyundai Motor Co., employing over 68,000 people worldwide, posted US$26.1 billion in sales in 2004 (on a non-consolidated basis). Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5000 dealerships and showrooms. Further information about Hyundai Motor Co. and its products is available at www.hyundai-motor.com

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Testimonial From Gary Rome Hyundai

Last Monday I found myself on the western side of the state on a brief vacation trip, when my ventilator system died in the 90+ degree heat. A quick call to Hyundai assistance gave me Gary Rome's address and I came in as quickly as possible. Your service staff not only took me in without an appointment but set a technician to looking at the problem immediately. An hour later, I was on my way with a new blower switch installed and an invoice for $0. I almost hesitate to name any one individual because everyone at your facility was so responsive, but the service advisor of record was Carlos Rivera. I can see why your dealership has been recognized for outstanding customer service. Thanks for the experience. Mr. Holbrook, Groton MA

Friday, August 04, 2006



Contact: Chris Hosford 714-965-3470 Cell: 714-743-8764 chosford@hmausa.com


Fountain Valley, Calif., August 2, 2006Hyundai Motor America (HMA) President and CEO, Ok Suk (Owen) Koh, today announced that Steve Wilhite has been named Chief Operating Officer for the company. Wilhite will be responsible for the company’s strategic development, sales, marketing, communications, parts and service. He will report directly to the President and CEO. “Steve’s passion for the automotive business was clear from the moment I met him and all of us at Hyundai are excited that he will be leading our sales, marketing and other operating efforts,” said Koh. “He is known for his innovative and creative marketing approaches. However, also invaluable will be both his automotive retail sales experience and non-automotive marketing background which will be an immense help in driving the growth of our brand and presence in America." “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to return to Southern California and help lead the continued development and growing success of Hyundai,” said Wilhite. “The chance to be a part of growing sales, working directly with dealers again, and capturing and expressing who and what Hyundai is becoming is a challenge I couldn’t resist.” . Wilhite joins Hyundai From Nissan Motor Company, where he was senior vice president, global marketing. Previously he served as vice president of marketing for Nissan North America. Wilhite has worked as the vice president worldwide marketing communications at Apple and as the senior marketing executive at Volkswagen of America where he led development of the “Drivers Wanted’ campaign and launch of the new Beetle. He has also served in senior management positions in the retail auto industry and began his automotive career with Ford Motor Company. Wilhite will officially join the company and assume his new assignment on August 16, 2006. He earned a master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Stanford University. He is married with one daughter and one son. Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed in the U.S. by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 725 dealers throughout the nation.