Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Milestone for Hyundai Sonata: One Million and Counting

Milestone For Hyundai Sonata: One Million And Counting

Latest Sonata Sale Is One In A Million

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 12/18/2007 Like its predecessors, one very special Hyundai Sonata sold recently could be praised with many adjectives. Reliable. Dependable. Handsome. Safe. Comfortable. Efficient. Even powerful.

But only the most recent Sonata sold can claim, "It's one in a million."

Yesterday, Crain Hyundai of North Little Rock, AR., delivered the one-millionth Sonata sold in the U.S.

"Historically, the Sonata represents the best of Hyundai's ability to combine style, safety, quality and value into one package for consumers," said Dave Zuchowski, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America. "Like our company, the vehicle itself has evolved dramatically over the past 20 years and we're well positioned to sell another million in the United States."

Sonata's roots date back to 1989 when Hyundai introduced its second nameplate to appeal to a more mature, family-oriented buyer. Since then, Sonata has become one of Hyundai's perennial volume leaders, and is the reigning sales champion dating back to 2005. Throughout Sonata's history, the high-volume, midsize sedan often has reflected the company itself, serving as the flagship for dramatic corporate achievements like implementing Hyundai's 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty, commitment to standard safety technologies and assent up the quality rankings.

Since its introduction, the Sonata has received four complete makeovers, each meeting with media approval and collecting accolades for safety, performance and value. The Sonata received its first redesign for the '95 model-year incorporating state-of-the-art technology that moved it upscale in the midsize sedan segment.

In 1999, the third-generation Sonata was launched in tandem with The Hyundai Advantage: America's Best Warranty, representing the company's conviction in its high quality standards.

Sonata's next makeover came in 2002, and went on to collect impressive accolades including "Best-in-Class Mid-Size Car" in the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Survey and "Best Value in Compact Car Ownership Experience" in the Strategic Vision Total Value Awards. The fourth-generation Sonata also earned the 2003 J.D. Power and Associates "Most Appealing Entry Midsize Car" designation in the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, and in 2004 earned the highest ranking in Initial Quality in the Entry Midsize Car category.

The most recent iteration of the Sonata took form in the 2006 model year, adopting a more modern look and feel with a complete overhaul. It grew in size and sophistication, earning EPA designation as a "large car" while retaining midsize exterior dimensions. It included an all-new platform, suspension, engine and transmission, inspiring spirited driving and confidence. Since its launch, the current Sonata has collected more than 20 auto industry honors and awards from sources such as Intellichoice, Consumer Digest and AutoPacific to name a few.

Sonata also became the first mid-size sedan among popular brands to include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), life-saving technology that helps drivers avoid accidents, standard. The Sonata foreshadowed Hyundai's leadership in standardizing ESC. Today, nearly three-quarters of Hyundai's sales volume includes this important safety technology as standard equipment -- a higher penetration rate than any other popular brand.

The '06 Sonata was also the first Hyundai model ever built in the United States. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama came online in 2005 to begin producing the new iteration of Hyundai's midsize sedan. The $1.6 billion, state-of-the-art plant added the redesigned '07 Santa Fe and now produces up to 300,000 vehicles annually, accounting for more than half of Hyundai's sales volume in the U.S.

While the first million Sonata sales took just under 20 years to accomplish, its growing sophistication, refinement and list of accolades will certainly speed the path to 2 million. Look for the next chapter in the storied history of the Sonata to be written at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show when a refreshed design will make its U.S. debut.


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 more than 770 dealerships nationwide.

No comments: