Lots of news nuggets get tossed about at the big U.S. auto shows, and the word from Hyundai product planning VP this week at the 2011 New York Auto Show is that the Korean automaker will target families for its upcoming products.
Hyundai has already scored big with its redesigned Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan, Elantra compact, and Equus full-size sedan and the automaker just introduced the redesigned 2012 Hyundai Accent subcompact sedan and five-door hatchback in New York.
2012 Hyundai VelosterEnlarge Photo
Concepts and new products such as the Curb compact crossover concept and the Hyundai Veloster sport coupe, both bowing at the 2011 Detroit auto show, are aimed squarely at Generation Y.
2011 Hyundai Genesis sedanEnlarge Photo
2011 Hyundai EquusEnlarge Photo
But consumers in the more upscale segments are also covered with the well-received Genesis and flagship Equus sedans.
Let’s see, the young, the upscale, and now… families?
This is apparently so, according to a report in Automotive News. Mike O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of product planning, told the publication, “When we think about moving forward with our product lineup, our focus is going to be more on families.”
O’Brien added that Hyundai will seek to cover a broad spectrum of family buyers, saying “We feel like we can do better in terms of increasing our share of young families, but affluent families are certainly on the radar as well.”
Hmm, FamilyCarGuide looks at the family-car landscape as pretty all-encompassing, although traditionally dominated by minivans, sport utilities, and, more recently, all sorts of crossovers. What’s Hyundai got right now? There’s the aging Veracruz, the Santa Fe that’s reportedly due for a redesign late this year or next, and Tucson that was just redesigned in 2010.
Will the next Santa Fe mark the beginning of a slew of Hyundai products aimed squarely at families? One thing we know for sure is that high fuel economy will be a given. Hyundai already has four models achieving 40 mpg standard – Sonata Hybrid, Elantra, Veloster and Accent. By the end of 2011, Hyundai says it will lead the industry in 40-mpg vehicles sold, expecting sales of more than 200,000 and a 30 percent increase in the company’s total anticipated sales.
Safety will be another primary consideration. The 2011 Sonata, Genesis, Equus, Santa Fe and Tucson are Top Safety Picks 2011 from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Price has to be affordable or priced-right for affluent families. Lots of features standard and a full complement of available options should also be part of the product plans.
FamilyCarGuide looks forward to whatever Hyundai designers come up with. Judging by the automaker’s recent product launch successes, if Hyundai focuses on a market segment, it may very well succeed.
For more information on the just-introduced 2012 Hyundai Accent, see Bengt Halvorson’s preview in TheCarConnection.