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2011 Toronto: Hyundai on the spot

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Everyone learns at different rates of speed. Some are slower, requiring more trials and errors in order to get a firmer grasp on how to behave, do and progress. Others, sometimes referred to as wizzes or geniuses, need little or no time to understand something.

Photo: Michael Wong

Hyundai then, are masterminds. In roughly a quarter-century, they have managed to catch-up to some manufacturers that have been at it for much longer. Where they were once barely considered as serious contenders, they are now amongst the front runners, along with Ford, Volkswagen and General Motors.

Twenty-five years may seem like a long time but consider that Mercedes is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. This is not intended to be a dig against Mercedes, this is only to illustrate scale. Hyundai Motor Company was founded in 1967 and landed in Canada in 1983 (1986 in the USA). It was love at first sight. From that moment on, the love affair we Canadian had with the South Korean brand grew and blossomed into a beautiful thing. Think of Hyundai as a fine cognac, on roids. They have never been better.

Solidly based on value from the get-go, Hyundai's reputation has steadfastly climbed to new heights in the last five years. No longer are these basic cars for those on a budget but today, consumers are buying Hyundais because it's what they want.

I had a short talk with John Vernile, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Hyundai Canada, moments after their press conference at the CIAS. I was curious to find out what Hyundai's 2011 strategy was going to be.

Basically, incentives are known to make new cars move off dealer lots. General Motors and Chrysler (Ford to a lesser extent) are well versed in this tactic. Even Toyota has jumped on the bandwagon in the last while. “Does Hyundai have any intentions of playing the heavy incentive game to move more units in 2011?”

Photo: Michael Wong