Hyundai apologizes for ix35 ad depicting a failed suicide attempt

Article by Anita Panait, on April 26, 2013

Hyundai Motor Co. issued an apology for a commercial spot created by Innocean Europe showing a failed suicide attempt with a Hyundai ix35 crossover. Innocean, owned by Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo and his daughter, created a commercial spot for use in the United Kingdom that depicts a man trying to commit suicide in his Hyundai ix35, the European version of the Hyundai Tucson sold in the United States.

The man failed since the crossover did not produce any harmful emissions. According to Hyundai, it did not request or approve the ad, and has removed the video from YouTube after it received heavy criticism on social media.

In one of the statements it released, Hyundai said it “deeply and sincerely apologizes for the offensive viral ad.” The South Korean carmaker said the ad runs counter to their values as a company and as members of the community. It said that it was very sorry for any offense or distress caused by the video. Hyundai offered apologies to those who have been “personally impacted by tragedy.”

The ad is developed for the fuel-cell version of the Hyundai ix35, which the carmaker unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March. Hyundai also plans to sell the crossover in the US. In March 2013, Ford Motor Co. issued an apology for a series of unauthorized ads showing women in revealing outfits bound and gagged in the back of a Ford Figo. The ads, created by WPP Group's JWT India as an entry to a local awards show, were not intended to be part of a Ford campaign, the US carmaker said at the time. The agency also fired employees involved in creating the images.

Hyundai ix35 features enhancements to its chassis and suspension set-up, including dual amplitude selective dampers as well as side-load coil springs. All these enhancements are meant to improve handling and ride comfort. Moreover, the new Hyundai ix35 is fitted with Hyundai's FLEX STEER system, which is available for the first time on the C-SUV model. The car has three driving modes – normal, sport, and comfort – allowing you to vary the steering support and feedback level to suit your driving condition.

ix35 range starts with the S 1.6-L GDi two-wheel drive manual, which costs £16,995 OTR and provides a low-entry point than the earlier lineup. Its standard equipment is composed of 16” alloy wheels, USB and AUX connections, remote central locking plus alarm, air conditioning, Trip Computer, glove compartment equipped with cooling function, Downhill Brake Control, and Hillstart Assist Control.

Then there’s the SE-trim 1.6-L GDi 2WD manual, which is priced at £18,495 OTR. Its standard equipment includes 17” alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity plus voice recognition, front foglights, LED taillights, heated seats, auto dimming rearview mirror, rear parking sensors, and leather steering wheel plus gearknob.

An additional £1,000 on every corresponding SE model will allow you to choose the SE Nav, which has a Satellite Navigation with TMC, an upgraded 7-speaker sound system, rearview parking camera, and 'sharkfin' antenna.

Hyundai has been experiencing success when it comes to the compact SUV class in the U.K. market. With the new ix35, the brand hopes to build this achievement as it will include a host of new equipment fitted as standard. There will also be new specification choices, offered as an option, many of which will be in the ix35 for the first time. The brand made sure to realign many of the trims and there are now five levels offered, all having clearly defined specifications.

There is the S, which is an entry-level trim plus the SE and the SE Nav mid-range trim. The last two are range-topping trims dubbed as the Premium and the Premium Panorama. Hyundai said that the new ix35 would continue to have the GDi 1.6-liter petrol engine, a 1.7-liter version, and the CRDi 2.0-liter engine. For this latest generation, the brand revealed it is offering the Intelligent Stop & Go, or ISG, as an option, though this is only for the 1.7-liter engine.

Further the 2.0-liter diesel engine, which is capable of 136 PS, comes with the low pressure exhaust gas recirculation system (LP-EGR), resulting in a performance that is truly cleaner. Customers though should expect additional changes to the line-up of the engines like the automatic six-speed transmission paired to the four-wheel drive 2.0-liter version, which can offer (136 PS). Hyundai said this will serve as the replacement of the 181 PS unit of the present generation. This new version will also offer enhanced fuel consumption, at 41.5 mpg compared to the combined 39.3 of the previous model.

CO2 emissions are better as well measuring 179 g/km compared to the previous model with its emission at 189 g/km. President and CEO of Hyundai Motor UK Tony Whitehorn commented that ever since it was first launched in the UK market back in the late 2010, around 30,000 units of the ix35 have been sold. This means that the ix35, he added, is one of the fastest-selling vehicles of the brand.

The newest ix35 is expected to follow in this pattern as it offers retail customers, as well as corporate buyers, a vehicle that is safe, practical, and stylish. This is a vehicle, Whitehorn said further, that is at home whether on the city or even the highways. Through the different new improvements, he continued, the ix35 will be able to offer value-for-money that is on a different level, important for a model that is part of a rather popular class.

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