Under the concept "modern premium," Hyundai Motor Co. plans to unveil a global branding strategy to nudge its image upmarket and command higher prices more in line with its recent strides in technology and quality. Already used internally, the concept is likely to be announced at the Detroit auto show in January 2011 and rolled out in 2011.
The overhaul will concentrate on more innovative marketing, improved customer service and a better look and feel for the vehicles themselves. Spokeswoman Song Meeyoung says a new slogan will be revealed to replace the current message of "Drive Your Way."
Hyundai, which means "modern" in Korean, was long known as an economy brand that undercut rivals on sticker prices. Now, it wants to promote an image that matches its budding reputation for top-notch quality.
Hyundai's new global marketing chief, Executive Vice President Cho Won Hong, says that the company has been successful in building an image for quality in the last 10 years.
Cho targets an "attainable" premium niche above Japanese competitors that packs technology, style and service into reliable rides. Hyundai ranked seventh among mass-market brands in 2010's U.S.
Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power and Associates, topping brands like Toyota, Infiniti, Audi and Lincoln. The South Korean auto maker's Accent compact and Elantra small car were named among the top three cars in their segments. [via autonews - sub. required]