Omnichannel Approach Key to Improving Sales: HyundaiBy Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 09/06/2021 - 06:00
Q: Hyundai ranked second in JD Power’s sales satisfaction index and continues to grow its presence in the Mexican market. What are the keys to this success?
A: We are really happy that people have recognized the effort the brand has made to strengthen our digital and physical processes since the pandemic began. We ranked second in the JD Power index thanks to our connected and integrated journey. We strengthened our processes to keep people safe and implemented a pick-up and delivery service for maintenance services in our service area.
Hyundai has a strong focus on digitalization and has increased its presence through a very powerful tool: the virtual showroom, in which a host speaks simultaneously to a variety of potential clients, showing them vehicle interiors and exteriors. We also offer a one-to-one service, which is a more customized experience centered on the particular vehicle a customer is interested in. In Latin culture, personal contact is key, so this combination has been very well received.
We recently integrated dealer-led systems to strengthen our virtual journey. Once a customer in the one-to-one falls in love with the brand, we transfer them to the closest dealership where another salesperson will help them finish the transaction.
Q: What is the critical element of the customer journey?
A: There is a great opportunity to capitalize on the connectivity between different channels as it is challenging to have processes siloed. Hyundai has a great advantage in being a relatively young brand in the Mexican market at under 10 years. This allows us to implement systems that better meet the needs of the sales process.
Q: How has Hyundai supported its dealerships amid a period of low sales and poor inventory availability caused by chip shortages?
A: Hyundai Motor de México is here to stay. This means that despite the pandemic, our product launches did not stop. Many in the industry believed that the pandemic’s impact would be greater than it was. While sales dropped by 65 percent at the peak of the pandemic, they were down just 29 percent in total in 2020. This figure demonstrates the strength of the Mexican market despite the circumstances.
Once we assessed the impact of the pandemic, we continued our launches. In 2020, we launched Grand i10 in August and in November, Creta; so far this year, in March Tucson and in June the all new Elantra; in the past August we launched a new Santa Fe. Within less than 12 months, we have launched five new products in this country’s main segments.
Our results are also thanks to the support of our 68 dealerships nationwide. It was essential that our investors’ profitability remained intact, which implies sales quality. This does not necessarily mean discounts but placing the product strategically so the customer can see the relationship between the value and the price of the product. This strategy has allowed us to improve our dealerships’ profitability, in some cases. The most competitive areas remain Guadalajara, Monterrey, Mexico City, Leon, Merida and Puebla. The southeast of Mexico has demonstrated a greater recovery, with Merida showing great growth during 1H21 compared to the same period in 2020.
Q: What is Hyundai’s path toward electrification?
A: Hyundai’s projects aim to benefit our customers. To do so, clean and greener technologies are essential. In February 2021, we launched IONIQ 5 in North America, a 100 percent electric vehicle. This vehicle is part of the IONIQ sub-brand that includes 100 percent electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Hyundai plans to invest US$7.4 billion to build a plant in North America to manufacture electric vehicles in the region, showing that despite being a South Korean brand, Hyundai is prioritizing this region.
In México, IONIQ is a fully hybrid Hyundai model, since its launch in the country during 2017, we have managed to commercialize 3,000 units. The model has been very well received in the country and has shown that the trend of acquiring this type of vehicle has been growing. Our next priority in Mexico is to expand our hybrid product portfolio. Eventually, EVs will enter the market but, for now, we are prioritizing hybrids.
Q: What is your perspective on the Mexican market and its path to recovery?
A: Nothing lasts forever and the pandemic is no exception. The Mexican market has shown that despite crises, there is always a silver lining. In 1H21, the sector recovered by 18 percent and we recovered by 32 percent. Adversity has become an opportunity and thanks to our product portfolio, process improvement, process digitalization and team efforts of Hyundai Motor Mexico and related Dealer Network workforce, we have made the best of our brand vision: Progress for Humanity.
Hyundai Motor is a South Korean OEM founded in 1967. The company started selling its vehicles in Mexico in 2014 and is now the 10th-largest brand in the market with a 3.5 percent market share in 2020.