Pedro Albarrán
Managing Director
Hyundai Motor de México
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View from the Top

Warranty, Curiosity Spark Sales

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 12:08

Q: How has Hyundai adapted its services and product portfolio to achieve 60 percent growth over 2015?

A: Our products have a very attractive design and are well balanced in terms of safety features and a bumperto-bumper warranty for five years. Our warranty implies an ongoing commitment from Hyundai and is a perfect opportunity to maintain a close relationship with clients after they leave the dealership. We just launched a twoyear tire insurance program that has been effective in Mexico. If a client needs to change two damaged tires per year within the first two years, we will replace them completely free of charge. There have been some minor obstacles to overcome but our warranties and aftersales service have ensured 90 percent of our customers return to Hyundai installations for maintenance and repairs.

We want to offer a truly balanced portfolio for both cars and SUVs, and we are analyzing the possibility of introducing eco-friendly vehicles to the Mexican market. The Hyundai Ioniq has just been released globally but we also have a hybrid version of the Sonata, among several other models that will be vital to our future strategy.

Q: How did Hyundai adjust its image to target specific customers?

A: We researched the needs and priorities of Mexican customers extensively and adapted our portfolio. We identified which safety features were most sought after, the colors they preferred, interiors for many different tastes and the infotainment systems that are most in demand. We began with a lineup of four vehicles focusing on the most popular segments in the Mexican market and just launched the new Hyundai Santa Fe, our fifth model here. We have already sold 50,000 units and all our models have waiting lists of interested buyers, demonstrating the growth opportunities that still exist in the country.

Our Mexican dealerships now portray Hyundai’s global public image. We communicate the brand’s current aspirations, now that Hyundai is no longer a low-entry brand. We have vehicles in all major segments in the country and we needed to convey this more appropriately to our customers. Although we only have five products here, our plan is to double that number by 2018, ensuring that our customers can have the vehicles they want.

Q: What role has your distribution network played in the development of the Hyundai brand?

A: Our dealerships receive about 1,000 visits per month, resulting in an average 30-50 visits daily. This shows the market is active but also exemplifies the attractiveness of our brand. From the moment we set foot in Mexico in 2015, our dealerships have been extremely busy even though we did not launch a new product until May 2016. Nonetheless, new models for the Tucson and Elantra were a substantial contribution to our business.

Many of the customers visiting our dealerships are new to the brand, attracted mostly by curiosity. We have trained our sales force to understand our vehicles intricately to identify the needs of our customers and offer them the most suitable option for their lifestyle. Our clients also are beginning to demand products that have not yet been launched in Mexico. While the inclusion of more models is in our plans, it will take about two years to expand our portfolio completely. Out of 30-50 daily visits to our dealerships, almost 50 percent end in a purchase. This is possible thanks to our teams as well as a strong financing branch powered by Bancomer. We can resolve 65 percent of our loan requests within one hour.

Q: How is Hyundai managing competition with KIA as both brands are part of the Hyundai Motor Group?

A: Although both brands are part of the Hyundai Group, we have wholly different strategies. The Hyundai Motor Group first invested in Mexico in 1989, establishing a plant in Tijuana. Today, the group is introducing a second investment with KIA’s new plant in Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon. This project may be entirely focused on KIA but depending on its success, Hyundai will evaluate the possibility of introducing vehicle assembly to Mexico. Overall, the Hyundai Motor Group wants to reach 10 percent market share in Mexico, which is a realistic goal considering the growth that both Hyundai and KIA have seen in the last year.