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Sonata Trounces Camry In “Brown-Bag” Test

Sonata Trounces Camry In US Auto Club “Brown-Bag” Test

In a blind consumer test carried out by the United States Auto Club (USAC) two thirds of motorists preferred the Hyundai Sonata to the Toyota Camry.

Popular in the US, the “Brown-Bag” test puts consumers into two models that are disguised by being completely wrapped – apart from the windows – in brown paper making it impossible to differentiate between the vehicle brands.

In a five-part test drive, motorists rate the vehicles and of the 528 people involved 354 chose the Hyundai Sonata as their favourite over the Toyota Camry – one of the biggest selling saloon cars in the United States market.

Reality overcoming image The USAC has just recently authorised the “Brown-Bag” exercise as part of its regular consumer testing programme and Hyundai Motor’s Executive Vice President of International Business, Mr Byung-Ho Sung said the result showed that the reality of Hyundai’s improving quality and design was overcoming differences of image.

He said: “This result is clear evidence that Hyundai now has the design and quality to compete with some of the best auto-makers in the world and that our products are being preferred when the consumer’s judgement is not clouded by perceived image differences. This result will provide added impetus to our growing sales in the United States where the Toyota Camry is one of the top sellers.”

SANTA FE WIN’S TOTAL QUALITY AWARD Hyundai’s Santa Fe received Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Award in the Small SUV Segment for the Total Quality Index (TQI). The TQI is a measurement used by the United States of America to determine satisfaction as consumers define it: the whole experience of buying, owning and driving a new vehicle.



Santa Fe scored 857 out of 1000, placing it in first place in the Small SUV Segment. The areas that Santa Fe owners rated highly were in the craftsmanship, quietness, ease of use, thoughtfulness and style of the vehicle. This is Hyundai’s first attempt at a sport utility vehicle and it delivers a stronger emotional response in security, freedom, esteem and harmony than others in its class.

Strategic Visions’ TQI offers the most complete measure of the ownership experience, including the emotional response to the vehicle. Owners who participated in the study purchased their new vehicles in October, November and December of 2000. They were surveyed after they had had at least 90 days to experience their vehicle. The winning vehicles generally satisfied their owners with a strong base of security, including comfort, confidence, trust and safety, then added esteem, with some more focused on fun and feeling that they had made a smart choice.

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