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Hyundai Media Backgrounder #4

10 December 2004

Media Backgrounder #4

Some more background information for your interest, beginning with glowing Tucson reviews from Canada, moving onto sales and profit success stories from Europe and the US, and ending with ambitious parts making plans in China.

Hyundai Tucson takes Canadian COTY award

The widely-acclaimed new Hyundai Tucson SUV has received the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year Award for "Best New Crossover".

Hyundai, on a roll in New Zealand and internationally, has had particular success in North America.

This year Hyundai has won plaudits from JD Power for initial quality, Strategic Vision for overall value and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) for safety.

Tucson, in both 2-litre GLS and 2.7 V6 versions, has been the SUV hit of the year for Hyundai in New Zealand.

“We still can’t get enough Tucsons to meet demand,” commented the General Manager of Hyundai Automotive NZ, Philip Eustace.

“But we anticipate we will have good stocks in the second quarter of the new year.”

Auto123.com, Canada

For those of you out there who are becoming curious about the new Tucson, or for those considering CRV, Escape or Rav purchases, do not sign the contract until you test drive the Tucson.

Being an ex-98'Camry owner, I was a picky shopper. I never researched a vehicle as heavily as the Tucson and I did buy one last Saturday: I am extremely pleased with the whole car.

Not only does it offer more standard (useful) features than any of it's competition, but it drives better, looks better and feels much more expensive than the others.

The V6 is very smooth and acceleration is very linear, traction control, stability control, 4 wheel discs, 4 channel ABS, 16" alloy wheels, twin exhausts, heated mirrors, heated wipers, Shiftronic auto/manual tranny, power everything, MP3 player...the list goes on and on.

I've tried them all, being particularly disappointed with the Nissan X-trail. Honda & Toyota, if we compared feature for feature would have cost almost 10 grand more! And even many of those features were not even available on those guys. Forget Ford's Escape unless you want cheap fit and finish and typical lousy dealer service.

The 2005 Hyundai Tucson V6 is by far, the best of the small 'utes.

Way to go Hyundai!

Hyundai steps closer to the big time

Hyundai has been handed another boost on its path to becoming one of the world’s major car makers.

The South Korean giant has just been upgraded to an Investment rating by financial ratings agency Moody's Investors Service, for the first time in the company’s 37-year history.

Hyundai’s constant introduction of world-class new models, along with enhanced marketing efforts which help strengthen brand recognition, should contribute to growing sales and raising Hyundai’s global market position over the intermediate term, says Moody's.

“This is another important step in Hyundai’s global position, which will translate here in New Zealand to further strengthening of our reputation for quality, safety and value for money,” commented the General Manager of Hyundai Automotive New Zealand Philip Eustace.

Moody’s notes that Hyundai’s revenue growth has been strengthened by successful model renewal and export sales.

Focusing on increased market share globally and meeting growing demand, Hyundai has been actively investing overseas including the building of new plants in Alabama USA in 2005 and Slovakia in 2006, as well as incorporating the Kia brand into the group.

Moody's anticipates a high level of capital expenditure from the various companies for the next three years, but believes the business strategy will maintain investments within cashflow. It expects Hyundai will continue reducing debt and its financial position will thus improve over the intermediate term.

“This is great news for everyone especially our shareholders and is a big vote of confidence in our management team,” said Kim Dong-Jin, vice chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Co. “It proves our strategies are on the right track.”

Europa Press / China Press / myiris.com

COMUNICADO: Hyundai Boosted Sales Growth in Europe - Over 300,000 Units Sold Until November

- Cumulative sales of 309,250 until November are just another historic milestone achievement for Hyundai in Europe this year.

- Brand profile of Hyundai sharpens as product & service quality become more widely known.

In November Hyundai continued to outpace the automobile industry in Europe. Hyundai Motor Europe's sales volumes increased sharply from last year, reaching historical new record levels of 309,250 units in the year-to-date.

In Europe, where demand for passenger cars increased only little, Hyundai's registrations grew by 34 percent until the end of November, for a market share of 2.2 percent, compared with 1.7 percent in November last year. In November, Hyundai sold 27,540 units in Europe: 16,293 passenger cars, 10,327 recreational vehicles (SUV and MPV), and 920 LCV.

In a statement, President Kwang Heum Um of Hyundai Motor Europe GmbH attributed the sales growth in part to the growing recognition of Hyundai's product quality. He regards the strengthened dealer and distribution system in Europe as another major contributing factor, since this added customer confidence in Hyundai's sales- and after sales services -critical factors for the company's sustained success.

"The critical drivers for our growth are the combination of our market competence and our market fitness", said Um. "We are tailoring products to regional markets with a technology concept, that allows us to develop outstanding qualitative cars. We not only exactly meet the needs of a wide group of buyers, but complement these with services that are the decisive extra for consumers to become Hyundai customers."

Hyundai Motor Co. of South Korea is squeezing many Chinese competitors. Having positioned itself in China as a premium brand with its Sonata, Hyundai last December introduced an economical compact called the Elantra. Hyundai's sales in China jumped 162 percent in the year's first 10 months, thanks largely to the Elantra.

In the past few months, China's sedan sales have stalled, auto production has shrunk and fat profit margins have evaporated.

Some of China's best-known car companies have been caught off guard amid major expansions to reach buyers who are more price sensitive. Many assemblers are now reporting poor earnings and their share prices have plummeted.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd., expects monthly sales of its premium mid-size sedan, Elantra to grow to 500 units from 400 units per month, helped by a price cut. In the eight months ending today, Hyundai Motor Co. has sold about 4,160 Elantra cars against its target of 6,000 cars for this financial year that will end March.

Europa Press

Soaring demand for Hyundai vehicles in USA and Europe has driven profits up 10.3 percent so far this year, compared with last year.

The South Korean-based up-and-comer has reported overall revenues up 12.5 percent on sales of 1.2 million vehicles, as strong international orders offset a sluggish Korean market.

Exports for the first three quarters were up 15 percent to 794,000 led by strong gains in Europe, up 25.9 percent to 241,000, and the rest of the world which is up 61.6 percent to 214,000 sales.

Hyundai parts boom in China

Hyundai is pushing a major expansion of its parts making in China.

Hyundai Mobis, a subsidiary of the car manufacturer, is already Korea’s largest parts maker; now it plans three new factories in China to help double its output in the world’s third-largest market.

Soeul-based Hyundai Mobis currently has manufacturing plants in Beijing, where output will be doubled next year. A further three plants will come onstream in the next four years elsewhere in Beijing and also in Shanghai and Jiangsu Province.

Currently 90 percent of the company’s output goes to the Hyundai group, the South Korean giant which is currently the world’s seventh largest automaker targeting the top five by the end of this decade.

A mass-market leader in safety initiatives focused on quality and value, Hyundai recently became only the second brand in history to reach 10 million exports (after Toyota) and the brand continues to garner a series of international reliability and favourite-choice awards.

Hyundai recently launched its widely-admired new Tucson SUV and has several other hot new models in the pipeline.

ENDS

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