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Hyundai reaps rewards of quality effort

3 April 2006
Immediate Release

Hyundai reaps rewards of quality effort

Attention to quality and detail is paying dividends for South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai.

With the appointment of its new chairman Chung Mong-Koo in 1998, the car maker declared a major push to lift quality across the vehicle range. Now the efforts are being recognised.

The company’s flagship Sonata sedan earned Hyundai accolades here and abroad last year. In New Zealand it was awarded the prestigious NBR Car of the Year award, and set a record in the prestigious US based JD Power vehicle survey. Continuing on from this success in 2006, it has just been awarded class winner of the medium-large car class at the AA Motoring Excellence Awards.

In the JD Power vehicle survey the Sonata was placed second among entry level mid-sized sedans, while its stable-mate the Tucson SUV was placed third for entry level sport-utility vehicles.

Philip Eustace, managing director of Hyundai New Zealand said the company’s efforts were not going un-noticed by analysts in an international car market where some big players were struggling.

“Industry analysts have already commented that the Sonata being built in Alabama is expected to beat Toyota’s Camry this month in the Initial Quality Study, which is a very definitive index of how far we have progressed as a brand,” said Mr Eustace.

The Initial Quality Study, or IQS, is a survey of new vehicle owner satisfaction 90 days after purchasing or leasing the vehicle. It is based on over 60,000 replies in the United States. It focuses on the number of problems that occurred per 1,000 units, so a smaller number indicates a more reliable vehicle.

Hyundai’s Tucson incurred only 99 points, achieving a status never before reached by car makers including Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz or BMW in their first year.

Overall the company halved its points from 203 in 2000 to 110 in 2005. This compared to the industry average where improvements were only 23 percent, from 154 to 118 points.

“This survey highlights the very real steps Hyundai have made in a very short time, over all models at all levels.

Due to the size of the survey, it is impossible to deny that the company is well on course to being the recognised name for reliability in an extremely tight, competitive global market,” said Mr Eustace.


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