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CHRIS HOSFORD, Executive director of corporate communications, Hyundai Motor America

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Hosford, 64, has used a media strategy that blends promoting strengths while taking calculated risks that are deftly crafted. For example, Hyundai broke industry tradition last year when it began voluntarily reporting monthly fleet sales. The company also reports its sales-weighted corporate average fuel economy scores every month. Hosford also lets his team have a little fun with Hyundai's competitors. The brand's "Save the Asterisk" talking point ribbed General Motors and Ford Motor Co. for selling only 40 mpg compact cars with low-volume, high fuel economy trim packages that require asterisks in advertising. Hyundai's Elantra is rated at 40 mpg on the highway, regardless of equipment -- hence no asterisks.

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