ORLANDO, Fla. -- Hyundai Motor America Inc. will increase its advertising budget by 40 percent in 2006.
But Hyundai executives, speaking after the make meeting, wouldn't give a dollar figure.
"We have additional launches for new product coming up this year," said Keith Duckworth, deputy president of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. He said Hyundai also will use the extra money to strengthen brand image and market share.
Hyundai will launch the Entourage minivan this spring, the redesigned Santa Fe this summer and the redesigned Elantra sedan this fall.
The planned increase comes on top of an ad spending record set in 2005.
According to TNS Media Intelligence Hyundai spent $232 million in the first half of 2005, the most recent period for which data were available. That was a 30.3 percent boost over the first half of 2004. Hyundai spent $373 million on advertising in all of 2004.
Hyundai dealers said that the make meeting was generally positive, but they did complain that the redesigned Accent subcompact is overpriced.
The four-door Accent debuted late last year, and prices start at $12,995, including shipping. A new three-door Accent goes on sale this spring at a base price of $11,455, including shipping. That price is in line with the competition, said Scott Fink, chairman of the Hyundai dealer council and owner of Hyundai of Newport Richey in Newport Richey, Fla.
Hyundai plans to study the Accent price and other dealer profitability concerns and propose solutions at a dealer council meeting in March.
At the make meeting, Hyundai also told dealers it would review the competitiveness of its certified used-vehicle program, including the use of loaners and other back-end programs.
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