LOS ANGELES — As part of Hyundai Motor America's effort to reach consumers at the grass roots, acting CEO John Krafcik plans to host an online community meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Krafcik will take part in the hourlong live chat on the Hyundaithinktank.com Web site. Hyundai created the site last November to solicit consumer responses to the brand's image, products and marketing. The community has 700 members who either own a Hyundai vehicle or say they would consider buying one.
Eileen Mahdi, Hyundai's consumer insights manager, said the company plans monthly meetings with the online community that will offer access to a diverse group of employees. The first meeting, in January, featured Michael Deitz, product planner of the Hyundai Genesis sedan.
"We want to have a close connection with our customers so we can incorporate their feedback in all aspects of the business," Mahdi told Automotive News.
Hyundai also conducts weekly surveys on the Web site. Last December, community members responded enthusiastically to Hyundai's description of the Assurance program. The program allows buyers of new Hyundai cars and trucks to return the vehicles within a year if they lose their jobs. Hyundai launched the Assurance program last month.
"We got good feedback on that," Mahdi said. "One of Hyundai's strengths is that we can move rather quickly."