Hyundai hopes to lure more young buyers with the Veloster sporty coupe and Curb concept vehicle revealed today at the Detroit auto show.
The Hyundai brand has gained traction, headlines and a 24 percent sales gain in 2010 with a product lineup studded with more upscale products such as the Genesis sedan and a redesigned Sonata that is more refined than its predecessor.
As another sign of its upscale ambitions, Hyundai revealed a new slogan, “New Thinking. New Possibilities.” The company says the slogan embodies Hyundai's internal goal of offering premium-feeling products at a mainstream price.
Hyundai CEO John Krafcik says targeting the growing segment of younger buyers is still an important goal for Hyundai. “Until 2010, our penetration in Gen Y had been a little bit below average, compared to our brand,” he said, referring to the brand's overall performance. “In 2010, we broke through -- we're the No. 6 brand with Gen Y and we're the No. 6 brand overall, so we've kind of stabilized. We think there's a lot more growth here so we're going to take it further with Veloster.”
Hyundai hopes to sell about 40,000 Velosters annually after the car goes on sale this summer, said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai's executive vice president of sales.
The Veloster is powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection engine mated to a Hyundai-developed dual-clutch transmission -- a first for the Korean brand. Hyundai expects the Veloster to have a 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating.
Hyundai will launch the vehicle with its new Blue Link telematics system. Mike O'Brien, Hyundai's vice president of product planning, says the Veloster is the first Hyundai with a human-machine interface designed specifically to use Blue Link.
The system is operated through a central touchscreen and offers services such as automatic crash alerts, roadside assistance, voice-to-text message capability and other infotainment applications.