Hyundai grew its 2017 sales significantly in the highly competitive crossover segment, an outcome that at least partly results from the sophisticated pricing strategy developed by Ed Rhodes.
It’s up to Rhodes, Hyundai Motor America’s senior group manager of pricing and market analytics, to achieve the right mix between incentives and pricing.
“The biggest challenge of my pricing role is balancing market and dealer acceptance of our price points with financial and sales targets,” he says.
Rhodes joined Hyundai in 2013 from Deloitte in Los Angeles and was handed a role he says was “right in the middle of the intersection of technology and automotive.”
“I had supported Hyundai’s launch of Blue Link as a consultant,” he says, “but I was hired to co-lead the successful launch of our second-generation Blue Link telematics system.
“The new platform allowed us to develop a brand-new business within the company where we internalized most of the function,” Rhodes says. “I was responsible for overseeing a large team of employees, vendors and technical partners.
The assignment was critical because Blue Link launched on two important Hyundai vehicles — the Genesis and Sonata.
“These technology products are becoming table stakes for competing,” he says.
Since getting his current assignment in 2015, Rhodes has had to reimagine how Hyundai approaches the connection between pricing and incentives. He says he evaluated each layer of the purchase funnel, bringing a more systematic approach to industry analysis.
A major challenge: “Rationalizing the differences in transaction, shopping and market research data versus stakeholder feedback to really understand what is driving market behavior.”
-- Vince Bond Jr.