DETROIT — The agile Hyundai Veloster resides in a category of small, sporty vehicles that accounts for a tiny sliver of U.S. sales. The first generation was never a huge volume player. So why would Hyundai jump back into the niche segment with its quirky three-door hot hatch?
Turns out, the model has proved to be a speedy little superhero for the brand. And Hyundai is looking for more such heroics from the 2019 model, which is in showrooms now.
The first Veloster was a loyalty magnet responsible for drawing a younger crowd that was new to the brand. Hyundai cited a Maritz study, conducted from October 2016 to September 2017, that found that 45 percent of Veloster buyers stuck with the brand for their next vehicles — a loyalty number surpassed only by the Chevrolet Camaro and Volkswagen Beetle.
Early buyers of the peppy compact had a median age of 49, according to Maritz, a noticeable dip from the brand's 55-year-old median.
Hyundai also pointed to 2012 data on early Veloster adopters, which showed that half of those buyers never had considered a Hyundai before. Hyundai said that 70 percent of consumers in a 2012 Veloster early-buyer study bought it as a replacement for non-Hyundai models from the likes of Honda, Mazda and Nissan.