Now you may think that’s a rather strange question to ask about one of the world’s leading car manufacturers … especially one that survived the global financial crisis unscathed.
And then you may think that the question is even stranger when you consider that Hyundai is going gangbusters all over the world. In America Hyundai sold well over 400,000 vehicles in 2009 and even more will be sold this year.
In China Hyundai has two plants capable of turning out a combined total of 600,000 units a year and a third plant will come online in 2012 and that will add another 400,000 units to their capacity and Hyundai is going to need all that capacity. Between now and 2015 Hyundai plans to increase the number of models it sells in China from the current 8 to around 20.
In Australia Hyundai is also doing well with great sales figures that just go on growing month after month and a range that has seen three new models added in the last few months.
But are cracks beginning to show? Has Hyundai grown too big too fast?
What has been described as “production problems” are causing delays in supplying orders for both the ix35 and the i45 here in Australia. Was the demand greater for these two models … not just here in Australia but in other parts of the world too … than Hyundai was expecting or are there genuine problems holding up production?
One person from Victoria who joined the conversation in ‘What Car Do I Buy?’ here on AussieMotoring claims to have been waiting for his ix35 Highlander to be delivered since July yet at least one Hyundai dealer in Queensland was claiming last week that he had every model in stock for immediate delivery.
And then there’s the strange situation with the Hyundai’s new small car … the i20. It seems that Hyundai has managed to introduce the i20 to Australia while the vehicle it replaces … the Getz … remains in production. At the i20/Getz end of the market price is very important and the old Getz is having no difficulties outselling the i20 because it’s cheaper.
Why would you have two models competing in the same category? Surely it would make more sense to allow the Getz to run out before replacing it with the i20.
There’s also Hyundai’s approach to marketing the Grandeur … their top-of-the-range sedan. It’s a great car with looks and features that really impress anyone who drives it but here in Australia Hyundai does little to advertise the car. It’s almost as if they really don’t want to sell too many of them.
Strange marketing decisions are just one more factor that makes you wonder whether Hyundai is just starting to lose the plot.