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Hyundai Powers Up With New Elantra GT N Line

Targeting the tuner crowd with sporty looks and performance and “compelling price points.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.14, 2019

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line gives the South Korean brand another entry into the hot hatch segment.

Hyundai continues evolving away from its roots as a basic econobox brand, and the Elantra GT N Line coming to the North American International Auto Show suggests the Korean carmaker will be delivering a lot more sporty products going forward.

The GT becomes the first American offering to carry Hyundai’s new N Line badge – but it clearly won’t be the last. Globally, we’ve already seen several more models added to the performance sub-brand, Veloster N, i30 N and i30 Fastback N, with more expected to follow.

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“Hyundai N models satisfy the needs of performance-oriented enthusiasts with exclusive, custom-tuned powertrain and chassis applications,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Planning & Strategy Division.” “N Line is designed for those buyers craving N’s sporty styling cues coupled with performance-tuned suspension upgrades, all at compelling price points.” (more…)

Hyundai Builds the “Ultimate Mobility Vehicle”

Hyundai Elevate promises to go “where no vehicle has been before.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.02, 2019

Hyundai believes it has developed the ultimate mobility vehicle with its Elevate concept.

There are plenty of vehicles on the market that claim to be able to “go anywhere,” products like the Land Rover Velar, Jeep Wrangler and Mercedes-Benz G-Class. But there are, in fact, limits to their mobility, something that Hyundai contends it can overcome with a new concept vehicle set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Dubbed the Hyundai Elevate, the prototype mounts its tires at the end of four spindly legs which, the Korean carmaker contends, will “redefine our perception of vehicular mobility.”

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While the automaker is saving most of the details until its CES news conference in Las Vegas next week, a terse news release adds that Elevate “combines the power of robotics and EV technology to take people where no vehicle has been before.” (more…)

Hyundai Lifts Page from Smartphone Tech With Fingerprint Key

The car key may soon become a thing of the past.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.17, 2018

A driver starts up the new Hyundai Santa Fe simply by using her fingerprint.

If you own a relatively recent smartphone odds are you no longer have to bother remembering a passcode, instead relying on fingerprint or facial recognition. Now, it seems, automakers are starting to move in the same direction.

Hyundai has pulled the wraps off the new Chinese version of the 2019 Santa Fe and, buyers in that market will be offered the ability to equip the SUV with a fingerprint recognition system that can lock or unlock the vehicle while also starting the vehicle. Depending on which of multiple users the vehicle recognizes, it will even set up automatically such things as seat position and sideview mirrors.

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But Hyundai isn’t alone. A number of other automakers are looking at other ways to replace the traditional vehicle key or wireless keyfob with things like wearable bracelets and smartphone apps that an owner can share with friends and family.

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Hyundai, Kia Owners File Suit About Engine Fires

Safety regulators investigating problems with vehicles.

by Michael Strong on Dec.17, 2018

The 2014 Sonata is part of an NHTSA investigation about engine fires.

U.S. owners of select Hyundai and Kia models filed suit against the automakers in the U.S. trying to resolve a possible defected that may cause some engines to catch fire. The affected vehicles are already part of an ongoing investigation by U.S. regulators.

The more than 350 complaints filed by vehicle owners with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration constitutes “concealment of the defect,” according to the class action suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District Court of California by law firm Hagens Berman.

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The fires have been occurring for some time, but have been difficult to separate from fires that occurred as a result of a crash and those that happened before or after a crash. In Florida, more than 400 fires were reported, but just 120 of those fit the description for the lawsuit. (more…)

Hyundai Workers Plan Strike to Protest New Venture

Automaker teams with city for non-union auto plant.

by Michael Strong on Dec.05, 2018

Hyundai workers in South Korea are planning to strike in protest of a new joint venture planned between the automaker and Gwangju to build a non-union plant.

Union workers in Hyundai Motor’s plants in South Korea plant to walk off the assembly line in protest about a potential joint venture between the automaker and the city of Gwangju to build small vehicles using non-union labor.

The plan, which is still in negotiations, calls for the two sides to jointly own a plant employing 1,000 workers to produce mini-SUVs. The employees would earn a little more than $31,000 annually, which is less than half of what unionized workers earn at existing auto plants.

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South Korean workers often strike to during wage negotiations, walked this time for four hours to protest the salaries and use of non-union workers. (more…)

Hyundai Goes Big With New Palisade SUV

3-Row, 8-seater is next in a wave of utes coming from Korea.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.29, 2018

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade give the company an eight-passenger SUV to compete with the big boys.

Hyundai is racing to make up for lost time. The Korean carmaker has been slow to embrace the rapid transformation of the American market, motorists by the millions switching from cars to light truck. But it is launching its third new SUV of the year at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade, which goes on sale next summer, is the biggest SUV the carmaker has ever offered – with three-row seating for up to eight adults. It’s also the most lavishly equipped, with an outsized array of creature comforts and safety features that could surprise anyone who still thinks of Hyundai as an economy brand.

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With even more to come, “There’s no question about it. We’re in the SUV game big time,” said Brian Smith, Hyundai’s U.S. chief operating officer, during the debut of the Palisade at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (more…)

Hyundai Set to Debut New Large Ute – Palisade – at LA Auto Show

New seven-passenger ute coming to U.S. next year.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.08, 2018

Can you guess the name of Hyundai's newest member of its SUV line-up? Yup. Palisade.

Hyundai continues to expand its SUV portfolio, looking to turn around sluggish sales after missing the utility craze by a few years. The new three-row sport utility vehicle is named Palisade and hits dealer showrooms next year.

Mike O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, said the new name carries with it connotations of luxury strength and safety.

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“The Palisade is place and a fortress,” he said, recounting that a Palisade can mean either a place with towering cliffs topped either by a castle or expensive homes. A palisade also means a fortification, he said. (more…)

Hyundai, Kia to Add Solar Panels on Future Electric Models

Technology expected to extend range, reduce emissions.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.01, 2018

Hyundai says all of its hybrids, starting next year, will have solar panel roofs to help corral more power.

Future vehicles built by the Hyundai Motor Group using electrified drivetrains will start coming with solar roof or hood panels capable of helping charge their batteries, the company says.

The parent of both the Hyundai and Kia brands expects the technology will help boost the range of those vehicles while also reducing emissions by cutting a motorist’s need to charge up using the traditional electrical grid.

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“In the future, various types of electricity-generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles,” said Jeong-Gil Park, executive vice president of engineering design at Hyundai Motor Group. “This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy. The paradigm of the vehicle owner will shift from that of a consumer to an energy prosumer.” (more…)

Hyundai Management Shake-Up Coincides with Product Strategy Shift

"Our strategy is to launch more SUVs."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.29, 2018

A lack of product diversity, which is being remedied, has hurt Hyundai sales. Hyundai's Kyung Soo Lee is heading back to South Korea for it.

Hyundai has an unexpected vacancy at the top. Kyung Soo Lee, the CEO of the carmaker’s U.S. operations is on his way back to South Korea and, for the moment, it is not clear when a replacement will be named, according to a company spokesman.

The shake-up, which Hyundai described as “part of a regular, group-wide personnel change,” comes at a critical time for the Korean carmaker. After years of rapid growth in the American market, Hyundai’s momentum began to slow, mid-decade, a problem largely blamed on a lack of a competitive truck line-up. With the arrival of the little Kona, Hyundai is hoping to kick-start sales, with even more products in the pipeline, according to senior officials.

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Hyundai reportedly has a fully electric SUV in development and, as TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, it is moving closer to launching a production version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz pickup, though it appears that move could be pushed back by a year from the early target of 2020. (more…)

Hyundai Shows Off Electric Version of Kona Crossover

New electric crossover gets 258 miles on a charge.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.10, 2018

The new 2019 Hyundai Kona electric has a range of 258 miles.

Hyundai has unveiled a battery-electric version of the Kona crossover, the company’s first compact electric crossover for the U.S. market, which it hopes appeals to consumers with active, eco-focused lifestyles of all kinds.

“Our new Kona Electric crossover is a stylish and efficient compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America.

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“We’re confident it will set new standards for the electric-propelled compact CUV segment, with outstanding range flexibility, appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features,” O’Brien added. (more…)