16th September, 2010
In looking for the next great car companies and assessing what it will take for thoseÂ automakers to succeed going forward, P.M.Motoring is suggesting that in Hyundai/KIAâ€™s case,Â â€œâ€¦as long as they donâ€™t get caught up in their own press clippings, which theyâ€™re alreadyÂ displaying signs of doingâ€¦â€ they might have a real shot.
Thereâ€™s no question that Hyundai – which is the lead dog in the Hyundai/KIA group â€“ isÂ displaying definitive signs of becoming The Next Automotive Juggernaut. Hyundai has finallyÂ shaken off the dejection brought on by its previous love with the everyday school ofÂ automotive design. Just recently, in fact, Hyundai grabbed a designer away from GM by theÂ name of Phil Zak â€“ the man who designed the highly-regarded Chevy Equinox â€“ to run itsÂ California-based studio in hopes that he can continue the product momentum and newly foundÂ design perspective that Hyundai calls â€œFluidic Design,â€ which is aimed at elevating andÂ giving true substance to the Hyundai brand around the world.
But as you might expect, itâ€™s not that easy. Success in this business is never a finger-snapÂ away; rather, itâ€™s a day-in, day-out slog thatâ€™s filled with setbacks and small gains â€“Â sometime in the same week, if not the same day â€“ and it requires a relentless will and aÂ focused consistency to make progress, let alone excel.
Hyundai has to put a stake in the ground and let the world know what it stands for. Are theyÂ going to out-BMW? Is that how far theyâ€™re going to take their new-found love with vehicleÂ dynamics? Are they going to try to out-Audi with a seductive combination of engineering andÂ breathtaking design? Will they go the safety with luxury route? How about the environmentalÂ leader persona? Or will they just throw up their hands and just continue to hammer homeÂ their warranty and push the whole durability/reliability/quality premise for a lack of aÂ better idea?
Make no mistake, Hyundai is at a crossroads. Itâ€™s not enough that they have the capabilityÂ to do almost anything they want to do, now it becomes a question of who they are, what theyÂ want to be, and what theyâ€™re going to stand for from this point on. Basically, the future ofÂ the whole damn company is at stake. Hyundai is either on the verge of greatness, or itâ€™s onÂ the verge of going somewhere down the road to Not Good.