18th August, 2011
They say that no one builds bad cars anymore in this business, at least when it comes to the established automakers, and for the most part thatâ€™s basically true.
But that doesnâ€™t mean that there arenâ€™t bad product strategies especially when egos are involved. Weâ€™re hearing of late that Hyundai is never going to make a mistake that will derail its momentum. Uh, thatâ€™s a roster of stuff worth contemplating.
First Hyundai, like Iâ€™ve said before and Iâ€™ll say it again. No car company stays as hot as Hyundai has been indefinitely. Many car companies before Hyundai have had it all figured out â€“ or so they thought â€“ only to run straight into a whirlpool of shit of their own making, followed by a reward in the market place that resonated for years afterward. Toyota is just the most recent example of that. Yes, of course Toyota will be back, but weâ€™ll see to what extent.
But when I read where Hyundaiâ€™s U.S. sales boss, Dave Zuchowski, told Automotive News that the Korean automaker wonâ€™t risk quality lapses by increasing capacity too quickly in order to increase its sales 10 percent every year over the next three years, I figured the Hyundai train could be derailed at any moment. â€œWeâ€™ve made a conscious decision as a company not to compromise on quality in order to build more,â€ he told Automotive News. â€œNot everybody has made that decision, and itâ€™s not always worked out very well for them.â€
Really? And how is Hyundai going to be different from the â€œothersâ€ in this business who have failed before? I can answer that one, too, because Hyundai is no different. Theyâ€™re on an incredible roll and they have two exceptional products in the market in the Sonata and the Elantra, but theyâ€™re not immune to what has befallen more accomplished automakers in the past, by any means. And Zuchowskiâ€™s statement has confirmed our sighting of a burgeoning arrogance that is bound to rear its head more and more as the months go by.
But Hyundaiâ€™s creeping public arrogance has a more threatening hint to it, as in; theyâ€™re actually starting to believe that they cannot fail and that they wonâ€™t make mistakes. Well, Iâ€™ve got news for them: They will, on both counts.