If you appreciate automotive marketing that blends mild humor while showcasing product performance, you'll enjoy this video from Hyundai.
The main point of their message? A rear-wheel drive Genesis can "drift" like no other car! Another clip featuring the same driver, Rhys Millen, shows him conquering Pike's Peak with the Red Bull Hyundai Genesis RM580 in order to demonstrate this similar feat on a treacherous stretch of mountain road.
So is the Hyundai brand "drifting" in a slow and steady sense? No. Calculated? Yes. When I reviewed sales trends based on Polk's U.S. new retail registrations, Hyundai already exceeded their 2010 retail volume in the first 10 months of 2011 by nearly 40,000 units (Kia and Jeep were the only two brands to exceed that volume in a similar comparison). This bodes well for Hyundai dealers.
Want further evidence to support upward sales trends for Hyundai? An article on 24/7 Wall St. lists the 10 "hottest cars" based on low inventory levels in November 2011. Hyundai had two entries on this list (Elantra and Accent). Lastly, Hyundai's customer loyalty has done well, according to Polk. Customer retention to this brand has risen from 48% to 52% over the last five years. This currently beats the industry's average customer loyalty to a brand by nearly five points.
While the Genesis Coupe isn't their volume seller (it had just over 12,000 retail units through October of this year), positioning a luxury segment offering as an extreme racing device can't hurt the overall branding effort. For Hyundai, 2012 should be another year of fast-paced moves around tight corners.
Posted by Lonnie Miller, Vice President, Marketing & Industry Analysis, Polk (12.19.2011)