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Hyundai foots dealers' bill for new corporate identity

Every Hyundai sales outlet will be displaying the Korean manufacturer’s new corporate identity by the end of this year – at no cost to the dealer.

In a move thought to be unique in the industry, Hyundai Motor UK is picking up the entire bill at each of its sites to help steer its partners through a difficult trading period.

“We understand this is a tough environment and we want to roll out the programme quickly. The answer is to pay for it ourselves,” revealed managing director Tony Whitehorn.

Speaking as the company unveiled the i10 Blue city car – the first in a new range of eco models – he told AM the programme was costing up to £15,000 per site.

“We’re on a roll. We had record registrations of 57,000 in 2009 and reached 62,000 units last year to gain a full 3% market share. This puts us alongside mainstream brands and its important that our dealers reflect this.

“Despite the market being down by up to 9%, we will sell 64,500 units this year. We are on course to achieve 100,000 units by 2015 for a 4.5% share, so we’re gearing ourselves up for a big sales expansion.

“The new corporate identity development will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show with New Thinking, New Possibilities, our fresh advertising strap-line. It follows the dealer showroom makeover that has just been completed at a cost of up to £40,000 per site. The work has covered everything from the floors upwards - and that has also been the subject of substantial subsidies.”

Hyundai’s network grew by 18 to 147 in 2010 and is expected to reach 160 this year. “Dealers are queuing to get this franchise. I’m interviewing two or three candidates for each of the 18 open points we want to fill in the next few months,” said Whitehorn. 

Hyundai will be seeking to reduce the number of its partners by asking city-based dealerships to consider taking on one or two additional outlets in the surrounding area.

“Our view is that this will allow dealers to achieve economies of scale. They will need only one back office for accounts and could support satellite operations by carrying most of their parts stocks at the main dealership. Organising dealerships this way also helps network profitability by largely removing intra-franchise competition,” he said.

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