really speaks volumes in terms of, ‘Mobile
is going to be mainstream.’ At one point,
people talked about the Internet as if it
wasn’t going to go anywhere as a marketing
space. Obviously, now, any major marketer
that doesn’t have a direct response program and an Internet marketing program
in place is archaic. That’s the same thing
that is going to be said about mobile marketing, and probably in the near future.”
Hyundai Motor America and the Genesis Sedan
Looking ahead, Hyundai is already
preparing its next set of marketing goals
— and direct response, especially mobile,
appears ready to play a bigger role. “
Obviously, we’re looking into furthering opportunities that we started with mobile,”
Romero contends. “We’ve also got the
Genesis coupe upcoming, so we also have
some plans for seeding that and doing
some pre-launch activities that will obviously include mobile.”
Hyundai Motor America (HMA) is a subsidiary of Korea’s Hyundai Motor
Co. and is headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. The American arm of
the company, which opened in 1986 when Hyundai introduced the Excel
subcompact model to the U.S. market, is responsible for the distribution
of Hyundai vehicles across the nation, supporting more than 800 dealers
nationwide. HMA recently launched the company’s new flagship vehicle,
the Genesis sports sedan. Here are a few other facts about the company’s
American arm and its newest car.
Hyundai’s Montgomery, Ala., manufacturing facility — a $1.1 billion
investment by the company — employs more than 2,000 workers. The site
began production of the company’s Sonata automobile in 2005, and in
2007, added the Santa Fe to its production line.
At the same time, d’Ablaing and
Romero are excited to see what the next
two years hold, generally speaking, for
mobile as a DR marketing tool. “With this
kind of technology, two years is a lifetime.
In the most immediate terms when you
take a look at the technology, the capabilities you are able to perform on your phone
— mobile search, micro-local targeting of
the phone — are being perfected. It’s going
to be mainstream.”
The company’s engineering facility, located in Superior, Mich., is a
190,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art engineering and technology center.
The center plays a vital role in the development, design and manufacture of
Hyundai’s next generation of vehicles.
Hyundai’s 4,300-acre proving grounds, located in California’s Mojave
Desert, is a $60 million facility that recreates the roads and highways of the
U.S. in order for the company to test and refine its safety systems.
Hyundai opened a $30 million design and research center in 2003 in
Irvine, Calif., just a few miles from the company’s American headquarters.
The 90,000-square-foot facility offers some of the world’s most advanced
visualization, graphics and clay-modeling technology.
D’Ablaing agrees, but says there is
much weight on the shoulders of mobile
service carriers. “There is an issue with the
carriers being so fragmented still,” he says.
“If you go to South Korea, for example,
the capabilities of what you can do and
advertise are so far from where the U.S. is.
That’s what’s holding us back now. There
are steps being made, but until we can get
on a similar wavelength with all the carriers, it will be tough.”
Other facilities include parts distribution centers in Ontario, Calif., Aurora,
Ill., and Jamesburg, N.J., as well as another regional office in Austell, Ga.
The company also operates a port facility in Portland, Ore., and a logistics
facility in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The new Genesis sport sedan, Hyundai’s most advanced vehicle ever, is
designed to compete directly with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus models,
and offers a choice between V6 and V8 engines, as well as key features
including XM Nav Traffic technology, Adaptive Front Lighting Systems
(AFLS) and Lexicon© audio systems.
The V8 model offers fuel economy of 17 miles-per-gallon city and 25 miles-per-gallon highway. Both models hit Hyundai dealer showrooms in July.
Still, the Hyundai team is happy to be
positioned as a leader in new marketing
media. “I’m proud that we were one of the
first OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to even venture into mobile — to
put a toe in the water,” Romero concludes.
“Our previous success means we’re only
going to continue to grow in the space.
Our goal is to be the first to market, full-blown, in terms of entering the space.”
The marketing campaign for the Genesis — an $80 million integrated
campaign — is Hyundai Motor America’s largest ever, utilizing TV,
experiential, print, Web and mobile marketing. The company’s total cost for
the launch of the Genesis is more than a half-billion dollars.
Aside from the notable success of the mobile direct response component of
the campaign, Genesis’ Super Bowl ads were a branding success as well. A
pair of post-game advertising surveys (by Nielsen and comScore) noted that
43-45 percent of respondents improved their opinion of the Hyundai brand.