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What Are Hyundai’s Plans to Improve Growth in 2015?

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2016 Hyundai Elantra GT Overview blue front

The 2016 Hyundai Elantra (pictured) is part of the automaker’s plans for growth in 2015

If you haven’t heard by now, Hyundai had a rocky 2014. Its record sales figures are starting to slow, and the automaker is reaching its limits.

If you think the brand’s critics are the only ones pointing out Hyundai’s slowed growth, you haven’t heard the automaker’s own executives discuss the subject. “It was a record year in 2014, but we were not happy with it,” said Hyundai Motor America CEO Zuchowski in an interview with Automotive News.

At the unveiling of the Santa Cruz in Detroit, Zuchowski pointed out that while Hyundai’s sales rates did rise in 2014, the brand’s rate of growth was notably less than the overall rate reached by the automotive industry last year.

Clearly Hyundai knows it needs to make some changes, so what are its plans to improve growth in 2015?

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Hyundai’s Four-Point Plan for Improvement

“We understand exactly what the problem was, and we have very, very concrete plans in place to address it,” assured CEO Zuchowski during a presentation to Hyundai dealerships this month. According to him, the automaker’s American branch has four strategies it’s implementing.

Improved Marketing: After parting ways with its former marketing chief in 2014, Hyundai is planning on shifting from regional advertising to consistent, national ads which develop a recognizable brand image across the market.

A Better Elantra: We’ve already seen how edgy the 2016 Elantra is becoming thanks to the compact sedan’s GT platform on display at Chicago. Hyundai hopes these improvements will keep the Elantra competitive in its segment and a bestseller in the US.

More Trucks: The recently-unveiled Santa Cruz crossover/ute is already getting positive feedback and the support of company executives in Korea. It’s an indication of where the brand is headed in the years to come.

Nicer Financing: In order to keep the large number of returning lease customers in the pool, dealerships are being urged to offer attractive discount financing.

Time will tell if these strategies will make a difference, but at least Hyundai realizes that change only comes from shaking things up.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)