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Hyundai chief Tony Whitehorn wants more from dealer workshops

quite interesting insight into some of the thinking by Hyundai UK and where they see things going

Hyundai is proud of its trailblazer status – its Rockar-partnered stores in shopping centres, its online sales, its latest model available with every type of electric drivetrain – but will seven-day working and overnight servicing be a bridge too far for its bricks-and-mortar dealerships?

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK’s president and chief executive, is not a man averse to sticking his neck out and leading his brand in new directions when it comes to exploring innovative ways to sell cars.

“We have entered into the unknown. We have invested an awful lot of money in this, but that is the kind of business we are. We take risks and go places that others might not,” he said.

That willingness to experiment is most evident in the brand’s partnership with Rockar. In November 2014, Hyundai was the first manufacturer to team up with Simon Dixon, the former director of Dixon Motors, to establish his first Rockar store at the Bluewater Shopping Centre. In January of this year, the brand opened its ‘Click to Buy’ online retail platform.

Whitehorn said: “I’m proud of the fact that we have led the way in an industry that is just now waking up to the fact that consumers demand more choice and the ability to buy their cars and get their cars serviced in the same way that they might buy clothes and electrical goods.
also interesting near the end

The future is green

Part of that change will be Hyundai Motor’s global sustainability strategy, which aims to launch 14 eco-cars by 2020.

Following last autumn’s launch of the Ioniq hybrid and Ioniq EV – the former claiming 74.3mpg fuel economy and 79g/km CO2 emissions, the latter a 124-mile range – the brand unveiled a plug-in version at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

That car promises to blend the best of the two to deliver CO2 emissions of 26g/km and a potential pure-electric range of 39 miles for a price which should sit mid-way between the £19,995 and £28,995 stablemates when it arrives in showrooms in July.

Whitehorn said the car-buying public had embraced the Ioniq. He said: “The Ioniq is doing better than expected. In terms of the January target for the car, we did 300% of that.

“We said that we would sell 2,000 to 3,000 a year and I’m taking 25 orders a day, which is double what we expected. That’s a very interesting situation.

“People aren’t throwing diesel out by any means, but they are open to alternatives and Ioniq has hit the market at the right time.”
and last sentence

“Particularly with the Ioniq and i30N, there is the scope to attract a whole new set of customers to the brand and we have to be excited about that.”
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