By Mohamed Aboul Fotouh
Daily News Egypt met with Jin Kim, Hyundai Motor Company’s Vice President and Head of Operations in Africa and the Middle East, to discuss the Egyptian market, and the company’s future plans.
How do you see the performance of your distributor in Egypt? And what are the major issues constraining your local agent there?
GB Ghabbour Auto, our local distributor in Egypt, is actively promoting Hyundai Motor Company and we are happy with their performance. We are confident that we are working with the right partner in order to take our brand to the next level and achieve strong results and at the moment there are no issues.
What are the bestselling Hyundai models in Egypt?
The Hyundai Tucson, currently known in Egypt as ix35, continues to be the bestseller, closely followed by the Elantra and the Accent. All of this puts us in a good position in terms of year-end sales in Egypt.
Regarding the renaming of the ix35 model, this has been implemented in order to give people a fresh thinking, in line with our Modern Premium brand direction. We want one simple message to give to customers and the consistency in the naming of this model globally will help with this strategy.
The all-new Tucson has recently launched in Africa and the Middle East. How is its being received?
The feedback has been fantastic. Introducing a bold and athletic design, new technology and class-leading driving performance the all-new Tucson is in a league of its own. This dynamic compact SUV is based on our brand philosophy and has a new chassis and Powertrain. The exterior is very state-of-the-art and you will see that the technology has advanced from the last version.
In your opinion, what makes a Hyundai car a better choice for customers in Egypt?
Our models have been recognised to be amongst the best in the industry and ahead of our Japanese counterparts by a number of key influencers, and two months ago we ranked in fourth place among all brands in the influential JD Power 2015 US Initial Quality Study, and second among non-premium automakers. This kind of recognition shows that it is not only us who think our cars are the best, but international bodies do too.
Over the past few years our focus has been to become the world’s most beloved car brand. As such, we have targeted qualitative, rather than quantitative, growth, which we have done, and continue to do, through two key channels. Firstly, when it comes to models, one of our key strengths is our extensive vehicle range, which allows us to cater to all our customers’ needs.
Secondly, we are focusing on our Modern Premium brand direction, whilst continuing to offer a diverse range of vehicles alongside top notch customer service. I believe these are the reasons why customers should choose Hyundai over the competitors. Testament to our success is the 3m sales milestone which we are about to celebrate Middle East. This has been achieved since we started operations in the region in 1976, and reaffirms our position as the region’s second highest selling automotive manufacturer.
What are the latest models that the company is planning to launch in the region?
Here at Hyundai Motor Company, we are dedicated to producing a diverse range of vehicles which appeal to every type of customer, no matter what their budget or requirements are.
August has witnessed the arrival of the all-new Tucson, which combines class-leading standards of design, technology and performance in the compact SUV segment.
Following this, the region will welcome the all-new Sonata Hybrid, Hyundai’s first ever plug-in hybrid model which combines redefined design and innovative technology. Showcasing our dedication to sustainable mobility, we are extremely excited about launching it to our loyal customer base.
Finally, customers will witness the launch a totally new Hyundai dynamic model, which is set to take the region by storm thanks to its robust yet lightweight body structure with strong dynamics and enhanced safety. To conclude, we have an exciting second half of 2015 ahead of us thanks to model launches in multiple vehicle segments, which puts us in a good position in terms of year-end sales.