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Old 14th November 2012, 09:28   #1
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Default Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

Hyundai, [currently the no. 5 automaker in the world] is slowly shifting focus towards enhancing and maintaining quality rather than producing more cars which may be of poor quality. In this regard, they wish to avoid the same hole into which Toyota has fallen. It is said that in the rapid quest to expand, Toyota has lost some of its engineering discipline which for so long has characterised Toyota.

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Hyundai, which, does not yet enjoy the same sort of name cachet as Toyota or Volkswagen, aims to emulate the success of compatriot electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which evolved from a maker of cheaper goods into a powerful global brand in its own right.

To that end, Chung has quietly shifted strategy in recent years to put capacity expansion in the backseat and instead focus on building Hyundai's brand and reputation for quality.

"In the past, pushed for building more factories, but executives said it would be difficult to sell cars because of quality issues," said the executive in Seoul.

"Now, there is a push from the bottom. Executives now say they can sell more cars."

The move is "motivated by the chairman's effort to keep Hyundai from making the mistake Toyota made", another source said, referring to a perception that the Japanese automaker lost control of engineering discipline and manufacturing quality during the 2000s, as it expanded too aggressively and its global capacity climbed well above 8 million vehicles a year.

Plans to build a factory in Indonesia, another emerging market with large growth potential, were scrapped due to Chung's decree, the source told Reuters.
Link to full ET article: http://articles.economictimes.indiat...-quality-risks

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Last edited by sarthakgupta : 14th November 2012 at 09:31.
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Old 14th November 2012, 13:55   #2
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

Look at this I30 review from Autocar UK, take a look at the interiors! Adding Kia C'eed with this, both them will put golf's and Fords to shame in terms of equipment levels and finish quality.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/...i/i30/interior

Sure they are going towards quality. I believe we in India being one of the important markets for them will also see this transformation sooner or later! Good times ahead for Hyundai, given the frequent disruptions with the India's largest car maker, Koreans can cash in on it!

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 14th November 2012 at 13:58.
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Old 14th November 2012, 14:29   #3
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

I hope the focus on quality is not limited to plastics/body panels/paint job. One area where I feel they need to improve is in driving dynamics and handling. Given a choice between a car with better handling vs better plastics and paint job, I'd prefer handling any day.
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Old 14th November 2012, 15:10   #4
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
I hope the focus on quality is not limited to plastics/body panels/paint job.
I believe by quality Hyundai means parts quality and reliability and hopefully qualify of A.S.S as well. I don't think driving dynamics comes into the equation.

How interesting that an article on Hyundai being wary of "Toyota's mistake" has appeared on the same day Toyota has recalled 2+ million vehicles.
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Old 14th November 2012, 17:49   #5
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

Emulate Samsung yeah right. They are the biggest kirf company on the planet and their products are horribly engineered and the software is just plain terrible. I agree its just a generic statement which is more to take a dig at Toyota than anything else. There is still no company which can touch Toyota for reliability.

Last edited by extreme_torque : 14th November 2012 at 17:51.
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Old 14th November 2012, 18:19   #6
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

20 years back, Hyundai was a bargain basement brand that you bought only if you couldn't afford anything else.

Today, their quality & reliability is easily on par with the best in the business. The Eon, i10, i20, Verna etc. are just excellent cars, with their pros far outweighing the cons. The Elantra Diesel AT is an ideal daily drive car, and the only thing really lacking with the Sonata is a diesel engine. In the USA on the other hand (it's intended market), the Sonata is giving a tough fight to the Accord & Camry, recording strong volumes.

The i20's quality is far, far superior to the Swift (and nearly every other B segment hatchback) and it's a much better overall package than the 3-cylinder Polo.

In my books, Hyundai is already equal to / beating the Japanese & Europeans. Thus, if the company states that its focus is on quality over quantity, I'm going to believe them. Look at the track record!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenren View Post
One area where I feel they need to improve is in driving dynamics and handling.
The dynamics & handling definitely need improvement. But 99 / 100 customers prefer soft suspensions + light, lifeless steerings. While the Verna is a boat at speed, the i20 certainly isn't. For their respective segments, the i10 & Eon don't have bad road manners either.

Personally, for a daily driver in the city, I'd love this combination too. Believe me, the Nissan Sunny diesel is awesome to drive in Mumbai (high speed dynamics be damned!). My other two sedans are more fun to drive & superior handlers, but I'd really rather be in a Sunny diesel in slow traffic conditions.

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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Emulate Samsung yeah right. They are the biggest kirf company on the planet and their products are horribly engineered and the software is just plain terrible.
Funny you say that when 1/2 the world is going crazy over Samsung smartphones. I'm using a Galaxy S and IMHO the quality is excellent. It's over a year and the stock battery is still holding up good, while the screen is sharp. I never thought I'd say this, but yes, I love my Samsung phone. Whatever bugs I've seen are due to Android or due to my hacking the phone (to make it work on Reliance CDMA).

Either ways, let's not go off-topic by any more posts on cell phones. You can quote me on the Android thread

Last edited by GTO : 14th November 2012 at 18:20.
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Old 14th November 2012, 18:52   #7
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

Agreed! Initially I was having a very negative impression on Hyundai and never even considered them while buying my previous cars. But after seeing/experiencing the current generation of i10s, i20s, EONs, Vernas I started changing my mind and started having a positive corners for Hyundai as a brand.

Recently I travelled in i20 in the back seat and I felt the thigh support and the comfort is very amazing. May be because I was not having any feelings for the car before that but after getting down from the car I really liked that car.

In IT we generally say "get the functionality corrected first, esthetics can follow" and Hyundai is doing the same now.
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Old 14th November 2012, 18:57   #8
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

Good move by Hyundai. In my opinion reliability is not really an issue with Hyundai. Their cars are pretty reliable and I haven't come across someone who has been stranded in his Hyundai. Driving dynamics could do with some improvement but again this is not something 8 of 10 average car buyers will actually care. Equipment list and futuristic designs have been well appreciated by all. An area which I think needs improvement is the service experience (both customer service as well as spares pricing) This is something where is has some catch up to do with leader Maruti.
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Old 14th November 2012, 19:29   #9
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

I guess Hyundai are learning from other people's mistakes.

Personally I have to say this is the way to go. Get quality correct first and then it is easy to scale the quantity up later. Getting quantity up, as Mahindra and Tata seem to have done, now entails a lot of training for their staff. Not an easy feat to accomplish as too many people get set in their ways. Train them right the first time is better.
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Old 14th November 2012, 19:33   #10
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

Another point that comes to my mind when they say "Quality" I see more electronics being added and the cars are sold considerably cheaper than their German "Tank like built" competitors! I also the trend with which the Japs made their way into quality being adopted by the Koreans.

For example, in India the equipment what I20 offers is unmatched in its segment (6xAirbags, steering mounted controls, reverse camera/sensor?? etc. etc.) well correct me if I am wrong but, I feel Hyundai's have infact mastered the art of electronics and they are way ahead in terms of competition. Atleast in terms of what is on offer vs. Price (competition).

In Europe, already I30 and Kia C'eed has started to take the place of Golf and Seats. In Germany, although people still look for handling but I see that people are slowly coming to terms with the logic that given the road manners (there is rarely some racing maneouvres that is required in a day-to-day driving - even in the Autobahns!!), one can buy a Hyundai/Kia for a lower price with higher equipments and still be as reliable as their German counterparts.

Although, can they really pip the mighty Germans and the Americans, is a question that only time can answer!
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Old 14th November 2012, 19:52   #11
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
In my books, Hyundai is already equal to / beating the Japanese & Europeans. Thus, if the company states that its focus is on quality over quantity, I'm going to believe them. Look at the track record!
I'd agree with the Jap part, not the European. I think when the Euros are pushed to lesser degree by the price constraints, they do a good job with their products. For e.g I'd still rate the Jetta/Laura much better in terms of the pure quality quotient compared to Elantra; Ditto with Superb v/s Elantra. Its just that when these guys make products to a price, they generally don't do as well for e.g 3 cylinder POLO.

Having said that, I salute Hyundai in the way they have constantly moved up the quality ladder with each iteration (of each product). I can't think of a anything that Toyota does and Hyundai can't match up. Hyundai's got the Euros covered up well coz at lower price points, its companies like VW that has to do catch up to Hyundai rather than the other way around.

Overall, I think Hyundai is a threat to every mass manufacturer: Be it Toyota/Honda or VW/Renault. The euros are better off compared to the Japs for the single reasons that their cars are good are different set of attributes compared to the Hyundais (Build quality, Handling, Material quality etc.). It's Toyota that is under biggest threat from Hyundai. Though one must admit that with the rate at which Hyundai is going, no one safe

Last edited by Abhi_Automobile : 14th November 2012 at 19:54.
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Old 14th November 2012, 20:47   #12
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This is the right move by Hyundai! I've always maintained that for any serious, long term player in any field (not just making cars), getting the quality right is the most important part. Just don't bother about the numbers, pour in most resources into getting the quality right and delighting customers and the quantity will automatically follow, even more than initially estimated. It really is very simple - it does not require a genius to figure that out.

Hyundai's quality is very good and up there with the best, but there is still room for improvement - they must aim to become THE best in any market in terms of quality and reliability, leaving the others miles behind. Since Hyundai don't believe in taking the route of rabid cost-cutting and omitting even basic components in their cars (thankfully!) and their quality control processes are already good, it can be easily achieved. Let Toyota, Volkswagen and GM continue to aim to outdo each other in terms of quantity and eye the coveted title of the no.1 car manufacturer in the world by sales.

Hyundai should keep out of that slugfest and let those three slog it out - they are bound to slip sooner or later if they concentrate only on numbers. Hyundai, Kia and their associates should only concentrate on quality, reliability and on providing a delightful customer experience. Being the no.1, no. 2 or nos. 3, 4, 5 doesn't mean as much as being the number one brand in the customers' hearts and minds!

Hyundai have every reason to desire and replicate Samsung's global success. Come to think of it, they are both very similar - both are South Korean, both are part of giant conglomerates or chaebols and both of them began modestly in the world market before becoming household names.

There was a time not too long ago when Hyundai was seen as the poor man's Honda, Samsung was the poor man's Sony and South Korean products in general were seen as the poor man's Japanese products. By dint of sheer hard work, the South Koreans have proven that they can beat the Japanese brands and leave them behind. If there is anyone who can out-Jap the Japs, it can only be the workaholics from the ROK!

It's time for both Hyundai-Kia and Samsung to take the game to a completely different level now - good luck to them! It always nice to see hard-working folks reap their well-deserved success.

Last edited by RSR : 14th November 2012 at 20:50.
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Old 14th November 2012, 21:13   #13
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

After owning a Hyundai for 6 years and counting, I can say that my respect for the company has gone up. They have really gone a long way from being a small time player to a global manufacturer. From my experience, the reliability my car has given me is nothing short of stellar. More quality, the better; I'm not complaining.

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Emulate Samsung yeah right. They are the biggest kirf company on the planet and their products are horribly engineered and the software is just plain terrible. I agree its just a generic statement which is more to take a dig at Toyota than anything else. There is still no company which can touch Toyota for reliability.
Sorry to spoil the party, but people world over think otherwise. Samsung takes the top spot in Smartphone market (link) is just an example of how others see the company. There is nothing wrong in having an opinion, but I believe in giving credit where it's due. And with millions of recalls till now and counting, I don't think Toyota has the quality they had years ago. Again, this is my personal opinion. Toyota themselves created the situation for others to dig at them, right?
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Old 14th November 2012, 21:40   #14
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

While we are on the subject of automotive quality, here's a link which you may find interesting ; it details the GM approach towards solving quality issues

http://rube.asq.org/2012/11/problem-...ral-motors.pdf
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Old 15th November 2012, 09:37   #15
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Default Re: Hyundai to shift focus towards quality instead of quantity

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Atleast in terms of what is on offer vs. Price (competition).
Hyundai is frequently credited with keeping the prices of Japanese competitors in check.

Toyota's CEO was quoted as saying that there's one person he's watching closely in his rear view mirror and that's Hyundai.
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