Category: Automakers

Cheeky Challenge To The Leader

2023

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Video: Cheeky Challenge To The Leader

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Video: FOLLOW THE LEADER CHALLENGE | V and R Diaries 2023, January
Cheeky Challenge To The Leader
Cheeky Challenge To The Leader
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The first argument was the brand’s spectacular display at the Seoul Motor Show, followed by a trip to the research center in Namyang and to the factory in Asan, which produce cars and engines.

The Hyundai exhibition booth gathered five concept cars at once, each of which served not only as a magnet for the public, but also as a scout for new opportunities in the most important world markets.

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To achieve world leadership there are few design refinements - you need to sensitively grasp the trends of technological progress. It seems that in Korea they understood: the American market will grow with hybrids, the ranks of which are almost ready to fill up the Hyundai-Tussan and the single-platform KIA Sporting. In Seoul, they showed their prototypes. The electric motors of these machines receive energy from fuel cells. The Hyundai-Getz EV Hybrid is simpler: its fuel-efficient gasoline engine is paired with a 12-kilowatt electric motor. The serial production of such “getts" is first planned for the home market in 2006-2007.

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But you can’t get a shot motorist on the concept - only the quality and reliability of production cars convinces him. World experience shows that these indicators are higher, the more modest the direct participation of a person in the process of manufacturing a car. The “crown of creation" only sets the work for clever mechanisms and from time to time controls them. That is why in the shops of modern factories almost deserted.

We visited one of these - in Asan. The plant is not even ten years old, it would deserve the epithet "newest" - but overseas, in the USA in May this year the newest Hyundai enterprise (on a die) was launched. Both overseas and Korea are launching an extremely successful model - the new Sonata (ZR, 2004, No. 12), as well as the flagship Hyundai Grander (ZR, 2005, No. 7). The Asan plant collects annually about 300 thousand cars and 550 thousand engines - in-line "fours" and V-shaped "sixes" with power from 123 to 252 hp.

If you believe the statistics, the quantity is successfully converted into quality: according to surveys of the JD Power consumer association, in 2004 the Hyundai brand took the second place in terms of the reliability of its cars in the assessment of the owners themselves. On average, there were 102 malfunctions per 100 Hyundai cars - only one (!) More than the local leader Toyota. In order to beat the “Toyota” with its main trump card - quality, the Hyundai took another three years, until 2008.

It is hard to believe that more recently, in 1997, Hyundai experienced a 20 percent decline in the United States, caused by just the bad quality of its cars. They were then sold only 90 thousand - compare with 418 thousand in 2004! Here is an example of diligent work on bugs.

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Reliability and reliability - the merit of not only the factory workers: engineering decisions and thorough refinement determine a lot. The technical centers in Korea, USA, Germany and Japan are responsible for this. We visited the largest of them, in Namyan - they say this is the first visit of foreign journalists. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm the fact of being a “picture”, since not only was it forbidden to shoot in the territory, but (for the sake of fidelity) they were asked to turn in the cameras …

Of the “secrets”, they showed the standard Sonata test with a frontal impact (the airbag deployment reliability was checked), an aeroclimatic complex, where not only the streamlining of cars is estimated, but also the level and nature of the noise generated by air resistance. When the local engineer called the speed that the air flow in the pipe reaches is 200 km / h, for some reason I remembered how Ilf and Petrov were shown a cable-stayed bridge in San Francisco in “One-Storied America”: “Sirs, I have never seen such a cable. How many delays do you say? - Seventeen and a half thousand. “Fine, fine cable, write it in your little books.” I fished out other figures from my booklet: the budget of the engineering center in Namyan for 2005 was $ 3.1 million compared to 1.4 million in 2000. 4515 employees “spend” this money, of which 2515 design and bring production cars, and 1500 work for a more distant future. Let me remind you: Namyan is only one of four such centers for passenger cars only.

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Here, on a spacious paved area, we were given (I want to say - allowed) to drive a hundred or two meters on the newest Hyundai Grander. To assess driving performance - not enough … Appearance and especially the interior are marked by good taste and solidity, appropriate for the class. Striking is the desire to follow European fashion, for the sake of which new generations of machines decisively break with the features of their predecessors. This applies not only to Grander, but also to Santa Fe, whose premiere is scheduled for the fall. The second-generation off-road vehicle, like the future Accent, we identified among the many prototypes scurrying around the territory in deliberately ugly "camouflage uniforms".

The expansion of the Koreans is swift and truly unstoppable: the company, founded in 1967 (a year later than VAZ!), Which for the first time developed its own car only in 1976 (Hyundai-Pony), now exports more than 1 million cars to 193 countries of the world, and annual sales, including cars and commercial trucks, exceeded $ 10 billion.

The factories where Hyundai is assembled are scattered across all continents; there is one in Taganrog. It is gratifying that with the advent of this brand, the Russian consumer is increasingly joining a modern car - reliable, economical, comfortable and inexpensive.

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