COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Addressing a packed house of U.S. automotive dealers, Hyundai President & CEO John Krafcik delivered the industry keynote address at the 2013 NADA Convention and Expo Saturday afternoon. Krafcik encouraged the industry to defy conventional wisdom and touched on the ways Hyundai and its dealers have taken unconventional approaches with its design, retail processes, and premium products. Krafcik also spoke to the entrepreneurial spirit of dealers and the critical role they play in leading innovation in the auto industry.
Krafcik opened by complimenting the industry on its recent achievements and affirmed his confidence in the automotive retail model. "You provide jobs, provide a stable tax base and contribute to philanthropic causes in your local communities across the country. Yet it seems like every day someone is bashing the U.S. automotive retail system as being out of touch or inefficient. From our perspective at Hyundai, the franchised dealer system in the U.S. works because it's the concentrated distillation of another system that we know works. One that's been proven over the last couple of centuries -- the American free enterprise system."
Following examples of the way Hyundai is creating a more open and transparent relationship with its dealers, Krafcik commented on Hyundai's philosophy of defying convention. "We like to say that when the whole industry moves to the left, we'll have a look in that direction, but we'll look even more intently at the opportunities on the right. From our point of view, that's leadership. We've distilled that philosophy into a three-word mantra: defy, design, delight." Krafcik cited Hyundai's all-four-cylinder engine approach with Sonata and its unconventional premium product retail strategy with Genesis and Equus as examples. Keeping Hyundai's premium products under the Hyundai banner paid off, resulting in stronger buyer demographics and a nine percent market share in the premium segments in which it competes.