Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik says the Korean brand's reputation is changing from an "inexpensive" new car brand into a major player in the global industry, according to a report by Automotive News.

Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik says the Korean brand's reputation is changing from an "inexpensive" new car brand into a major player in the global industry, according to a report by Automotive News.

To prove his point Krafcik shared key statistics stating customers were willing to pay 86 percent of a Hyundai vehicle's sticker price in 2009. That figure is now 96 percent in 2011. Furthermore, vehicle rebates were reduced to 18 percent of total incentive spending in 2011 which is significantly down from three years ago.

Krafcik admits that up to four years ago the mentality of the company was "We can't sell a car without a rebate on the hood."

But the success has not occured overnight despite perceptions of industry insiders. After 25 years of selling cars in America Hyundai's market share is still only 5.1 percent.

"We have an awful lot of way to go. We're still a relatively small player in the U.S. market but honestly, we have big ambitions," Krafcik said.

For the year, Hyundai sales were up 20 percent versus 2010 in total, with sales to retail customers up 29 percent.

The Hyundai Sonata and Elantra both set full-year records with sales of 225,961 units (up 15 percent) and 186,361 (up 41 percent) respectively. The all-new Accent saw an incredible year-over-year sales increase of 91 percent for the month of December and finished the year up seven percent over 2010.

Hyundai's halo models also performed well, with Genesis delivering 32,998 sales for the year, an increase of 13 percent over 2010, setting an all-time yearly record. In its very first year, Equus achieved 3,193 sales, delivering over five percent market share of the premium sedan segment.

See press release below for full year sales chart.

 

Be part of something big

Hyundai moving past 'value' brand perceptions - CEO