Hyundai to work on brand awareness
Although the company has been heavily involved in football sponsorship since 1999 with both UEFA and FIFA, Mark Hall, marketing director for Hyundai Motor Europe, believes that the WRC ‘gives us a further opportunity to develop the brand in Europe and globally’.
It also gives Hyundai the chance to press home its message that ‘95% of the cars we sell in Europe are designed and engineered in Europe and by the end of this year 90% will be built in Europe’.
That's when the new i10 arrives. It will be built in Turkey rather than India where the current i10 is manufactured. The i10 arrives in the UK early next year.
The WRC car is based on the next i20, another car designed and built in Europe, he said, adding that ‘129,000 people owe their jobs to Hyundai in Europe and 72% of factory purchasing is from within Europe – and we pay €1bn a year in European taxes.’
Speaking at the opening of Hyundai Motorsport's new headquarters in Alzenau near Frankfurt, Tak Uk Im, chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor, said that one of the key drivers of Hyundai's return to motorsport was a commitment to improving the performance of all its cars.
But the biggest challenge was improving the value of the Hyundai brand.
‘It is the toughest challenge in our short, 47-year history,’ he said. ‘We want Hyundai to be the most loved car brand in the world, not the biggest brand.’
Hyundai is making a lifetime commitment to its customers, he said.
‘We have a long way to go but we think WRC will help take us there.
‘Our next-generation cars will be better because of lessons learnt at WRC, especially lessons of durability and reliability.’