„The world economic crisis of 2008-09 was a stroke of luck: customers startet looking for cheaper alternatives, and the guiding principle of ’good quality at a lower price’ was suddenly striking chords everywhere“, says Engelbert Wimmer, managing director of the POLARIXPARTNER consultancy in the Financial Times. In his detailed article (free registration required) Simon Mundy reports on the success and the change of image of the Korean car maker. Hyundai followed an aggressive product strategy and intoduced new models promising high quality at reasonably low prices to become the world´s fifth largest vehicle manufacturer. But what is their secret? “Imagine two Golf-like cars, one sold on a European model and one following the Korean way”, says Mr Wimmer. “The Korean model produces a vehicle with an approximately €4,500 saving for the end customer.” But maintaining a strategy focused on undercutting the competition would be “giving up too early”, he adds. “Their aspiration needs to be to go into premium.”
Wimmer analysed the reasons behind the surprising rise of the Korean car maker in his study: "Hyundai / Kia – on their way to the top of the industry".