Business Case Studies, Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study, Hyundai, Branding Strategy

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Brands & Branding and Private Labels Case Study

Case Title:

Hyundai in US Needs a New, Strong Brand Identity: Can its COO, Steve Wilhite, Deliver?

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Vamseedhar, Rajendar Singh Rathore

Industry: Automobiles


Case Code: BBP0089

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Hyundai is about to launch its dream run in the US through its luxury car 'Genesis'. For the company, it was indeed a long drive from the low-cost segment to the niche luxury car market - dashed by ignominies and accolades, and periods of growth and fall. Once reviled for its low-quality cars, Hyundai is now hailed as one of the top-class carmakers - even outclassing Toyota, the world's largest and premier carmaker, by several quality parameters. In spite of all this, Hyundai still lacks a strong brand image and is snubbed by Americans. For this, it appointed Steve Wilhite as its chief operating officer in 2006 - to reinvigorate its brand and smoothen the drive of its 'Genesis'. Though its rapid growth catapulted it as the world's sixth largest carmaker, Hyundai risks getting squeezed between its high-tech Japanese rivals and low-cost Chinese new entrants.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse the market entry strategies of select automakers
  • To examine the brand perceptions of US consumers
  • To critically understand the role of branding strategies in a company's success
  • To discuss the brand perplexity met by Hyundai in US.

Keywords : Steve Wilhite, Market Entry Strategy, Consumer Brand Perceptions, Branding Strategy, US Automobile Industry, J.D. Power Quality Study, Kia Motors, Brand Perplexity, Brands & Branding Case Study, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), Chung Mung Koo, Impact of Rising Won, Genesis, Fuel-cell Technology

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