Last week, Hyundai hosted MAMA’s first “virtual” online monthly meeting via Zoom web-conferencing software. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, MAMA is focused on providing relevant content to our media members while continuing to serve as an effective outlet for MAMA affiliate members to present new products and news to a relevant and engaged audience.
Scott Margason, Director of Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America, opened the Zoom meeting with an update on Hyundai’s sales momentum throughout 2019, where the brand saw an increase even when the rest of the industry experienced sales declines. Margason attributes the brand’s growth to an overall surge in SUV sales; Hyundai’s SUV sales are up 56 percent. However, even though Hyundai’s SUV sales have increased, he noted the continued demand for sedans, especially alternative fuel vehicles. According to Hyundai research, 33 percent of people polled would consider purchasing a hybrid as their next vehicle.
The initial announcement of the 2020 Sonata Hybrid made waves at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, where the vehicle made its worldwide debut. Jerome Gregeois, Senior Manager, Hyundai Technical Center, discussed the many new features of the 2020 Sonata Hybrid, including:
- Best-in-class highway fuel economy on Blue trim level
- Class-leading combined fuel economy on Blue trim level
- EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating and 686 miles of driving range on Blue trim level
- Solar Roof System can increase driving range – Hyundai says people can think of it as up to 700 “free” miles per year
- Hyundai Digital Key technology as an option
- The top front-seat leg- and headroom in the segment
- Unique eco-friendly design cues improve aerodynamics
- Active Shift Control technology makes shifts 30 percent faster and smoother
The Sonata Hybrid is offered in three trim levels: Blue (well-equipped, price-leading model with high level of standard safety features); SEL (value-driven core model with popular equipment; and Limited (fully loaded model with advanced safety and convenience features). The vehicle is now hitting Hyundai dealerships.
Margason wrapped up the presentation by sharing his belief that Hyundai has the best fuel cell tech on the market. He said while a full transition to electrification will take time, Hyundai wants to be ahead of the curve and ready to share its wide portfolio of multiple technologies with the marketplace.
MAMA is in the process of planning its next virtual meeting for later this month, so members should stay tuned for more details.