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Is There Room in the Luxury Market for Hyundai?



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    statistical validity of their findings

    Since they use a self selected subscriber base for data, I don't have as much faith in their stats as I do JD Power. You may want to check out True Delta too although they seem to have the same problem as CR (gotta be a subscriber to rate your car), and Comments: Consumer Reports/JD Power Rankings.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    where is your evidence that Hyundai has even APPROACHED J3 levels of quality/reliabilty overall ...

    Take a closer look at that April issue of CR on your bookshelf. You'll see that Hyundai has not only APPROACHED J3 levels of reliability, they have equalled those levels. Here's what CR says about it (see p. 15):

    Brand / Overall Reliability score

    Mazda: Average
    Honda: Above Average
    Hyundai: Above Average
    Nissan: Above Average
    Subaru: Above Average
    Suzuki: Average
    Toyota: Above Average

    Actually, since "Above Average" is the highest score CR gives for any brand, Hyundai is as good in reliability as ANY other brand, not just the Japanese makes.

    Why does CR rank them below the J3 as a brand? Mostly resale value, according to CR. They also note Hyundais in general aren't particularly agile (but that doesn't apply to Genesis, and it applies to Toyota as a brand also), aren't tops in FE (but that is changing big time of late, including the Genesis), and "suspension" is noted (without details).

    Since you respect CR, maybe we won't see you say again that Hyundai lags in reliability?
  • cjgtcjgt Posts: 28
    "Last time I checked, badges aren't made of gold pressed latinum."
    Unless you buy one from Quark's bar.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    The source for my info regarding Hyundai's 'place' in the auto market right now is the 09 CR Auto Issue which rated Hyundai - as a brand - only 7th out of 16 (if I remember right)

    If you are referring to the April 09 CR auto mag, the rank is 8th out of 34! And looking at the results table from the CR website, the distance between Hyundai and Toyota and Honda is not all that great. In fact in that very same table, Honda is 3rd and Toyota is 4th so it isn't like Hyundai is 30th out of 30 and HonYota are 1 and 2 as your post seems to imply. :P

    Better get that memory checked. ;)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you've never noticed that whoever gets the JDP 'initial quality' awards (for example) seem to be the mfgrs that most need the boost - or FTM the ones that are most likely to pay to use the JDP logos? Lately GM has managed to get quite a few of them. Anybody out there bite into a Malibu having better 'initial quality' for example over a Camcord, or even a Sonata? Coincidence, or did it have more to do with GMs waning reputations and need to advertise the 'honor'?
    I don't understand why a data base of CR subscribers would necessarily 'skew' CR findings, but at least, there is no money that changes hands - my problem with pretty much any ratings organization other than CR
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Self selected surveys are problematic. JD Power gets names from DMVs - more random.

    A good exercise is to find a car that's been out a while and compare the JD Power long term reports (3 years) to the 90 day initial quality surveys.

    Money does change hands - the last time I got a JD Power survey out of the blue, a dollar bill was included. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm going from memory here, but I believe Hyundai's 7th ranking is not only for reliability but rather their evaluation scores and reliability combined. (edit: yeah, per backy they're including resale and evaluation data).

    Either way, captain2 wrote:

    they still suffer from a 'Korean' car stigma that needs to be addressed and changed if something like the Genesis is ever going to make it in the lux arena

    It depends. The euro lux brands are generally not reliable. Hyundai passed them years ago. And they don't have to be #1 in reliability to make it in the lux arena, they merely have to be respectable, and they already are.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you're right I didn't remember that 34 were ranked only the 7th (or 8th) place finish.
    Does avoid the issue though, where does the car buyer rank Hyundai - they are, after all, the ones signing the car notes. I never said that Hyundai was a Land Rover and at the bottom of the barrel, only that they still lag in this regard and that the brand perceptions lags further behind than that. Unfortunately for Hyundai perhaps, there remains a bunch of consumers out there that have memories like elephants.
    It is when a Hyundai product is bought because of perceived quality and not price or warranties (much like the Camcords are) that is when we will know that Hyundai has improved its reputations to any really significant degree.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW, TrueDelta is not using "subscribers". They don't publish any magazine and don't collect money from people who fill out their surveys in any way.

    I'm registered there, but it's definitely free. If you register, the benefit is you can see the results.

    What impressed me about them is that they collect partial VINs and require follow-up confirmations every quarter, so you don't end up with trolls sending in bad data and then vanishing.

    I get the CR survey in the mail and it's long and huge and I've never bothered to fill it out. I can see how their data is slightly skewed, though, they are surveying subscribers who have been hearing great things about Toyotas and Hondas for years, so I'm sure they have many more Toyota and Honda owners (proportionally). Perhaps even owners with skewed expectations from those brands.

    Example: you own a Odyssey and your transmission dies, but you might conclude it's rare and that's the only problem you've had. Your wife owns a Ford Focus and the sun visor is loose and suddenly it's "Fords are crap" and you think they all do that. Nit-picking might make the Focus' numbers appear worse than they really are. Also, it's a cheap fix, and doesn't affect getting you to your destination.

    TrueDelta was very different - they go out to forums like these and sort of do grass-roots marketing to owners of all the specific vehicles that they rank. That way they can target specific vehicles and get a lot of data quickly, and it's also why some 2009 models already have ratings. They're at least a year ahead of everyone else.

    I don't see how there would be the same potential bias (notice my careful wording).

    If they go to Clubsi, they find Honda fans, sure.

    But they'll find fans of Subaru on nasioc.

    As long as they do the same thing for all brands, there should be a fair sampling.

    If anything, TrueDelta's finding may be favorable for all brands, given the demographic targeted (on-line sites for specific makes).

    They also get a more web-savvy demographic, since it's on-line and not by mail.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Money does change hands - the last time I got a JD Power survey out of the blue, a dollar bill was included.
    You know that's not the money I'm talking about - and to make matters even worse JDP (there are others) will further make a living doing commissioned 'studies' for specific manufacturers and/or industry groups - it's how they pay their own salaries. CR gets no money except from it own subscriptions and donations that can not be from interested parties. A key difference IMO

    PS It kinda like if you need a study that promotes the health benefits of smoking cigarettes have the American Tobacco Co pay for it!
  • Both CR & JDP have limitations. CR sample base is too small and geared toward people willing to pay for a subscription. People who are willing to pay high price to subscribe to CR & pay even more for web access are very different from average person. Not good or bad, just different. How many CR subscribers actually own Hyundais? How many sampled? Is it valid & reliable? Same question for JDP. I know I had to contact them last two years to get a survey. Consider 07 Azera went from used car to avoid to one with above average reliability between 08 and 09 surveys.
    JDP has its own limited sample list. More importantly, they sell permission to use their ratings in advertising. They also have so many categories, most cars will place high in something. Reliability after 2-3 years is what counts not first 90-180 days.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    High price?

    Are you kidding? It's $1.67 per month. I spend more on TP.

    Having said that, good point about Hyundais, for a long time they simply did not have a big enough sample to even publish results for many Hyundai models.

    Example: the 2003 Buying Guide, p. 195. Only 3 Hyndais are listed, and the Elantra is missing 6 model years due to "Insufficient data". The Sonata is missing 7 out of 8 model years' worth of rankings also due to "Insufficient data".

    As Hyundai reliability improved, CR subscribers started buying more of them.

    Reliability after 2-3 years is what counts not first 90-180 days.

    Bingo and that's why I pay more attention to their Durability Study, vs. IQ.

    07 Azera went from used car to avoid to one with above average reliability between 08 and 09 surveys

    Not surprising, because Hyundai has a Top 10 suppliers list, but it's not what you think. They list the 10 worst suppliers, and put up posters. That's gotta shame them in to making improvements. Repeat offenders are dropped as they try make continuous improvements.

    It's working, basically, and the CR numbers improved for both reasons - Hyundai has indeed made strides, and now more CR subscribers would not be ashamed to own one.
  • Maybe I wasn't clear, but the reliability for the 2007 Azera by itself went from below to Above. Same car, but different survey years.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The euro lux brands are generally not reliable. Hyundai passed them years ago.
    as they should have - your average Hyundai branded cars a lor less sophisticated/complicated than your average Euro one. Now if you want to talk about something like quality of materials and/or fit & finish, then I would tell you that they are still at the top of the list.
    Agree that Hyundai would not necessarily have to be anything more than respectable, but do believe that any 'lux' pretensions are seriously wounded by sub $10k Accents.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    CR gets no money except from it own subscriptions and donations that can not be from interested parties.

    "Consumers Union supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants." Consumers Union publishes CR in case anyone doesn't know that. (link - pdf file)

    Hmm, they sell their data. Sounds a lot like JD Power. :P

    True Delta is a subsciption service in the sense that if you want to see Hyundai's rating at True Delta, you have to register. So if you're mad at Hyundai, you may take the time to register and ding them. If your car is running fine, you may not bother.

    It's similar to many Edmunds posters - we have trouble getting people who have no problems with their ride to post that fact. It's human nature to complain, but when stuff is working as expected, we take it for granted.

    Edmunds uses JD Power and Identifix for reliability ratings btw. Identifix gets their data from repair shops. MSN Autos also uses Identifix; not sure about Yahoo.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    CR gets (again my memory) right at a million surveys a year - but what I don't understand why you would think that a survey of 'somebody willing to pay for a subscription' would skew any results one way or the other. In any case, though, I do think CR remains the single most influenetial source of auto info, even if it only amounts to some non subscriber running over to the grocery store and buying the annual auto issue before he goes car shopping.
    The only seemingly safe assumption I would advance would have more to do with the CR subscriber having the obvious desire to be a more educated consumer or why else would they pay for the mag in the first place. :confuse:
    The CR subscriber, I contend, because he is more closely following things like Hyundai's improvements, would be more likely to buy a Hyundai - not less.

    PS agree that some of JDPs 'categories' are a joke and seem to be invented just so everbody gets a trophy. I can't help but think of all those trophies my son got for playing ball when he was younger - didn't 'deserve' any of them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oh, didn't catch that, I see now.

    That could be for many reasons - for instance if a problem occurs early on and it's fixed, then it won't necessarily occur again. In other words, there were more problems the first year vs. the second.

    Or a larger sample size.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You've heard my full-line argument, no need for me to re-state it.

    Hyundai has not been conventional in its creep up the price ladder.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My wife went out to buy a vacuum yesterday. They all look the same to me. How do I know which one sucks more? :D

    CR is good for stuff like that.

    Their priorities are probably different than yours. They do an avoidance manuever to measure "handling", while C&D does a Lightning Lap on dry pavement on a race course.

    It's for a different audience, that's for sure, but taken for what it's worth, you can get value from it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    CR is good for stuff like that.

    Good luck finding the same model number that they tested though.

    Ok, I just went to the Edmunds home page to look up Hyundai reliability info. I clicked on the Luxury link and drilled down to the Genesis.

    And drilled. And drilled. :shades:

    " classifies vehicles as "luxury vehicles" based on the model's nameplate." If we say it ain't I guess it ain't.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    She found the same model but did have to go to a 2nd store. So it helped.

    One of the things about CR vs. other mags is they have less of that "New Car Syndrome", where many car mags think anything new and fresh is automatically the best in class. The leapfrog theory, I guess.

    CR doesn't do that - in fact they can be extremely critical of new cars. Look at their reviews of the Smart ForTwo and the Honda Insight.

    The other mags are getting free cars from a press fleet and some times the review almost reads like a thank you note to the manufacturer.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I have online access to CR via my library (about 2 months out of date) but I find it easier to go to Amazon or Fatwallet for reviews. Epinions I don't much trust anymore since they pay for reviews.

    Great point about press fleet car reviews - no link anymore but there was a great story about Volvo's extravagant press junkets to influence reporting a few years back. You can still read it but you have to buy the book.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the difference being all those lawsuits over the years that CR has filed against those mfgrs that use a CR rating in their advertising. CR will not accept a dime from anybody with a vested interest in what they are doing and TMK never has.. Not like JDP :P
    Have to check out this 'True Delta', if it is what you say it is, it sure has got a crappy name ;) .
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    different prioirites I can easily recognize and consider. I, for example, put less value on 'safety and reliability' considerations than CR does and more on absolute performance numbers and even more on how something 'feels' CR likes a SC system to control a car for you in an avoidance manuever, I look at them more negatively as electronic nannies that limits my car's capabilities and something I may not even want. But, once you understand where CRs heads at, it doesn't make their findings any less legit.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Unfortunately for Hyundai perhaps, there remains a bunch of consumers out there that have memories like elephants.

    I can think of one of those people right off. ;)

    Fortunately for Hyundai, there's something called the Internet now and buyers are more savvy than in the past. Most are looking for the best car they can buy for their hard-earned bucks. There's so many excellent choices out there now they won't settle for something that is low quality just to buy something cheap. If they want to save money, they could buy a gently used Honda or Toyota--or maybe for the same money a new Hyundai. (There's a thread on this very question in "Help Me Choose!" today.) Do you think that someone, who could either buy a slightly used Camcord, one with a certified warranty, or a new Sonata for the same price, will buy the Sonata only because of the new car smell? No, it would be because the Sonata is a quality car. If it isn't comparable in quality to the Camcord, that's what the buyer will choose.

    Also, when you see professional automotive reviewers giving awards to Hyundais and ranking them highly in their reviews, it is not because of their price or their warranty. It's because they are excellent cars.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I found most of the Volvo press junket story - quick fun read. And you'll realize that you are in the wrong business.

    A Sell-Out's Tale by Bryant Urstadt (Google Books)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    guilty as charged - but as anyone over the age of about 40 will tell you, history remains one our best teachers.
    If that slightly used Camcord sells before the new Sonata , it's only because the buyer perceives it a better value and a better bet.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I am over 40 and a student of history, but I also realize that times change. Otherwise I never would have bought my first Toyota in 1976 and others after that, nor my first Honda in 1985.

    I realize for example that Hyundai has come a long, long way since the 1986 Excel. I thought the 2001 Elantra I took a chance on back in 2000 was a quantum leap over that car. But the Genesis is more like an intergalactic jump.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    OK, time to fess up, since you brought it into the discussion... how much do the writers at get paid by the automakers for a favorable review?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I look at them more negatively as electronic nannies that limits my car's capabilities and something I may not even want

    I agree, with a caveat.

    I think on a sports car, I'd rather not have that at all, hence my Miata is sans stability or traction control.

    But...for a family oriented vehicle, like my Sienna, I want VSC, and would pay more even if it's an extra-cost option.

    Depends on the mission of the vehicle, I suppose.

    The Miata is supposed to slide. :shades:

    The Sienna should not, heaven forbid. :surprise:

    Though Toyota's is simply too intrusive. You need some wheelspin to get up a snowy ramp and it won't allow that at all, unless you turn it off (which I do).

    Problem is, most vehicles fall between, so it's a gray area.

    CR knocks a lot of Subarus for sliding but you can easily catch the slide, and they are an absolute hoot in the snow. My wife may not agree, though.

    Hyundai doesn't tune too aggressively, so that probably helps them from CR's point of view.
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