On one hand, Hyundai officials are trying to develop more models that will appeal to younger buyers. They view twentysomethings as a big sales opportunity.
On the other hand, the brand is running seriously short of the cars that appeal most to the young demographic. Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik says the brand has less than a two-week supply of such hot sellers as the entry-level Accent subcompact, Elantra compact and the sporty, head-turning Veloster.
Even though it doesn’t have enough cars to sell among its existing models, Hyundai is giving a press introduction in San Diego this week of new versions. There is an Elantra coupe, a hatchback and a turbocharged version of the Veloster. Even as these new ones roll out, they are already predicting dealers will be a little bit short.
Even before the turbo version hits, Mike O’Brien, a Hyundai vice president, says the Veloster is so hot that it is basically being sold off trucks as soon as they arrive at dealerships. While 40% of its buyers are women, a lot of customers for Velosters are opting for manual transmissions. Even with the turbo, the Veloster remains priced at a level that many younger buyers can afford: $21,950 plus $775 in delivery charges.