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N branding consolidation in Hyundai dealerships

Hyundai prepares BMW M-style showroom section for hot N models, continues drive days

17 Aug 2021

AFTER trialling a dedicated ‘N’ section at several dealerships, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) is expected to soon begin demarcating its N Performance line-up in Hyundai showrooms as the second phase of its N model roll-out is completed.


Speaking to GoAutovia web link, HMCA’s general manager product planning Andrew Tuitahi said the idea of a BMW M-style showroom separation of dedicated performance models from Hyundai’s mainstream line-up seemed to make sense.


“We’ve run some tests, I guess you could say, in some dealerships on the eastern seaboard of Sydney – I believe they call it the naughty corner,” said Mr Tuitahi.


“It’s got a pretty good set-up and looks pretty fun. There’s a little chicane on the floor with some ripple strips and it features the N hero car of the moment.”


As with upmarket German brands’ performance arms – AMG for Mercedes-Benz and M for BMW – the idea is to give the premium-priced product both greater visibility and a more focused sales experience. 


“I think the test went well … the feedback was good so I think that’s something we’ll look at doing,” said Mr Tuitahi.


“As the model range grows, and we see the i20, Kona N and Sedan N come along, we should be able to roll that out.”


As Hyundai’s N model line-up inevitably expands, so too could the types of N-badged vehicles populating these dedicated N divisions in dealerships.


“The good thing for us sitting here as product planners for Hyundai, as we look across the cars, the platforms that we have available, the powertrains – whether it’s internal combustion through to electric, even through to hydrogen and fuel cell – we can see how all of those things can be combined, used in isolation and scale to reach N levels of performance and fun,” said Mr Tuitahi.


“And so as we look at our cars, we can see each and every one of them being capable of that level of performance.”


HMCA already has a strong record of customer engagement with owners of its N models. Despite the i30 N having only been on the market for just over three years, Hyundai has sanctioned multiple driving events for N owners, including road meets and track days.


Open to single owners, partners, friends and family, these drive days often leverage Hyundai’s TCR connections to access racetracks such as Sydney Motorsport Park, Phillip Island and Mount Panorama, with the post-pandemic aim being to host a drive event every six to eight weeks, mostly using public road loops.


So far, New South Wales has hosted two events, with an event each in Victoria and South Australia.


The NSW drive days attracted more than 50 cars each, with the Sydney Motorsport Park event (held in May this year) featuring 60 N cars, 110 people, and an N owner parade lap of the Eastern Creek circuit.


Hyundai’s drive events are full-day programs set to expand across the country. A Queensland event scheduled for August was postponed due to the pandemic, though they did host an N Festival early in the year.


A WA event is also in the pipeline (once COVID-19 restrictions are eased), as is a future event to be held at The Bend circuit in South Australia.

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