Hyundai Automotive South Africa might have thought it had been operating in the trucking segment with its H100 bakkie , also available in tipper guise , and its HD 65 and HD 72 models but in our opinion, it has only now arrived into the wonderful world of trucking writes Patrick O’Leary.
How can a company which has been selling bakkies and medium commercial vehicles for years not have been operating in the trucking segment? This could well be the question you may ask after reading the introduction to this article. The answer is a simple one’¦.When you lump cars, bakkies and commercial vehicles into one basket, you’re not in the trucking business.
FleetWatch has stated over and over that the car and the truck segments are so miles apart in structure and nature that they can never be merged into one arena of sales, service and accountability. Sure cars and bakkies can go together but cars and trucks , never.
Think of it this way, a car carries people, a truck carries steel. The one is an emotional purchase, the other a business purchase. They are miles apart. And that’s just in the original purchase decision. After that, the needs and requirements of the owners widen even further. That said, when Hyundai SA gathered together the press at Gerotek in the first quarter of this year to introduce its new range of Euro 2 medium commercial vehicles comprised of the upgraded and improved HD65 and HD72, it wasn’t only the vehicles that impressed. Rather, it was the fact that the announcement and function was held under the banner of the new ‘˜Hyundai Commercial Vehicle Division’.
Yep! They’ve done it. Hyundai Automotive South Africa has at last separated the passenger car and commercial vehicles into two separate divisions. From hereon in, truck specialists will be talking Hyundai CVs and the rest of them will talk ‘˜dinky toys’. One of Hyundai’s copy blurbs states: “When you buy a Hyundai, you’re not just buying a ‘˜truck’. You’re buying into a world-wide network of innovation and expertise with local attention focussed on satisfying the growing band of discerning customers in the South African market.’
That sounds pretty ‘˜kewl’ but may I put forward that up until the time the Hyundai Commercial Vehicle Division was formed, the ‘˜local attention’ claim in the copy blurb was not at all ‘˜focussed’. It was diluted. It will now become focussed.
Evidence of this became apparent at the launch function. The attention to detail in the products in terms of catering to truckers needs was there. Also, the talk has changed. They’re now talking trucks rather than ‘˜sort of’ talking trucks. FleetWatch has, for some time, held the view that if Hyundai ever got its act together in terms of all the above, it would do far better in the market than it has. The HD 72 has been around for some time, as has the HD 65. Yet, despite enjoying a measure of success in the market, they are far down the ladder in terms of top-ofmind awareness as trucker’s choices. With the company’s new dedicated focus on trucks, that is sure to change, especially with the new upgraded Euro 2 models available.
The man heading the new division is Wade Griffin, Director of Hyundai SA’s Commercial Vehicle Division who, referring to the new products, said: “We are confident South African truck buyers will recognise the outstanding mix of performance, reliability and value that our Mighty HD trucks provide,’ I’m sure they will but more so, they will recognise that you’re now talking their language and will respond as favourably to that. After all, as the press release states, the “new upgraded Euro 2 Mighty trucks are aimed at business operators as well as bigger fleet owners’. In this arena, Hyundai is up against big-time competition in terms of quality products. Knowledge of ‘˜things trucking’ is going to play a big role in the success or failure of the offerings.
FleetWatch will pop into the offices a bit down the line to see if our predictions are true.