We read on Jalopnik an interview with Thomas Schemera, the head of global product strategy & design for Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis. As you know, major car manufacturers are axing sedans from their line-ups, but Hyundai says it is very much committed to this body-style well into the future.
During the Nurburgring 24 Hours, Schemera were asked about the market trend and he said that rather than ditch sedans entirely, it is a smarter move for car manufacturers to adapt them to suit the preferences of customers. “If you ask my personal opinion, [Ford, FCA, etc. dropping sedans in favor of SUVs and CUVs] is a big mistake. Everybody is going now for SUVs, everybody thinks that the market for sedans is going down,” he said.
“Our way of thinking is maybe to differentiate the sedans a little bit more in detail. Think about rugged style. If the look and feel of sedans is different, you make the difference.”
According to Schemera, producing a sedan in today’s world where customer preferences are shifting towards SUVs and crossovers, you need to design sedans with a difference. “Maybe to design, to compose, or to interpret a sedan more differently. The space and utilization of a sedan is from my point of view also unbeatable. This is a nice thing,” he said.
Not only does Hyundai talk the talk about sedans, but it also walks the walk as, last year, it introduced the new Accent in the United States and, perhaps more significantly, it has launched a radically-redesigned Sonata. This isn’t to say it isn’t also investing heavily in SUVs and crossovers.
Far from it, as its current range includes the Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, Santa Fe XL, and Palisade, and soon, the small Venue. It’s just not putting all its eggs in one basket. Wise move, if you ask us, just in case the tide turns…