Hyundai has been getting a raw deal with the Sonata sedan for years now. The car offers more value and features compared to its peers, it wins international awards for providing top occupant safety systems and yet, it just doesn't sell here. Quite simply because of the Hyundai brand's perceived image.
If the car was to be evaluated independent of the brand, buyer acceptance would've been much better.
The original Sonata, when it was launched in India, was introduced with such fanfare and hype built around the brand's association with royalty that the campaign sustained its popularity for a while. Its design exuded a very 'Asian-Korean' influence, with a lot of excesses to the prevailing design trends in Europe and the US. But, it seemed to be the right style for Indian buyers of that era. And the brand's promos focusing on its association with royalty enabled it to have a successful start.
Text: S. Muralidhar, Business Line - Smartbuy
Images courtesy: www.hyundai.com