Hyundai enlists a surprising Kiwi test-driver to show off its Accent

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  • May 6, 2014
  • Ben Fahy
Hyundai enlists a surprising Kiwi test-driver to show off its Accent

​When it comes to selling cars, there's no substitute for getting bums on seats and letting potential customers get a whiff of that new car smell. And Hyundai and Shine have put a few different bums on the seats of its Accent model, including that of a truck driver, in an effort to inspire other Kiwis to take it for a hoon themselves. 

The main TVC features an entertaining, salt of the Earth, full-blooded Kiwi chap called Shaun, who works for a landscaping company and usually makes deliveries in his five-tonne truck during the day, who takes the Accent out instead (as he says: "when I drive a small car, I'll drive one"). And in addition to the opinions of this rather incongruous driver, it also filmed a range of drivers who already have small cars taking it for a spin. 

And, tapping into the unceasing human desire for free stuff, Hyundai has also made the most of its relationship with ambassador Al Brown and is giving a free copy of his book Get Fresh to anyone who takes the Accent for a spin (check out the car here).

According to Roy Morgan, Hyundai has done a great job of improving its lot and getting on the wishlist of Kiwi drivers (there are 200,000 Kiwis in the market for a new car in the next four years). In 2007, almost two in five New Zealanders who planned to buy a new car in the next four years said they would ‘definitely would not consider’ any Hyundai model. But that's been halved in just seven years. 

Obviously, some automotive brands feature on many wish-lists and stand to benefit when these new car intenders start shopping in earnest. Others are ‘rejected’ before they can even be considered. Over the last five years, however, several of these ‘rejected’ brands have redeemed themselves in the eyes of the car-buying public to crack the Top 10 of New Zealand’s least rejected makes.

Hyundai continues to make great inroads into the New Zealand market. In the 12 months to January 2014, 20.6% of Kiwi new car intenders named Hyundai as a brand they would ‘definitely not consider buying’ — a substantial decrease from 36.3% in the year to January 2009. As a result, Hyundai’s potential customer base has grown by 38,000 people.

“Over the last five or six years, Hyundai’s popularity among New Zealand’s new car intenders has skyrocketed," says Roy Morgan's general manager Pip Elliot. "As we reported last year, much of the brand’s improvement is due to several new models being introduced into the local market, combined with high-profile marketing campaigns and sponsorship deals. It’s encouraging to see that with genuine effort and improvements, a brand can turn its fortunes around and establish itself as a real contender."

Overall, new car sales in New Zealand are going off at the moment, with new vehicle registrations for March 2014 up 18 percent on the same time last year, according to the MIA

Toyota was the overall market leader for the month of March with 16% market share (1,802 units) with Ford second on 11%% (1,202 units) and Holden third with 8% (950 units).

Toyota was the passenger car market leader for the month of March with 13% share (1049 units), with Hyundai second on 10% (774 units) and Holden third with 10% (764 units).

The Toyota Corolla remains the top selling passenger model with 5% market share (408 units), followed by the Suzuki Swift on 4% (287 units) and the Holden Commodore at 3% (245 units). The Mitsubishi Outlander and Mazda 3 were the next best-selling models, also with 3% each of market share.

The Ford Ranger was the top selling commercial model for March with 550 units sold (17% market share). The Toyota Hilux was the second best seller with 16% market share (505 units). This was followed by the Nissan Navara with 8% (270 units). Year to date the Ford Ranger is the top selling commercial model with 15% market share (1171 units) closely followed by the Toyota Hilux, with 14% market share (1126 units).

The sale of sports utility vehicles represented a whopping 29% of all vehicles sales in March, followed by pick-ups/chassis-cabs with 20% and small passenger cars at 19% each.

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