The two companies are in opposite situations at the moment; Hyundai is an up and coming with a lot of promises in their future, whereas Peugeot are financially struggling.
Hyundai enjoyed a second place in profit margin at 11.4%, a mere 0.2% less than BMW, with Kia coming third at 9.6%. Hyundai’s business is booming thanks to the anti-Japan protests in China, where we saw a sudden decrease in interest of Japanese vehicles in China due to the China-Japan island dispute, and the increase in sales of i10 in Europe.
Meanwhile, Peugeot has been struggling with business in 2012. They have had a decrease in sales for five consecutive years and are not expecting sales in Europe to pick up any time soon. The French government, who initially did not have any shares in Peugeot, have invested $807 million in an attempt to protect the company and job loses.
Peugeot’s main strength at the moment is their well established and iconic design of their hatchback vehicles, and the French Government has also got the company’s back. Their main weakness right now is their lack of reputation and media attention outside of Europe. According to their sales figure, more than 60% of their car sales in 2012 are from Europe, in a market where they are struggling with.
Their main objects right now is to focus on breaking into the Chinese market and developing their sedan cars, which is the main interests amongst Chinese customers. They are too focused on developing hatchbacks, which is only popular in Europe. The 508 is the only sedan they manufacturer, which again, is primarily sold in Europe, but it doesn’t have any clear advantages over its competitors. Practicality wise it’s not as good as the likes of Ford Mondeo, design wise it’s not as stylish as Audi A4, and reputation wise it’s not as flashy as BMW 3 series. Yes, their new Peugeot Onyx concept is super hot, and was one of the highlights at the Paris Motor Show, but will there be people looking for a hybrid super car?
Hyundai is currently in a good position; they are attracting a lot of attention and have a good sense of direction with their transition into a luxury brand. Their main weakness at the moment is their competitor’s strength. BMW, Mercedes and Audi have all got a well established reputation, a long history of quality cars and are offering a wide range of options to choose from. If Hyundai wants to compete in this segment, their only option is to excel in what they have to offer. People who are considering buying a BMW will not be stingy with their money and go for a cheaper alternative. They need to provide something to make consumers think twice before buying. They need to be able to offer better services, maintenance, in-car features and superior design quality to win the heart of people who are after a luxury experience.