Within the European market (home of hatchbacks) Peugeot and Hyundai both have the same target group for their vehicles. The introduction of the i-range by Hyundai to penetrate this market was a great success, competing with the X08 range of Peugeot’s. The i10 against 107, i20 against the 208, and of course, i30 against the 308.
Both companies have a “cheap” car image in europe, selling themselves with key phrases such as “economical” and “small running costs”. They are mainly targeting at everyday people who are just trying to get from A to B, with little cost and minimum effort. Even the top of the range brand new i40 Tourer and 508 are both less than £20,000 and is being sold for their “efficiency”.
The RCZ and Veloster are Peugeot and Hyundai’s attempt at offering something different, both are sold on the design of the vehicles and their performance.
In America however, Hyundai has a completely different brand identity to its European counterpart, whilst Peugeot stays pretty much the same. The i-range for Hyundai does not exist in America; the veloster which is at the top of Hyundai Europe’s price range has been dropped to the bottom in America, being one of the cheapest cars they have on offer. As previously mentioned, it is Hyundai’s objective to design cars that match the standard of luxury brands, and it is what they are exactly doing in America. They have a completely different brand image in America, which is quite interesting because there aren’t many companies out there doing this.
In the Asian market, Hyundai is considered something in between its European image, and American image. As someone who spent his early years in Hong Kong, I still remember the first family car that dad purchased. It was a Hyundai, a green Hyundai Excel. It was hideous, but it was cheap, which is what mattered most to my parents at the time. I remember it being so ugly that I thought to myself, “I would never buy from that brand when I’m older”.
Many years have passed since then, and I can honestly say that Hyundai is not the same as they used to be. Hyundai offers only the i40 out of the i-range in Hong Kong, and is only selling the Veloster and Elantra as alternatives. Same with Peugeot, as they only offer the 308, 3008, 5008 and RCZ. Hyundai and Peugeot are not common brands in Hong Kong, this is mainly because the tax rate on vehicles is high, but the insurance is low; so when people purchase a new car, they will either go for BMW or Mercedes if they are looking for something luxury, Toyota or Honda for something practical, or Nissan GTR and Lamborghini if they are looking for something sporty. There is not much ground for in-between brands such as Hyundai or Peugeot in Hong Kong as people want brands which are well known.