Just over five years ago, Hyundai Motor America (HMA) made a high-level corporate decision to actively pursue commercial fleet opportunities to increase exposure to Hyundai products.
Automotive Fleet sat down with Richard Pipenhagen, corporate sales manager at the automaker’s U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif., to find out where the corporate fleet program stands today.
AF: How has Hyundai’s corporate fleet business been over the past five years?
Pipenhagen: In the past five years, we have developed a significant number of commercial and corporate fleet partnerships, much to do with infrastructure and a viable product lineup, which has piqued fleet managers’ and drivers’ interest. Corporate fleet is an important industry to Hyundai because it provides an opportunity for increased product exposure and incremental business we would not have ordinarily had.
AF: What’s new with Hyundai’s commercial fleet program?
Pipenhagen: We have launched many important facets that make partnering with HMA pleasant. For example, we offer a comprehensive website dedicated to fleet, a direct draft-secondary dealer code ordering platform, competitive national fleet incentives, a CAP program for high-volume achievers, a nationwide demo program, and seasoned (and growing) professional field representation (such as Ross Friedmann, commercial sales manager at HMA).
AF: What’s new with Hyundai’s commercial fleet vehicles?
Pipenhagen: As always, we are on the cutting-edge in safety, style, and technology. HMA’s all-wheel drive sedans, CUVs — such as the all-new Tucson — and SUVs continue to evolve in this growing and important market, especially in the Snow Belt.
In addition, the Sonata Hybrid and the all-new Plug-In Hybrid Sonata launching in the fall is of particular interest to fleets looking at alternative-fuel options.
The powertrain warranty of 10 years and 100,000 miles has always been high on the list of our value proposition for fleets and especially attractive for high-mileage drivers. And, the 24/7 Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance is a bonus. HMA affords a very competitive fleet incentive matrix year-over-year and is committed to this feature.
Also new, in an effort to mitigate the ability (thus the temptation) of texting while driving, Hyundai Motor Corporation (HMA’s parent) has discovered a feature to block texting while driving, and has, therefore, patented the technology. More details on this will be forthcoming.
Additionally, we are embarking on the launch of a comprehensive livery offering in partnership with Hyundai Capital America this fall.
AF: How is Hyundai’s courtesy delivery network coming along?
Pipenhagen: It is a work in progress, just like it always has been for all OEMs in this space. We have more than half of our 800-plus dealers signed up to participate in the program. So far, it has been very fluid and successful, exceeding my initial expectations. I am quite pleased and believe our customers are too.
AF: What are your goals for the next five years in fleet?
Pipenhagen: Over the next five years, we will focus on steady and consistent year-over-year growth. We will continue to provide terrific products with outstanding value, and ensure an ease of doing business with HMA commercial sales in this very important segment of the automobile business.