Hyundai in WRC for a “minimum of 4 years”, big budget confirmed

Even though Hyundai enjoys a significant growth on the European car market, they are not satisfied with “very low brand awareness”. In order to turn their fortunes around and bring the company closer to it’s customers, Hyundai plans to increase investments in marketing and advertising. Final goal, according the the feature published in Financial Times, is to further increase the market share.

Currently, Hyundai holds approx. 3.5% of European car market, and according to Allan Rushforth, COO of Hyundai Europe, it’s plan is to grab several more percents over the next few years. But, to do that, company will need to step up their game in advertising.

How does that affect out sport? But of course it does! Hyundai decided that the World Rally Championship, and motorsport in general, is one of the more efficient marketing tools. Meaning, they won’t be in it just for the kicks or some short-term benefits. Instead, team principal Michel Nandan confirms Hyundai will invest heavily.

FT’s article claims Hyundai confirmed minimum four-year commitment to WRC, with planned investments reaching 80 million euros per year. Yes, that’s right, all you number crunchers, here’s some food for thought.

Needless to say, Hyundai’s main rival, both on markets and on stages, is Volkswagen. German brand is, as we know, not afraid to invest, and it’s reaping the results of dedicated work in both fronts. It’s encouraging to hear that Hyundai is going to follow the same philosophy. I am a tad bit skeptical about the four-year plan – not that I do not endorse it or believe in it – I just hope WRC is stable enough to provide solid foundations for such ambitious projects. Apparently it is, and apparently teams and manufacturers have more insight into what the long-term strategy for the WRC is, even though the general public do not. Which is perfectly fine.

[quote]“Motorsports thinking is different as it is first about performance . . . for road cars you have to compromise,” said team principal Michel Nandan. “This shows what technically Hyundai is able to do, which is what they were probably missing and what they really, really wanted.”[/quote]

Now, as you can imagine, Financial Times’ article did not reveal the drivers lineup. Also, speaking of multi-year commitments, did we hear similar, at least vague, confirmations from Volkswagen? I don’t think we did, but I’ll happily eat my own words if I’m wrong!

Read the complete article on Financial Times.