HYUNDAI is looking to bring its customer care up to premium brand levels in order to retain customers it has gained since launching a range of EVs and PHEVs that appealed to fleet drivers.
The brand has seen significant growth over the past two years as it has been able to better source low company car tax EVs and PHEVs than some rivals.
Many of the new customers have switched from premium brands who are used to a premium experience when their car is in a dealership for service and maintenance work.
Speaking to FleetandLeasing.com, Tim White, Hyundai’s Head of Fleet, said:
Retention is top of our list at the moment because of the ordering position we’re in. It means we’re spending less time having to focus on the here-and-now for sales targets, so we can look to the future and what we can offer to our customers as a back-up to those orders.
Over the past three years Hyundai has been moving away from tactical high cost, short cycle, low profit margin business.
“It’s an area lots of manufactures dip into in the good times, when there’s lots of cars, to meet volume aspirations that perhaps don’t have the greatest return. That journey had started even before the supply issues in a bid to get the CO2 result that we wanted.
“Also our products were evolving and we were offering the kinds of cars that company car drivers want. People started coming to us wanting Ioniq and Kona electric but that’s now moved into Ioniq 5 and Tucson plug-in hybrid.
“So far this year we’re at 4% market share, and it’s not a one-off. We’ve starved rental to the dismay of many rental operators, so our growth is in the areas we want it to be.
“The target isn’t 4%, but my personal objective, given the strength of our order bank, is in the region of 4%. We’ve said we want to be a 5% fleet player by 2025. But it will depend on the supply side of things and how that is for competitors too.”
Continuing, Tim added:
“We’re working with our aftersales team to make sure that our new customers, that were perhaps with a more mature fleet brand, have the experience they expect. We’re benchmarking what the SME fleet customer expects; looking at our replacement vehicles, customer care, dealer support are all in line with our new, diverse, customer base expects.”
He said this was particularly the case for Ioniq 5 customers.
“This is an issue for all brands with electrified cars. What do you do for a temporary replacement when a car is in for repair or service? Obviously we haven’t got a field of electric cars sat ready to act as courtesy cars,” he said.
“There are multiple projects on the go including leveraging cars through our rental partners and our own fleet. We’re also looking at the dealer network and the numbers of trained technicians in terms of electrification. We need to do all this so that people stay with the brand.
“It’s about the experience when you are in a dealer. We should be shooting for offering an electric vehicle replacement if that’s what they brought in, even if that’s not always possible. There’s no magic wand for this, but we’re working on it.”
White said he hoped to finish the benchmarking study by the mid-point of 2022 and set some initiatives in the second half of the year.