Hyundai hyped its Veloster and the automotive media had high hopes for the
innovative odd four-door hatchback, but when the reviews came out, the praise was missing. Good? Yes. But great? Hardly.
Still, Hyundai is calling the Veloster an early success, capturing the highest percentage of the “compact sporty car” market in its first full month on sale. Veloster sales accounted for 31% of this niche market, topping the Scion tC and Fiat 500, each taking 15% of the pie, and even topping the MINI Cooper, which accounts for 29 percent of the segment.
Perhaps more impressive is how high demand is for the car, with Hyundai indicating that it takes a Veloster just 8 days to move off a dealer lot. By comparison, the next closest competitor is the Scion tC, which sells in 22 days. The CR-Z, the car Hyundai pegged the Veloster at most, hoping to draw-in a legion of disappointed Honda enthusiasts, takes a brutal 139 days to sell.
According to J.D. Power numbers the highest percentage of Veloster buyers are already Hyundai customers (20%), suggesting either that the car is helping to retain customers, or that it is cannibalizing sales of other models. The most popular conquest brands are Chevrolet, Honda and Ford, with the most popular trade-in models for the Veloster being the Honda Civic and Mazda3.
Hyundai claims one major reason for the car’s success is its value, with an average transaction price of $20,902 compared to $21,154 for the tC, $21,383 for the CR-Z and a spendy $25,950 for the MINI Cooper.
Similar good things are happening in the rest of Hyundai’s 40-mpg lineup says Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik during a recent presentation at the Hyundai Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI, with the Accent with just 20 days of cars in stock while over 70% of buyers are conquests from other brands. “The only reason the Accent isn’t the best seller in the segment is because can’t produce them fast enough,” he said.
Much the same can be said for the Elantra, which has “surpassed expectations” says Krafcik, saying it’s the fourth most shopped car in the entire industry, behind the Accord, Sonata and Camry.
As it stands, the supply issue is a major concern, for Hyundai and its dealers, with near-excessive demand for Hyundai’s well-priced high-mpg models like the Veloster.