Hyundai Scores High with Younger Buyers

Rebecca Lindland, founder and consultant,, separates millennials into two groups.  She spoke to a group of auto dealers at a recent auto show about those minds that carmakers are all trying to get inside of.

“The Trophy Generation” born between 1978 and 1988 were coddled, pampered and protected by “helicopter parents,” Rebecca says.  They are image-conscious, motivated and optimistic, embrace diversity, are environmentally conscious and tech savvy. They expect instant gratification and are not responsible for failures (everybody gets a trophy!).

When it comes to vehicles, Trophies value “in-your-face” statement-making design and technology and are open-minded about new brands.  Meeting the mark on all of the afore-mentioned factors, Hyundai is tracking good sales to this age group.  And it was the first car manufacturer to offer a 5 year/100,000 mile warranty that covers the powertrain, unlimited roadside assistance and a lifetime battery warranty on all its hybrids. (Trophies appreciate and expect a vehicle to quite simply must be “responsible for itself.”)

The Hyundai Kona comes highly acclaimed by auto reviewers and earns outstanding ratings in customer satisfaction surveys. We found our Kona SEL AWD sure-footed and easy to get around in, yet spacious feeling enough inside and were impressed with all the features included.  With sporty good looks and a five-star National Highway Transportation Safety Administration score, the Kona might be the first car the Trophies choose for their kids as they come of driving age. They can load it up and still keep the price tag under $20K.  Like its other Hyundai counterparts, the Hyundai Tucson also has impressive satisfaction scores and awards and earned the 5-star NHTSA safety rating. Still considered a small SUV, Tucson is a bigger, longer and wider choice than the Kona.  The fully loaded Tucson, like our tester with Ultimate trim level, will still only set buyers back about $33k.

What Rebecca calls the “Online Generation” was born between 1989 and 1999.  The post-recession years occurring during their young adulthood had a more profound effect on them.  They are confident yet cautious, with an eye towards authenticity.  The Online Generation is rather agnostic towards vehicles and are the first generation that is not defined by car ownership.  That makes them unwilling to splurge on a vehicle purchase; they’d rather save up for world travel.   They will be quick to adopt shared mobility models and ready to embrace autonomous vehicle technology.  In the meantime, driving an affordable but tech-impressive Hyundai is a great solution.

With Hyundai Motor Group also owning Genesis and Kia, it looks like they have done their research and poised for their brand relevance to continue to grow.

Click Here to Download the Published Article