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Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com

Detroit. In the wake of the Detroit Auto Show and on the eve of the NADA convention in San Francisco, it’s a perfect time to ask, “What the hell just happened?”

The Detroit show was a kaleidoscope of the good, the bad and the ugly of course, but then again we would all be disappointed if it wasn’t. After all, if everything was all bunny rabbits and rainbows down at Cobo Hall something would be deeply amiss, right? So I’m glad the usual suspects showed up and laid bare their hopes, dreams, fantasies and delusions for all to see, with varying degrees of success, credibility or abject failure, whichever the case may be.

I’m not going to regurgitate the whole show again (you can read Peter’s review of the show from last week here – WG), but a couple of things are worth mentioning. Some in the media thought that Nissan should be awarded a gold star for its new Titan, especially since it offers a Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Really? You have to be kidding. The new Titan is a derivative, let’s-throw-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink Hail Mary pass at the pickup truck market that manages to come off more like a pathetic cry for help.

The fact that the Nissan brain trust actually thinks that they can blend an assortment of existing design cues from each top competitor in the market in a new pickup entry and call it good says more about the intransigent arrogance embedded in the company – and especially in its leader Carlos Ghosn – than anything I could possibly say. The Titan is a woefully disappointing me-too effort aimed at a market that has no room for me-too of anything. And Ghosn’s ridiculous comment about the Titan meeting “unmet needs” in the pickup truck market? It’s only the quintessential definition of unbridled, out-of-touch automotive arrogance laid bare for all to see, in case you’re wondering.

And what about Hyundai? A few of the Tweet-holes in the Twitterverse took me to task for deigning to criticize the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept, because apparently there’s a fundamental belief “out there” (and with too many in the “so-called” media) that everyone in this business should get a gold star just for showing up. This just in: It doesn’t work that way.
 

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Thanks, as usual, for the post, Stephane.

From PDL:

And what about Hyundai? A few of the Tweet-holes in the Twitterverse took me to task for deigning to criticize the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept, because apparently there’s a fundamental belief “out there” (and with too many in the “so-called” media) that everyone in this business should get a gold star just for showing up. This just in: It doesn’t work that way.

Is Hyundai floundering in this market? No, floundering isn’t the right word, but they’ve hit the wall and the company’s momentum has definitely stalled. Hyundai is no longer the can’t-miss industry darling of a few years ago and now the scrambling has really begun, as in what does Hyundai actually stand for? Someone in that company needs to define what Hyundai wants to be, because just showing up in segments with a Hyundai badge and expecting the waters to part isn’t going to be nearly enough. And that’s a tall order, because the Korean auto executive mindset is more of the “we’ll flip a giant switch and we’ll automatically succeed” school of thought, which is patently irrelevant in this, the most competitive market in automotive history.


Maybe I don't get it. I don't know if PDL is just soaring, but I see Hyundai as a mainstream brand covering the market from bottom to top.

I'd never think of them as an A/B/MB competitor. That's silly.

I see Hyundai as a solid line of vehicles with the best of warranties, often cutting-edge styling, after Herculean effort getting right into the mainstream.

They worked hard and got mainstream. They're going up-level just like everybody does. Remember the Chevrolet Caprice of the late 1960s?

My take is Autoextremist is over-analyzing.
 

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Perhaps you need to start a site called the Automoderate?
I'm thinking Autoright. Or perhaps From Flintstonemobile To Jetsons: The Real World.

No worries, I will share the wealth that will produce!!
 
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The Korean strategy is one of persistence. They'll fark up the first time, every time, and push relentlessly.

It's easy (well, not really) to gain mainstream acceptance that way. Moving up from there is a serious challenge.


For the record, my Samsung phone and fridge are terrible.
 
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