Published on November 21st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hyundai Tucson: Reinvented To Win Customers
Ernest Hemingway famously said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” This is an especially fitting quote for the Tucson. It took 6 years to bring the Tucson to the world and compare to its former self, it excels in every way. Here are six messages the Tucson has brought to the world.
Striving for optimal balance
From amongst all its great merits, the 1st generation Tucson was most hailed for its great design. Unlike other SUVs in the market, the 1st generation Tucson incorporated smooth curved lines and rounded shapes, which many customers loved. The 3rd generation Tucson takes the tradition of advanced styling to the next level. The development team also devoted their time and effort to vastly improving the five basic performance characteristics of safety, performance, ride and handling, durability and NVH.
The 3rd generation Tucson was developed with the goal of being superior to the previous generation Tucson in terms of design and performance. Understanding the need to satisfy even the most demanding customer base, such as South Korean drivers, to become a worldwide success, the development team refined all aspects of the Tucson until the best possible result was achieved.
The secret of managing risk
The development process of a new automobile model can be divided into two stages, the first involves market research and target consumer group identification, and the second is the actual engineering works. The development team incorporated extensive risk management into the advanced planning phase of the Tucson’s development, which helped address, many issues early on.
Thanks to clear development goals and target customers being identified in the advanced planning phase, the early prototype (T-Car) was much closer to the mass production model than is often the case, making the latter part of the development process much more efficient and trouble free. A series of risk simulations and interdepartmental meetings to address identified risks also played a crucial role in making the Tucson development a success.
Innovation begins with listening
Although all markets are important, Europe is especially important because it is one of the most competitive markets with high customer expectations. Staff at Hyundai Motor’s Noovice plant in the Czech Republic was especially interested in the development direction of the Tucson because they will be responsible for manufacturing the Tucson units to be sold in the European market.
The development team decided to hold a seminar on the product concept of the Tucson at the Noovice plant and collected feedback from participants. The feedback provided by the staff at the Noovice plant and from local participants gave the development team some fresh ideas and inspiration, leading to some important changes to the product concept. This process ultimately contributed to making the Tucson better tailored to customer needs as well as creating a new discussion platform.
Setting a new benchmark
One of the biggest selling points of the Tucson is its reasonable price. The rising popularity of compact SUVs is a global phenomenon and this is largely due to increasing consumer emphasis on the value of money. Given changing consumer preferences, the development team strived to make the Tucson a great model with satisfying performance characteristics at a competitive price point.
A new process named Appropriate Costing was developed alongside the Tucson development process. Using the process, the development team quantified the value of different features of the Tucson using three criteria including development goals and price in order to compare their value and appropriate cost limit. The overall development cost was then calculated by adding up the cost limits of the various features. By employing the new Appropriate Costing process, the development team was able to set clear development goals and strike a great balance in overall performance.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Building shared understanding of goals
One of the most important conditions for building a great car is strong interdepartmental collaboration. Since Tucson was hailed for its great design, strong emphasis was put on making the 3rd generation Tucson just as stylish. Thanks to the strong support of the engineering team, the bold early design of the Tucson could become a reality. Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) was yet another area where collaboration between many different departments was required. For example, a great many refinements were needed to reduce noise and vibration from the engine, doors, windows and tailgate. The 3rd generation Tucson was hailed as a great success in NVH management by all the engineers involved in the development.
Likewise, ride and handling were vastly improved thanks to strong collaboration, striking a great balance between responsiveness and ride quality. Improving one quality normally requires a compromise in the other. However, by strengthening the rigidity of the vehicle body the team was able to improve both. The structural engineering team further improved ride and handling quality by improving the geometry of the vehicle. For example, a full floor undercover was employed, contributing to improvements in aerodynamics as well as ride stability.
Building brand identity
The Tucson is one of the most important models for Hyundai Motor in terms of its target market but also in terms of the timing of its release. The Tucson is one of the 1st models designed following Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 philosophy. Therefore, its mission is to demonstrate the new design philosophy in a bold and compelling manner. The Tucson has a distinctive Hyundai Motor look, compelling performance characteristics and delivers great value of money. Overall, the Tucson has everything that the Hyundai Motor brand stands for while maintaining its own unique character. Moreover, the Tucson has succeeded in improving upon its predecessor.
In Summary, different automobile models stand out in different ways; some cars have responsive handling while others offer a more comfortable ride quality, and then there is the cabin space, which can vary widely. The pleasant surprise about the Tucson is that it stands out in many ways all at once.