DETROIT – U.S. consumers are increasingly looking for cars designed and packaged to meet their overall lifestyle needs, Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning for Hyundai Motor America, told attendees at the SAE 2013 World Congress in Detroit.
His remarks highlighted consumer insights driving the integration of new technology into modern car design. O’Brien pointed to Hyundai Assurance Connected Care – the new safety and security suite powered by Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics platform—as a proof point to illustrate the automaker’s response to changing customer preferences.
Hyundai Assurance Connected Care is an example of an automotive innovation developed with the broader consumer lifestyle needs in mind, O’Brien said. The new program will provide free proactive safety and car care telematics services for three years to every buyer of a new Hyundai vehicle equipped with Blue Link. The technology and service includes automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, monthly vehicle diagnostics reports and maintenance alerts.
“Technology is important, but consumers aren’t all that interested in the specific telematics hardware or diagnostic software that make it work,” O’Brien said. “They just want to know that their vehicle can help speed assistance to them in the case of an emergency or alert them of maintenance issues before they become major problems.”
To meet this shifting consumer mentality, Hyundai already has changed its product development process, O’Brien said. Instead of just asking car shoppers what features they want, Hyundai is focused on understanding what inspires, motivates and shapes the lives of consumers. It’s looking for broader cultural trends that affect people’s lives and then determines how mobility fits into their evolving world.
“With longer product development cycles in the automobile industry than most other businesses, we have to anticipate what consumers will want years from now,” O’Brien said. “It’s not just about doing more research; it’s about doing smarter research that listens to the consumer and delivers an automobile with an overall package and design that meets their needs before they’re even able to precisely articulate what they want.”
Connected Care is an extension the Hyundai Assurance program started in 2009 that’s designed to meet consumer needs through an umbrella of services that pledge exceptional customer service and owner satisfaction.
SOURCE: Hyundai Motor America