Jill Merriam Key Hyundai Blog

Hyundai Celebrates 25 Years in USA

February 28, 2011

The New York Times did a great automotive slide show about the evolution of Hyundai, which took me back. With Hyundai celebrating 25 years in the US, I asked my dad, the original owner of Key Hyundai, about those early days.

“I got my franchise in the second wave of appointments in 1987. Only Key remains, so I’m proud to say we are the longest established Hyundai dealership in Connecticut,” said Larry Merriam, the original owner/operator of Key Hyundai and, more importantly, my Dad.

Remember When?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvJ3vZ1Hd-w&w=425&h=349]

“During the 90s recession, automotive was hit hard. Not unlike today, but Hyundai learned from the 90s and it shows. Back then, corporate called in 15 or so major dealers, including me, plus management and the marketing firm, and we completely discussed the situation. Hyundai really listened to what we dealers were hearing on the salesroom floor,” said Larry Merriam, “then did something about it.”

Quality was – and remains – imperative to the American consumer, and Hyundai listened to my dad and the other dealers and proceeded to fix their cars, and revamp their image.

America’s Best Warranty: born in a recession, successful today

They set up the first 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty, deemed “America’s Best Warranty.” No one can afford such claims if vehicles are going to actually need it, so Hyundai put its money where its mouth was: its automobiles. Consumers caught on, and the quality issue was nullified.

Quality, value and lookin' good!

Once considered a cheap knock-off, and lets face it, cheap was its key attribute back in the day.

Then, Hyundai was far from the sleek, chic vehicle it is today – an automotive staple in the American car market for consumers demanding quality, safety, and value. And, dare I say, sex appeal.

Americans like their cars driving fine and looking fine.

Hyundai. Sexy. Who would have thought that 25 years ago?

25 Years Later, Another Recession, A Different Story

Hyundai has a completely different image today, and I like their ambitious plans for the future.

My dad worked hard to get Hyundai to listen back then, and today Key Hyundai is reaping the benefits with well made cars that people can afford and want to drive.

I am so looking forward to the next 25 years, because the future looks plenty bright indeed.

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