Is Luxury A Dirty Word?

Hyundai Canada's Consumer Gauge addresses the need to redefine luxury with new "modern premium" philosophy

MARKHAM, ON, Feb. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians feel getting the features they want in a product is more important than the brand they buy, according to Hyundai Canada's new Consumer Gauge, released today. In light of the global economic changes over the past five years, the national survey reveals consumer confidence has shifted and traditional 'luxury' is now low in the list. In fact, one in four Canadians admit their definition of luxury has changed since the 2008 global financial crisis.

As part of an ongoing commitment to further understand the Canadian consumer, the auto manufacturer partnered with Millward Brown to find out what really matters to Canadians when making a large purchase. The Consumer Gauge reveals luxury is no longer a relevant part of consumers' lives, and has potentially become a dirty word. Hyundai's newest philosophy - modern premium - addresses that very statement.

"Democratizing high-end features and making them accessible is the essence of the Hyundai brand," said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. "We're determined to redefine luxury by offering customers key features they want without the steep price tag. The Consumer Gauge allows us to gain further insight into consumer preferences so we can better tailor our offering to suit their needs."

The study goes on to reveal that 66 per cent of Canadians prefer to buy modern brands that combine luxury at a fair price and more than 50 per cent of Canadians have no intentions of buying a luxury item in the next 12 months. Hyundai's modern premium standard represents these purchasing preferences. That means, getting quality features at an affordable price. Where brand name products used to indicate status and envy, they now reflect indulgence.

"Canadians are increasingly looking for value and personal gain from the products or services they buy," continues Kelleher. "The importance of the small things cannot be overlooked. Getting premium quality features at an accessible price is now the name of the game."

Highlights from the Study

Price was found to be the most influential determinant of luxury across all groups

  • When asked what determines whether a product or service is considered luxury, Canadians reported pricing as the largest factor (38.5 per cent), followed by personal gain/enjoyment (18.2 per cent), impact on lifestyle (11.1 per cent), and exclusivity (9.7 per cent) among others.
  • Men are more likely to purchase luxury products that are functional and tangible like cars (20 per cent) and appliances (15 per cent)
  • Women are more likely to spend on luxury products that are aesthetically pleasing (27 per cent) and 78 per cent are more likely to believe luxury is in the eye of the beholder
  • Women are most likely to seek high value in their purchases and shop around for the best price
  • Personal gain remains the largest determinant of luxury after price for Canadians over the age of 35

Hyundai is Redefining Luxury

In response to customer demand, Hyundai has made "luxury" features available to consumers in vehicles at every price point. The response has been phenomenal, resulting in 37 consecutive months of year over year sales growth. Key features include:

  • Heated rear seats in the Elantra, a compact car that recently won Canadian Car of the Year at the Toronto Auto Show and North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show. This feature is also available in mid-size vehicles including the Sonata and Genesis and the full-size Equus
  • Best-in-class fuel economy in the Elantra and Accent without the added expense of an exclusive "eco" model
  • Standard 7-inch touchscreen, back-up camera and push-button start in the Veloster, a recently launched three-door coupe starting at $18,999 and won a "Best New Design" award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

About the Survey

The Consumer Gauge was conducted by Millward Brown amongst 1,001 Canadians. The questionnaire was conducted in French and English January 12 - 16, 2012.

About Hyundai

Hyundai Auto Canada, established in 1983 and headquartered in Markham, Ontario, is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout Canada by Hyundai Auto Canada and are sold and serviced through more than 200 dealerships nationwide.

SOURCE Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

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