The peculiar case of Hyundai

April 20, 2022
Indian automotive scene is definitely not easy to thrive. We have seen global automotive giants like Ford, General Motors, Fiat etc. being thrown away to smithereens thereby going into huge losses in their Indian arm leading to shutting down their shops in India.

Position of Hyundai in India

Some of the other conglomerates which are globally top manufacturing companies like Volkswagen Automobile Group, Honda Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation etc. having an abysmal presence and somehow trying to cling in the market but one is surprised when one looks at the South Korean giant Hyundai Motor Company which also opened their business in India at a similar time as the aforementioned conglomerates but as of now in India they are the highest revenue earning company in India and has emerged as one of the most aspirational and desirable car brands among the majority of Indians as compared to even Europeans and Americans.

Also, what makes it all the more interesting is the fact that the Korean giant had a lot less R&D budget and lower engineering skills as compared to mighty Europeans, Americans and the Japanese but still they became successful in wooing the Indians. 

Flaws in Hyundai Cars

What’s even more astonishing is the fact that their majority of the cars have some serious structural and engineering flaws and some of these flaws are not even trivial, they are life-taking at times.

It ain’t that these problems were not known to them, it was pretty well known to them and if by any chance it had slipped from them during QC there has been a lot of complaints regarding these problems from the consumers but what’s appalling is the fact that the OEM is completely apathetic to even to these serious issues and treat us just like some 3rd class people who should be contented with the 4wheels and steering that have been provided to them and should not find flaws in their cars let alone criticizing them!

I’ll not elaborate the issues as they are already very well-compiled in Team-BHP forum, I shall leave the link for the same Hyundai India - The occasional serious quality lapse and apathetic manufacturer response! - Team-BHP 

Structural Solidity

Second problem I have with them is about their structural solidity (or the lack thereof) in their cars. Majority of their cars are structurally fragile which is a clear cost cutting measure. What punches me the hardest is the fact that the Korean giant maintains a double standard with us so called “Cherished” customers who spend hefty prices and wait in long queues to get hold of one of their cars(Check our Senior BHPian RSR’s post Understanding car platforms, starting with the Hyundai Venue - Team-BHP).

What we get in return are useless gizmo loaded death-traps and I mean it, just consider you are cruising on a highway when suddenly both steering and brakes fail thus causing a crash🤯(As opposed to some OEMs which try to give features so as to avoid crashes!) and when you crash, the car just mangles and crumples like a sheet of paper thus lessening your chance of survival, living up to their name “DEATH-TRAP”. Not a nice way of population control, South Koreans. 

NCAP Rating

None of their cars have managed to get above 3star crash rating in Global NCAP which tests made in India cars. From their budget cars like Santro which have managed to get only 2 stars (as compared to a Tiago which got 4stars) to their expensive cars like Creta, Alcazar which are untested but based on their internal structures and their cousin Kia Seltos which is based on same platform managed to get a lamentable 2.5stars in GNCAP their highest selling models offer you the most unsafe drive, I don’t fret claiming that. Heck, even Suzuki has safer cars in their stable and have mechanicals which don’t fail in the middle of the road. 

Airbags & Safety Features

while at it I must point it out that most of the times safety hasn’t ever been Hyundai’s priority during product planning strategy. Consider the case of their highest selling model the first gen Creta. Even if we leave the six airbags as most of the OEMs in that segment offer in top most trims only, they reserved crucial active safety features like ESP, TC & VSM only in their top SX(O) manual trim.

So much so that they didn’t bother to give these essential active safety features and not even six airbags option in the Automatic variant at all during the whole life-cycle of the first gen model (And here we were making noise and criticising Škoda for adding 6 Airbags only after 4 months of launch in response to customer feedback and satisfaction!, at least they did and Hyundai, heck they shrugged off serious issues like I mentioned earlier what’s this?!😂🤯), also they decided to equip ISOFIX mounts only in the automatic variants only, does anyone have a logic for that?

Height Adjustable Seat Belts

Let me touch on more point Hyundai did give height-adjustable seat-belts with pre-tensioners but for the Indian variant they omitted the load-limiter function for the same, the lack of latter can cause serious injuries to the occupants but why will Hyundai bother for us worthless mortals who should consider themselves fortunate enough in driving their “World-Class cars”!! Even in their second gen Creta this strategy continues albeit in a different manner, now if you want to buy a top model naturally aspirated petrol Creta with manual transmission, you do get panoramic sunroof, a gigantic touchscreen system but you get only 2airbags and no active safety features which I mentioned earlier. What do you think about that 🤬? 

Inferior Quality Materials

Next point which I would like to highlight is the usage of inferior quality materials and parts in their cars. I mean on one hand there are some OEMs which offer you anti-perforation warranty on the paint of their cars and on other hand we have OEMs which have peeled off paint clean from their car’s body as if it were somehow shoddily painted by some local shanty garage, that too in absolutely in normal conditions. Then their parts quality too which like their paint quality is subpar.

Ask any new Elite i20, Creta owners they definitely have their condenser belts and sometimes even timing chains fall off clean from the engine bay! 🤯. Again, I wouldn’t elaborate much as these are compiled beautifully in Team-BHP (follow the link I had given in the first paragraph).

Now just add up all of these and you can picture of what I said at the beginning unnecessary gizmo loaded cars with fundamental flaws in their structure and engineering and this has been deliberately done so as to save costs by a huge margin since majority of us don’t give a damn about these and we are easily flattered and blinded with equipment.

Even after all these flaws they still laugh their way to bank as people are standing in crowd with ready hard cash to get hold of these junk box death-traps. Also consider the fact that most of the resources are spent by the OEMs in R&D of their cars, gizmos are dirt cheap in front of them but the Korean giant doesn’t need to do proper R&D just make anything, stuff it with all the goodies, price it at a premium and dump it on us and we will be happily buying those stuff, now just imagine how much profit they are earning from us. Also personally speaking, at least their yesteryear cars looked nice and appealing nowadays their designs too are just bulbous, monstrous and HIDEOUS. 

Impact on other Brands

What’s saddening is the fact that we buy these cars by ignoring some of the better built and engineered cars thus causing their business case to be infeasible for them in India leading to their demise. We are not setting our priorities correct to be very honest.

I have already started missing Ford highly, their Ecosport was such a good option in ~10L price range and well their Endeavour was miles better than the respective segment leader. Also what beautiful cars did Ford give us including the Ikon 1.6,Fiesta 1.6S,Figo 1st gen TDCi etc. Alas we would never see them again😔.

Now there are only a handful of players left and I really hope people prefer them and they keep their focus set on our market because if these remaining European/American/Japanese brands shut their shop, honestly speaking these OEMs will do even more arbitrary stuff and we will have to accept those since we have no other choice  


Finally, by arbitrary I mean they will stop selling whatever good cars they have left in their segment. I have already described about the Tucson being miles better than the other offering by Hyundai in every aspect whether it be parts (since they are imported not locally made), is solidly built with a perfect 5star in Euro NCAP (since it’s CKD no chance of double standard) but that’s not the topic for today I have had already elaborated many times already. 

I must mention that some people will think me of as a Hyundai hater but I would like to mention that I have no problem with them, I love their safe cars even more than say Europeans and Americans. I personally own two Hyundai cars, the first gen 2009 i20 Asta(O) 1.4 CRDi equipped with 6Airbags which was made in India for European markets and it scored a perfect 5stars in Euro NCAP and was included in top 5safest cars in Europe back then. My second car which I recently bought is which you might already know is the Hyundai Tucson CRDi 4WD. Also, we have a 1999 Hyundai Santro in our family as well, also I absolutely loved some of their yesteryear cars like Sonata and Santa Fe. Thank you very much and I hope you liked it! Have a great time ahead.

Shared by: Aryaan (Youtube Subscriber)

Disclaimer: Information is submitted by the our youtube subscriber through online form medium. Volklub-Sunderdeep Singh doesn't take any responsibility to confirm accuracy or authenticity of the information provided. Readers are requested to make their opinion by reading from other means as well and do take a test drive of the car you are interested in and ask all doubts from the authentic service/sales advisors in a particular brand.

Sole purpose of this review is to try providing readers with factual information where other readers have shared their ownership experiences that may help readers for their car buying decision.

About the author, Sunderdeep Singh

Greetings, fellow car enthusiasts! I'm a dedicated WordPress Developer and Lead Generation expert, proudly steering the ship at Prinspire Technologies. On Upwork, our agency stands tall with a Top-Rated status, backed by the trust of over 200 satisfied clients and a remarkable 80,000 billed hours.

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