Gap Score

Hyundai’s “Blue Drive” sustainability platform encompasses its eco-friendly vehicles and fuel-efficiency enhancing technology. In the short term, Hyundai seeks to enhance the fuel efficiency of all its vehicles but, in the long term, it seeks to achieve zero emissions through the advancement of its eco-friendly technology. Furthering the company’s efforts to reduce emissions and enhance the performance, safety, and convenience of its vehicles, the Blue Drive initiative emphasizes key technologies such as high-efficiency combustion engines, engines that run on biofuel, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel-cell electric vehicles. In pursuit of clean mobility, Hyundai introduced the Sonata Hybrid in the North American and Korean markets for the 2011 model year. Though the Sonata Hybrid was initially recognized as the most fuel-efficient model in its class by the US Environmental Protection Agency, a year later, the EPA challenged Hyundai and its corporate sibling Kia on their miles per gallon (mpg) fuel efficiency claims. The Chief Technology Officer of Hyundai/Kia apologized and promised that fuel efficiency would be corrected, including for the 2013 Sonata Hybrid, to comply with US EPA standards—and even offered to reimburse customers. However, some Hyundai buyers wanted more than an apology and a reimbursement, and went on to file class-action lawsuits, prompting the brand to offer a lump-sum payout to buyers. Though Hyundai continues to break new ground with its first fully electric vehicle, the BlueOn subcompact, and its FCEV (Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicle) model, the Tucson ix FCEV in Europe, the discrepancy between promised performance and actual performance, as well as negative sentiment surrounding the lawsuits, has lowered its perception scores this year. Once the lawsuit dust settles, regaining consumer trust—and delivering on promises—should be top priorities for Hyundai.