The latest breaking news from this week's Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars came from Hyundai Motor America, which vowed to retain its status as having the best fuel economy of any manufacturer -- and to raise its corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating to at least 50 mpg by 2025 for its lineup of passenger cars and light duty trucks. Hyundai moved to the top of the EPA manufacturer ratings in 2008 when it notched a 30.9 mpg combined fleet rating. For 2009, it's expected to be the only one of the top 10 highest volume automakers to have a 30+ mpg collective rating.
"We're committed to setting the pace in this industry on fuel economy, and we're inspired by the possibilities that our advanced Blue Drive technologies afford," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. "Getting to 50 mpg and beyond seems like a huge leap, but by making this commitment and aligning our R&D initiatives now, we know we can get there. This is our simple formula for success in the automobile industry. Rather than fighting fuel economy regulation, we encourage our Hyundai engineers to deliver more fuel efficiency, faster, accelerating the benefits to our customers, society, and the planet."
Even at this stage, the philosophy seems to be paying off handsomely. Since taking over the manufacturer fuel economy title in 2008, Hyundai sales have risen dramatically, literally more than doubling its market share in the U.S. Stats for the first half of 2010 show volume up by 25 percent and put Hyundai on pace to sell over 500,000 units here for the first time in its history.