€25m marketing campaign behind Hyundai's sales burst
A €25m TV and radio campaign helped to drive Hyundai from underdog to Ireland's top-selling car brand.
The South Korean brand topped the charts for new vehicle registrations in Ireland during January and February.
Its share of the passenger car market climbed from 2.99pc in 2009 to 9.19pc last year, a growth rate of 207pc - far exceeding growth at all of the country's other biggest brands.
Volkswagen's market share rose from 11.24pc in 2009 to 12.31pc in 2015 (+10pc); Toyota's fell from 14.82pc to 10.49pc (-29pc); and Ford's fell from 14.39pc to 9.64pc (-33pc), according to the Society of the Irish Motoring Industry.
The right to sell Hyundai vehicles in Ireland is owned by a private Irish company, Hyundai Cars Ireland.
Its directors are Eugene O'Reilly, Stephen Gleeson and Gerard Boylan.
The company initiated an ambitious marketing campaign aimed at repositioning the Hyundai brand in 2011, alongside the launch of a new range, marketing director Sarah Hayes told the Sunday Independent.
It has spent around €25m since then on marketing activities. It advertised heavily on television and radio, becoming one of the biggest TV advertisers in the state and sponsoring shows like Coronation Street and RTE's coverage of the Fifa World Cup in 2014.
"Hyundai was traditionally seen as a value proposition in Ireland. With the introduction of the new range we wanted to complete reposition that towards style and quality," Hayes said.
Having endured deep declines during the recession, new car sales are now firmly back in growth mode.
Statistics released last week by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) showed that new car registrations for the month of February were up 37pc on the same month the year before.
Registrations of both cars and commercial vehicles rose.
The increase was partly due to pent-up demand because Ireland replaced so few older cars with new ones in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The availability of low-cost finance has also contributed.
Sunday Indo Business