2006 Hyundai Scores Doubleheader; Wins in AJAC CCOTY

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Tom McPherson

Manager – Public Relations

Phone: 905-948-6712


Markham, Ontario – December 6 – The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) today named the all-new, 2006 Hyundai Sonata as Canada’s “Best New Family Sedan Under $35,000” and the 2006 Hyundai Azera as the country’s “Best New Family Sedan Over $35,000” in the annual AJAC Canadian Car of the Year (CCOTY) competition.

“These dramatically new Hyundai products are milestone vehicles for Hyundai in Canada,” said Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada. “We are tremendously excited and honoured to have won these prestigious awards from Canada’s most influential group of automotive journalists.

“Canadian automotive journalists clearly recognize that Hyundai is the surprising automaker that exceeds consumer expectations through our relentless drive to over-deliver on quality in every price in which we compete,” stated Hyundai Auto Canada’s Director of Marketing, Peter Renz. “The all-new Sonata and Azera sedans are destined to redefine the way Canadians perceive Hyundai and Hyundai products by exhibiting our unwavering focus on quality, safety, style and by over-delivering with standard features while reflecting and retaining traditional Hyundai value.”

The 2006 Hyundai Sonata is an all-new vehicle featuring refined and confident styling, class-above spaciousness, segment-leading safety features and outstanding value.  The 2006 Hyundai Sonata was developed specifically with North American consumers in mind and is the first Hyundai built in North America at our new manufacturing facility in Montgomery, Alabama. The 2006 Sonata also features two all-new, powerful and fuel-efficient engines – the 2.4-litre Theta inline four-cylinder and the exciting 3.3-litre Lambda V6.

Following National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing, the 2006 Hyundai Sonata was awarded a five star rating – the highest accorded by NHTSA – for frontal and side impact crashes.

The 2006 Hyundai Sonata is available in three distinct trim levels with prices ranging from $21,900 to $26,600, and represent the culmination of three years of intensive collaborative development at Hyundai’s global R & D centres, including those in Michigan and California.

The 2006 Hyundai Azera is also an all-new vehicle featuring contemporary “European” styling and an interior package so spacious that it exceeds that found on such luxury vehicles as the BMW 760i and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.  The 2006 Hyundai Azera sets new standards for occupant safety with eight standard airbags (dual front, front and rear seat-mounted side impact and side curtain) standard active front head restraints, standard child seat LATCH system and seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters. Based on preliminary testing, the 2006 Azera is projected to perform at a five star level in all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal and side impact testing.

The 2006 Hyundai Azera is available in two distinct trim levels – luxurious cloth or leather upholstered versions and the Azera is equipped with a host of standard features usually found only on sedans costing thousands of dollars more. The Azera is powered by a sophisticated 3.8-Litre, all-aluminum, DOHC V6 engine matched to a smooth shifting five-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the all-new Hyundai Azera ranges from $34,495 to $37,495.

These AJAC awards are further evidence of the high quality levels consumers are finding in Hyundai products. In the past two years, Hyundai and Hyundai vehicles have been the winners of over 30 awards for automotive and quality excellence.   These include such prestigious awards as the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Award for the Sonata and Tucson, the Strategic Vision Top Quality Award for the Tucson and Accent, and the Hyundai Santa Fe’s AutoPacific Satisfaction Awards for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
The Hyundai Tucson, Elantra and Sonata have been listed as recommended vehicles by the highly respected Consumers Guide while the 2005 Hyundai Tucson was named as AJAC’s “Best New Crossover Vehicle” and as an Editor’s Choice winner in the SUV/Crossover category by World of Wheels magazine.

Driven by the steady, consistent launches of award-winning new products, the Hyundai brand has seen a dramatic increase in its sales, market share and brand image in the last few years. In fact, Hyundai brand sales have jumped a remarkable 218% since 1995, from 18,424 to 58,666 in 2004.  No other established import brand on the Canadian market has grown by that amount during the same time frame. With a market share of 4%, Hyundai is the eighth-largest nameplate in the Canadian automotive industry.

“Hyundai is definitely on a roll – we have more dealer traffic, more customer consideration and more sales, all driven by great new models,” stated Mr. Kelleher. “We’re going to grow Hyundai’s market share and brand image through sophisticated product design, leading-edge quality, safety technology and exceptional value.”

Hyundai Auto Canada, headquartered in Markham, Ontario, is a division of Hyundai Motor America whose parent company is Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea. Hyundai automobiles and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout Canada by Hyundai Auto Canada and are sold and serviced by 163 Hyundai retailers nationwide.

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