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José Muñoz: Auto Shows Are Good for Business 



José Muñoz, the president of Hyundai Motor Company, cleared the air at the Automotive Forum New York: he stands by the Hyundai dealer network. 

After Hyundai announced a partnership last November to sell vehicles through Amazon’s online platform, franchise system advocates have been concerned about the retail strategy of the brand. But Muñoz said that the dealers remain the ones selling the vehicles. The Amazon platform is opt-in. 

The pilot program is currently active with 20 dealers and Muñoz expects it to expand in the second half of the year. Though this is a cautious expectation. He noted that vehicles are more complex than any existing products sold on the Amazon platform and present unique challenges to the transition.

Muñoz still recognizes the significance of consumers interacting with the vehicles in person, evidenced by Hyundai’s strong presence in auto shows across markets. 

“We like people who like cars,” he said. “People like coming to the shows – seeing the cars, experiencing cars.” 

Active participation in auto shows is better for the company, Muñoz said. It provides opportunities for consumers to experience and test drive vehicles they may not have previously considered – like electric vehicles. 

While the Hyundai Motor Company has “double downed” on EVs, Muñoz recognized the need for consumer choice. He said, “We need to be flexible and understand the interest of the public.” 

Hyundai will continue to offer ICE, hybrid and EV options. 

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