NY Auto Show: Hyundai Dumps Van. Just Says No To Badge Engineering.

Posted by: David Kiley on April 7, 2009

HYentourage.jpg

Later this year Hyundai will stop selling its Entourage minivan in the U.S. Hyundai CEO John Krafcik says the Entourage was a “cheap lesson in why you don’t do badge engineering.”

The Entourage was really a barely differentiated Kia Sedona minivan. Hyundai and Kia are corporate cousins, and share design, engineering and procurement. And some of their cars and crossovers, indeed, share vehicle architectures. But the minivans, says Krafcik, have been a poor example of what the two companies can do in terms of keeping their brands and product lines separate and distinct.

Dealers had long complained they didn’t have a minivan, so Hyundai caved and rolled out the Entourage in 2007. Last year, Hyundai sold a whopping 8,400 minivans, down 50% from the previous year. Kia sold 27,000, down about 30%.

Of course, it was a tough year for minivans and the industry as a whole. The consensus seems to be that minivans are sliding down to a lower normal rate of sales and that the weaker players are being weeded out. We’ll have to keep watch to see if Kia keeps its van around having lost the sales volume that never materialized from Hyundai. Nissan is on the verge, we think, of mercifully pulling the plug on the Quest.

Chrysler continues to discount the heck out of minivans. People I know have been paying around $24K for a loaded Chrysler Town & Country with every feature box checked. That’s more than $10K off MSRP. That makes it tough for the other players, except for Honda and Toyota, to crack through.

Chrysler, once the king of minivans, has now positioned itself to be the value-brand entry, replacing the Koreans in that role. How did we get here?

Reader Comments

trh

April 9, 2009 7:47 PM

i own a 2002 dodge mini van it is a very good car.hope to buy another,but....no way in hell at 25000 and up!

Sven Penner

April 11, 2009 4:52 PM

I own a Hyundai Entourage. Excellent van. The best vehicle Kia ever built!

ahnuc

April 13, 2009 2:38 PM

I own a '07 Entourage GLS and love it. Though, admittedly not without a couple of faults - none of which have to do with the power doors, despite what everybody says. I also work at a Hyundai dealer. Now that they've pulled the plug on the Entourage is when all the fence-sitters are coming out of the woodwork. We just sold a 2008 Demo that was the only new or new-ish Entourage available anywhere for miles.

CJ

June 27, 2009 11:08 AM

My 1998 Chev. Venture van w/105,000 miles just died ~ the Chev. repairs thru the yrs. were extremely high & often ~ car searched & found a 2008 Entourage @ CarMax w/24 miles ~ brand new from dealer to auction ~ very easy to drive, enjoyable interior ~ roomy for 7 people & lots/lots of storage spaces ~ and very affordable total and monthly payments. Sorry to hear the manufacturers will NOT make any more after the end of 2009 ~ I found this out AFTER the fact ~ hope it does not hamper parts/repairs yrs. down the line ~ I am very satisfied ~ ( :

Post a comment

 

About

Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!