Hyundai Johnny Galecki - big bang theory superbowlClearly hoping for some astronomical sales growth, Hyundai is turning to Johnny Galecki, one of the stars of TV’s “Big Bang Theory,” to highlight its new Super Bowl ad for the 2014 Hyundai Elantra. Featuring a cameo appearance by comic legend Richard Lewis, the commercial is Galecki’s first on-air endorsement role, and it also marks a new strategy for the brand, too. But don’t expect any rookie jitters from Hyundai during the big game.

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According to one of the country’s top online auto-shopping resources, the best “Family Car of the Year” isn’t a car at all: It’s the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Hyundai’s compact crossover recently earned that honor as part of Cars.com Lifestyle Awards, where it impressed website judges with:

  • “Loads of high-tech and luxurious features packed in at a very competitive price.”
  • “The massive panoramic sunroof that makes riding in the backseat pure pleasure for kids and adults alike.”
  • Rear seating that “thoughtfully slides back and forth up to 5.2 in. and reclines as well, giving families more flexibility when installing child-safety seats.”
  • Amenities such as heated front and rear seats, with an also available ventilated front row.
  • A “zippy and fun turbocharged engine and surprisingly athletic ride.”

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The dynamic and dashing Hyundai Veloster has received this year’s Polk Automotive Loyalty Award in the Non-Luxury Sport Car segment. It’s an important honor, since it recognizes only those entries with customer satisfaction rates high enough to bring their drivers back to the same brand for their next purchases. On the other hand, the Polk prize was no shock to Scott Margason, director of Product Planning for Hyundai Motor America.

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Hyundai must be hoping that history repeats itself with the 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan. The company introduced the first-generation model at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2009, and not only did it earn Car of the Year honors, it also helped establish the brand as a credible alternative in the entry-lux segments. This year’s model brings new breakthroughs, too, including the introduction of Hyundai’s first all-wheel-drive system for U.S. owners.

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Last year certainly was one for the record books for Hyundai. Leveraging a notable surge in holiday shopping, the brand delivered more than 60,000 units in a single December for the first time in this country, growing volume by 6 percent on the strength of 63,005 sales.

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After a significant redesign brought significantly higher sales numbers for the 2013 model year, the 2014 Hyundai Azera will seek to press its in-segment advantages with even more standard content and even more affordable pricing.

The premium cabin of the Azera, for example, will welcome an upgraded audio unit with a six-inch color LCD display, and that screen also will double as a monitor for the car’s now-standard rearview camera system. A blind-spot mirror on the driver’s side, along with a three-year complimentary subscription to Hyundai’s Assurance Connected Care services, are new as well. Yet the automaker still managed to slice some $1,250 from the starting price of the 2014 Hyundai Azera, which now opens at an even $31,000 despite serving up standard leather seating, a heated/ventilated front row, Bluetooth technology and more.

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Hyundai Logo

Two new players on the Hyundai team—the refreshed 2014 Hyundai Elantra and brand-new 2015 Genesis Sedan—are about to make their debuts in the biggest game of them all: Super Bowl XLVIII, scheduled for Feb. 2, 2014, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. In fact, the 48th edition of the NFL’s hallmark championship game will feature separate commercials for each of the new vehicles as part of Hyundai’s seventh straight year as a Super Bowl advertiser.

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The Hyundai lineup recently received a clean bill of health from CarMD, as well as a prognosis for higher sales, by becoming the top-rated manufacturer in the 2013 Vehicle Health Index Report. The annual evaluation looks at the vehicles with the lowest number of “check engine” alerts combined with the lowest repair costs for those incidents. The win was especially satisfying for Hyundai since the company had finished second to Toyota for two years running before the current report was published.

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Hyundai Tucson Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

Hyundai will kick-start a new era in driving next year when it launches the 2015 Hyundai Tucson with a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain. The cutting-edge technology will enable the same kind of zero-emissions, all-electric driving as a typical EV, but without the drawbacks in terms of range and refueling.

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Customers looking for a little assistance with the zombie apocalypse will soon be able to look to local Hyundai dealerships for help. After all, that’s where they’ll find the 2014 Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead edition, created to both stay ahead of the undead and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original Walking Dead stories.

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