Hari to counter TRAIN effect on products with innovative marketing strategies

HYUNDAI Asia Resources Inc. (Hari) is trying to withstand the impact brought about by the new tax law by rolling out fresh marketing strategies aimed at selling not only the product, but also the experience attached to it.

In an interview with the BusinessMirror, Hari President and CEO Maria Fe Perez-Agudo said they are coping with the higher excise tax on automobile by bringing in engaging strategies that aim to connect the brand with buyers. This is to ensure the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion does not get in the way of their development.

“Technology has been a great equalizer among the products and services on offer, but the battleground for brands has changed. Beyond product quality and innovation, people are no longer buying things, but experiences and ideas,” Perez-Agudo said.

“Customers are more about being connected with brands in a more direct and meaningful way, and through the popular digital channels. Emotional connection with a brand is key,” she added.

Perez-Agudo, who is also stirring the wheel for the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (Avid), said Hari is currently implementing its Gusto campaign launched in 2016. The program has Hyundai Motor Group’s Philippine affiliate consulting their customers to ensure there is no disconnect between the wants of the buyers and plans of Hari.

She added digitalization efforts are underway to streamline the services of Hari.

“In terms of after-sales service, we continue to beef up the digitalization of out after-sales service workshops and service appointments with the aim of making life easier for our busy customers,” Perez-Agudo said.

“In sum, against the backdrop of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment, we are taking bold and deliberate steps to truly be a lifetime companion for our customers in mobility and beyond,” she added.

Efforts of Hari to stave its sales of any contraction comes at a time when the firm is continuously suffering from consecutive dips, as shown in its recent figures of a 7-percent slide to 2,345 units sold in April from 2,521 units sold during the same month last year. By the end of April, Hari posted a conservative 11,076 units sold, a 2.5-percent drop from year-on-year sales of 11,362 units. Passenger cars made an excellent showing in April after contributing close to 75 percent of the firm’s total sales.

In spite of the consecutive drop in sales, Hari remain positive it will pick up pace in the coming months when higher household and consumer spending is expected. Apart from this, the car distributor is also looking forward to the fruits of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

“The minute impact of the Train Law in the sale of Hyundai vehicles only shows the capacity of the brand in weathering any uncertainties in the automobile industry. Automotive consumers remain responsive and the brand would continue to satisfy them with its lineup of best-in-class products and services,” Perez-Agudo said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hari announced it invested on an educational institution that seeks to improve the local automotive workforce and open opportunities for the unprivileged youth.

The South Korean car manufacturer officially inaugurated last month the Philippines’s first Hyundai Dream Center (HDCP) at the Hyundai Logistics Center in Calamba, Laguna.


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