Hyundai New Zealand steps up support for Hayden Paddon

Hayden Paddon backed by NZ companies for his 2016 WRC campaign

Hyundai New Zealand is excited to announce that it has confirmed a three-year agreement with Kiwi motorsport star Hayden Paddon as Paddon and co-driver John Kennard prepare to commence their biggest season in the World Rally Championship.

Paddon and Kennard, from Geraldine and Blenheim respectively, form New Zealand’s most successful rally driver and co-driver pairing. Having confirmed a three-year contract with Hyundai Motorsport toward the end of the 2015 season, Paddon and Kennard return to the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship, which starts in Monte Carlo on 22 January, for a full 14-rally season in a Hyundai i20 WRC car.

Hyundai New Zealand and their nationwide dealer network have backed Paddon since his original signing with Hyundai Motorsport in 2014. The commitment to a three-year partnership makes perfect sense, says Hyundai New Zealand’s General Manager Andy Sinclair.

“As a 100 per cent Kiwi-owned Company, the decision to extend our support of a New Zealand sportsperson of Hayden’s calibre was easy,” says Sinclair.

“Along with our nationwide dealer network, customers and motorsport fans around New Zealand and the world, we have watched Hayden develop and grow an incredible amount over the past two years.”

“The Hyundai dealer network across New Zealand makes a significant financial commitment to our partnership with Hayden and to help keep Hayden doing what Hayden does best. We know Hayden values the support of our dealer network as much as we do.

“Together we’re very proud to support Hayden’s WRC campaign and look forward to seeing Hayden and John continue their rise to the top of world rallying. With an expanded WRC season of 14 rounds, they have their best opportunity yet to demonstrate their talents behind a wheel of a Hyundai i20 WRC car.

“There’s no doubt our vision and motivation is matched by Hayden and John’s ambition to be the best. We know they will take every chance to build on the success of last year’s first-ever podium finish. Hayden is, and will continue to be, a fine ambassador for the Hyundai brand in New Zealand.”

Paddon comments: “This is our third year working together with Hyundai New Zealand and their dealer network across New Zealand. They form a huge part of our WRC campaign as John and I continue to strive towards our ultimate goal of being world champions.”

“To represent such a supportive New Zealand organisation and a brand I am very passionate about is an honour. Working with Hyundai New Zealand is hugely enjoyable – we’re always keen to encourage more Kiwis to buy a Hyundai!”

Paddon adds: “We also have some other exciting New Zealand-based projects with Hyundai New Zealand on the horizon and look forward to sharing more about these soon.”

Hyundai scoops five awards at AA Car of the Year

The new Hyundai Tucson has won the coveted People’s Choice trophy at the AA Car of the Year Awards gala event Wednesday evening as part of a dominant sweep of category awards by the brand.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says Hyundai took five awards, winning Best Luxury Car and Safest Car 2015 (Hyundai Genesis); Best Large SUV (Hyundai Santa Fe); Best Medium SUV and People’s Choice (Hyundai Tucson). He says all five awards are a humbling but fitting accolade for the brand, while winning the People’s Choice award just months after launch is a “fantastic” endorsement of the Tucson and of Hyundai’s relationship with its family of owners.

“We are a New Zealand company and we are all about our people; our staff, our dealerships and owners alike. To win an award voted by the people of New Zealand for an advanced new medium SUV like Tucson is a wonderful validation of our emphasis on class-leading design, user-friendly technology and superb driveability. I’d like to thank all those who voted for Tucson in this award,” he said.

Almost 35,000 people voted in the People’s Choice category, where Tucson faced stiff opposition from the nine other COTY contenders, all with their own particular strengths and unique features.

“To win against some worthy rival offerings from a wide range of brands is a testament to the desirability of the new Tucson, which is fast on its way to becoming the vehicle of choice in New Zealand’s white-hot medium SUV segment,” said Mr Sinclair.

The COTY judges agreed: ”Once again, Hyundai shifts the goal posts. The Tucson offers the amenity and ability of a much larger vehicle, coupled with great driving dynamics in its front wheel and all wheel drive powertrains. It was also the first to launch Apple’s CarPlay infotainment.”

The latest accolade for the Hyundai Santa Fe builds on its win in the large SUV category in 2014 and comes as New Zealand’s most popular large SUV receives a model year refresh intended to help it maintain top spot in the coming year.

The AA COTY judges named the Genesis best luxury vehicle and safest car of 2015, saying “with the Genesis, Hyundai has presented the luxury market with a five-star car that goes well above what is expected to achieve the rating. Alongside its near perfect crash test performance the Genesis has a large suite of safety assist technologies as standard.”

The safety award is based on the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) where the Genesis recorded a near perfect crash test score, the best ever in the ANCAP programme’s 22 year history.

“This strong showing in New Zealand’s premier automotive awards demonstrates Hyundai’s absolute commitment to providing our customers with the vehicles they desire, vehicles that ideally suit our unique lifestyle. The coming year is going to be very exciting,” Andy said.

View more about the Tucson here
View more about the Santa Fe here.
View more about the Genesis here.

Hyundai’s new Tucson wins top business vehicle award

Hyundais new Tucson wins top business vehicle award 1

The new Hyundai Tucson has been named the Company Vehicle Medium SUV of the Year 2015, beating nine other vehicles to the top automotive business award.

Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says just weeks after launch, the new Tucson is well on its way to dominating the medium SUV market segment.

“Tucson is an important addition to our model range and is once more quickly becoming one of New Zealand’s favourite family wagons. Our customers have been eagerly awaiting its arrival, and this award from Company Vehicle recognises another market in which Tucson will excel,” he said.

The Company Vehicle magazine Business Cars of the Year feature no fewer than 10 categories, and awards are made by the magazine’s professional motoring journalists after they have driven and evaluated the vehicles.

With its launch date just before judging began, and facing tough competition, the Tucson stood out for judges, including Company Vehicle managing editor John Oxley.

“The medium SUV segment continues to grow apace, and one wonders when – or if – it will reach a ceiling. In the meantime we were given a difficult choice, especially now some of these vehicles are being presented with front-wheel drive options as well as 4WD,” he said

“The Hyundai Tucson has always been a stalwart in the compact SUV segment, but now it’s come of age - grown considerably, gained a whole lot of safety and convenience kit, and been promoted to the medium sector, where it’s a worthy winner.”

Hyundai New Zealand’s Andy Sinclair agrees.

“Tucson is a clear leader in specification, especially in the areas of user-friendly technology that enhances the experience for drivers and passengers. Comfort and convenience has been a particular focus and the breadth of the new Hyundai range means there is a model to suit every need,” he said.

The Tucson range gives customers a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive versions, with GDI and turbocharged petrol engines and diesel engines. The range features six speed automatic and seven speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) options with manual transmissions available by special order.

Inside, the Tucson offers customers an intuitive, sophisticated, user-friendly interior. New soft-touch, high-quality materials are used on all cabin surfaces, including the headlining, door trims, armrests and console side mouldings. Interior room is enhanced: the Tucson matches or exceeds its medium SUV competitors in all key dimensions with generous leg, shoulder, hip and headroom. The luggage area is 488 litres seats-up and 1,478 litres seats-down.

On-board technology offered in the range includes an information system that displays trip and fuel efficiency data, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a proximity smart key (Elite only) and power tailgate (Elite Limited only).

The Tucson’s seating features include a ten-way adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support (Elite); eight-way adjustable front passenger seat (Elite), multi-adjustable reclining rear seat backrest and heated (Elite) and ventilated front seats (Elite Limited) with three-way temperature adjustment for each function.

Driver-focussed safety technology includes reversing camera, lane change and blind spot detection (Elite & Elite Limited) warnings. Active safety features include Vehicle Stability Management, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AWD Elite Limited only) with pedestrian sensors, advanced traction cornering control, hill start and downhill braking assistance.

Mr Sinclair noted the Tucson is also a finalist in the 2015 AA Car of the Year Awards, which will be announced at a gala awards event today (9th December).

“Already, worldwide recognition of the Tucson is beginning to grow. I am sure this is the first of many local awards the Tucson will accumulate over coming months.”

Hayley King & Hyundai Summer

Hayley King Small

Hayley King, AKA Flox, is a member of the Hyundai family and a selector for the Pinnacle Programme, a unique mentoring programme backed by Hyundai New Zealand that provides talented & passionate teens with the foundations for success.

This year’s Hyundai Summer artwork (pictured below) is a merger of the essence of Flox and Hyundai’s global design philosophy of Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. Both entities are inspired by nature, the vivid play of light and shadow and always pushing the boundaries of innovation. 


“Nature in itself cannot be replicated. But as true artisans, we strive to draw from the organic beauty of what surrounds us. Fluidic forms and natural grace play an integral part of our creative journey, and it is with modern processes that we set new heights, and reach new places” – Flox.
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Paddon prepares to push at WRC season final

Hayden Paddon Wales Rally GB Friday by Honza Fronk 2 LR

Hayden Paddon says he and co-driver John Kennard plan to push for a strong performance at the final round of the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship in Wales this coming weekend.

Paddon’s objective is to contribute a good points’ haul to assist the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team alongside team-mate Dani Sordo in their quest to regain second place for the team in the WRC manufacturers’ championship.

Paddon says he’ll be taking the same approach as usual as he prepares his Hyundai i20 WRC car for the traditionally wet and muddy Welsh rally roads.

“We’ll seek to prepare well and then push as hard as we can on the rally,” says Paddon who confirmed a three year contract with the team just two weeks ago. “Realistically the best thing we can try and do for the team is score big points, and to do that we have to push. It won’t be enough to just cruise and take points for the lower positions.”

Like all WRC competitors, New Zealand’s leading rally driver had just a half day test prior to this rally, offering a chance to make small changes and confirm the gravel settings for his car.

Paddon contests the Welsh event for sixth time – Kennard will compete there for the eighth time – and even though he is familiar with the route, he says it’s still challenging.

“Yes, it's a rally we have good experience of but that doesn't make it any easier. The early winter conditions make for wet, muddy roads and very changeable grip levels. While I enjoy the fast nature of the stages, it's reading the grip levels which proves the most difficult.”

Saturday, the longest day of the rally, features two night stages. Paddon says there’s no experience like rallying at night. “It’s like tunnel vision and everything seems faster. John and I back ourselves that we write and commit to pace notes well which works when visibility is low. So not only at night, but we enjoy the foggy stages too – which can also be part of this rally, as can snow, in wintery Wales.”

Talking of pace notes, Kennard says the notes have changed a huge amount since he first did Rally GB. “Well, there weren’t any pace notes that first event I did with Brent Rawstron, who’s now my business partner in New Zealand,” says Kennard. “Hayden and I are in about the third evolution of our pace note system. Now that we’re fighting for the last fractions of a second on our stage times against top WRC competitors, we’re refining our notes with different scenarios for different surfaces and conditions. Everything we’re working on at present is aimed at being in the best possible position to start next year.”

With 312 competitive kilometres and a whopping 1145 kilometres of touring stages, the rally covers a large portion of mid and north Wales. There is no mid-leg service on Friday, just a tyre fitting opportunity. Saturday is the longest leg with the first cars getting underway before the sun rises and the two night stages meaning competitors don’t return to the service park until after 9pm. Sunday’s four stage itinerary wraps up the rally and this year’s WRC season, and includes a 4.74km sprint on asphalt, using gravel tyres, around the rocky Great Orme headland.

The goal of a good result in Wales for the team is definitely top of mind. Paddon also adds that the opportunity ahead of him now with the team contract means he can plan more for the future. “For the time being, we keep doing what we’ve been doing, but we are also now planning more long term so we can keep moving forward. We’ll be refining this year’s systems in terms of training, preparation and pace notes so we can hit the ground running in Monte Carlo next year.”

Following the Welsh event, Paddon will return to New Zealand briefly to co-judge the Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix in Auckland before returning to Europe for more testing with the team in their new generation i20 WRC car.