Magicians lifted the curtain on an empty platform, and an orange crossover car appeared. A second later, a man in a navy-color suit and jeans stepped outside the vehicle. Suddenly, the surprised audience started cheering after recognizing the mysterious person ĘC the South Korean actor Kim Soo-hyun, image ambassador for Beijing Hyundai's newest ix25.
He was at Beijing Hyundai Motor Co's price announcement ceremony for the crossover model ix25 on Oct 10 in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, and left his signature on a white-color ix25.
Kim helped the Sino-South Korea joint venture launch the world premiere of the crossover on April 20 at the 13th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. Huge crowd thronged the carmaker's pavilion and jammed the surrounding pathway during the event.
Kim said, through an interpreter, that the car has a trendy look, strong power, and is very comfortable; adding that he believes many young people will like it.
"Because of his endorsement, the car has attracted significant attention since its premiere at the Beijing Auto Show," said Beijing Hyundai's deputy general manager Liu Zhifeng.
"Hyundai ix25 is built for young customers between 25 to 32 years old, and we have made efforts to find out their preference," said Hsueh Haochih, Brand Communication Dept director at Beijing Hyundai, in an interview.
Beijing Hyundai signed Kim Soo-hyun because he stars in a popular TV drama, My Love from the Star, and his image is recognized and accepted by the youth.
Talking about the influence the marketing campaign has had, Hsueh said Beijing Hyundai has already won strong brand recognition in the market, and the South Korean brand wants to enhance customer loyalty.
"We found through research that the Beijing Hyundai brand recognition is only second to Volkswagen," he added.
The new crossover's panoramic moonroof, parking sensor, invisible A-pillar, fluid-sculpture 2.0 look, one-key start, and keyless entry are expected to bring some trendy feel to car owners. Besides the seven-inch touch screen, the top model also connects the driver through the Blue Link system.
Pyun Jong-Kweon, executive managing director of the carmaker's technical center, said: "The newly launched ix25 designed with strong characteristics will catch the young customers' eyes."
He also said that the carmaker took into consideration the safety of the drivers and passengers throughout the design, research and development process.
All of the ix25 versions are equipped with the safety systems consisting of Antilock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (ABS+EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Hillstart Assist Control (HAC), and ISO-FIX for child safety seats.
The car maker said the price ranges from 119,800 yuan ($19,540) for the manual 1.6-liter version to 179,800 yuan for the automatic-manual four-wheel-drive 2-liter version.
The car is powered by a 1.6-liter and a 2-liter engine, and a six-speed automatic-manual shift is quipped in five out of the six available versions. The basic version is the only one with six-speed manual shift gearbox.
The comfort configuration also includes driver seat ventilation, front seats heating, electric controlled rear-view mirrors, and automatic air conditioning with rear wind outlets for passengers.