Hyundai seeks to expand global agency roster amid sales crisis

Korean car-maker Hyundai is seeking to expand its creative agency roster, beyond in-house shop Innocean Worldwide, with a particular focus on pushing its Genesis sub-brand.

The pitch is reportedly for Hyundai's Genesis sub-brand
The pitch is reportedly for Hyundai's Genesis sub-brand

A global request for agency credentials has been sent out to creative shops in the UK. 

According to industry sources, the car manufacturer's current relationship with Innocean will remain intact for the main Hyundai brand. 

Hyundai is also reportedly in the process of expanding its local agency list, in addition to Innocean, moving their advertising budget to various agencies depending on the product and the method of advertising. 

A source at Hyundai said that this change to its ad strategy could be spurred by a sense of crisis felt by the company. 

In the second quarter, Hyundai saw a 60% plunge in sales for both its main brand and sub-brand Kia in China. This is due to an anti-Korea nationwide sentiment caused by the establishment of a US anti-missile shield (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system) in South Korea. 

In the US, Hyundai has faced slowing sales since 2013 and is reportedly struggling to keep its lead. President Trump's desire to end the Korea-US FTA deal is also expected to have a negative impact on Korean automakers. 

In January this year, Hyundai appointed R/GA to launch its sub-brand N's performance line-up. 

Both Hyundai and Innocean Worldwide were contacted for comment. Hyundai UK said it was unfamiliar with the review and Innocean Worldwide did not respond. 

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