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Hyundai: Reaching for the Stars

We classify, rate and distinguish automobiles on horsepower, torque, cargo room, towing capacity and track times.  We marvel, speculate and fantasize on ways they might improve in future models.

We find new ways to make vehicles with stronger, lighter materials having fuel economy and safety in mind.  We slam all sorts of technological innovations under the hood and inside the cabin then line them up on the lot for sale to the masses.

Automobiles are sound science and good business.


What about the human touch?  Can a car make that connection and hence become more than brick and mortar?

Ask Stephanie, a 13 year old girl from Houston, Texas.  It’s fair to say her father travels for a living – not just out of the state or country but rather off the planet.  She can’t just text him.  He’s orbiting on the International Space Station for months on end.

Sending a simple “I love you” to her father carries much meaning.  How to communicate the depth of what Stephanie is feeling?  Hyundai’s “New Thinking” philosophy and a campaign entitled “A Message to Space” set out to do that very thing.

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Hyundai. All views and opinions expressed here are my own. Check out our advertising guidelines to see why we’d never steer you wrong.

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Stephanie’s handwritten note would transform from a piece of paper into a life sized greeting, visible to her father from space.  Experts from Korea, Europe and the United States gathered to successfully coordinate the logistics.  The recreation of Stephanie’s message would ultimately end up covering an area more than one and a half times that of Central Park.

Geographical and meteorological factors were analyzed intently when considering the prime location.  After crunching all the global weather data and firsthand expeditions to multiple sites, Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada was selected.

Genesis Desert

Writing Stephanie’s words in the Nevada landscape required an automobile with fantastic engine performance, superior handling, strong power-train and overall stability.  The surface of Delamar Dry Lake is unpredictable and rough and with a message this important, each car had to drive in perfect formation.

Precision was paramount.

Each Hyundai was equipped with special tires that ensured dear Stephanie’s sentiments would be carved out in a way that did it justice.

Genesis Desert

Hyundai’s Genesis earned the distinction and 11 of them chiseled what we all hope that special person far away knows.

Every movement of the Rack-mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering, every motion of the dual overhead cam shaft and each fuel delivery cycle of the Gasoline Direct Injection system helped these 11 Genesis cars etch a little girl’s greeting to her father among the stars.

Hyundai Message to Space

I don’t accept cars are merely things.  And I won’t accept the people connected to them – the ones who build, design, sell, market and fix them have just “regular” jobs.

I am from Detroit, so our livelihood depends on the success of the greater automotive industry and the people here don’t just work “jobs.”

A car becomes more than a product when passionate people stand behind it.  Of all the stuff in this world we can buy; in the store and on TV, none will ever be as powerful as the right mindset creating, innovating and demonstrating the right automobile.

When it comes to people like Stephanie and her father, we are united by one common purpose: to use our individual legacies to make a real, intimate human connection regardless of what logo is on our hoods and what nation that logo reflects.

This is beyond the basis of track times, spec sheets and towing charts.  It’s always about something more; Stephanie’s note, turned into something amazing for example.  For Hyundai and other visionaries in this industry, this is the real test of performance.

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The campaign highlights our philosophy of caring for customers through emotional interaction and becoming a brand beyond simply a means of transportation.  Although sending a message to space with our Genesis cars was not an easy challenge, it enabled us to demonstrate our caring vision to our customers.” ~ Scott Noh, Head of Overseas Marketing Group, Hyundai Motor Company.