2022.06.28 Hyundai Motor Company

Hearing from customers: Hyundai H–ear

Hyundai Motor Company
Global companies have one thing in common; They listen to their customers. And sometimes their ideas lead to world-changing innovations.

Now is the age of taste. Consumers these days have their own clear standards. No matter how good a product is, they won’t choose it unless it suits their taste. Therefore, it has become essential for manufacturers to listen to customers’ opinions from the product and service development stage.

Hyundai Motor Company took one step further and created an online platform to communicate with customers. ‘H-ear,’ which was introduced in May 2019, is precisely that. H-ear is a space where anyone can freely suggest ideas for Hyundai and automobiles. You can also leave comments about new services. These suggestions and opinions become ideas and are sometimes reflected in products - ‘Customizing Ideas Festival,’ to name one, hosted by H-ear.

The term ‘customize’ means ‘to change the way the owner wants it.’ In other words, customized products for automobiles can be ‘products that help the vehicle to suit the owner.’ Air mats, multi curtains, and antifouling seat covers for pets are good examples. Although seemingly trivial, it plays a big role in changing the use of a car.

In July 2021, H-ear held a customizing idea festival and received various product development ideas related to space utilization and convenience for Hyundai Motor Starria. The response was very enthusiastic, with over 500 ideas suggested in three weeks. Of these, ten were finally selected, and Hyundai is considering launching some of them. What products or features did customers want from Hyundai?

‘Children’s car seat heating and ventilation system,’ which was selected as the best idea, provide heating and ventilation to the children’s car seat. Applying the corresponding function is different from simply attaching a battery or seat cover to the car seat. It is characterized by adding a power supply and communication connector to ‘ISOFIX,’ a child car seat fastening device, and allowing the driver to directly control the temperature of the car seat through the infotainment system.

How about camping with Hyundai Staria? The idea of a partitioned table received by H-ear is also eye-catching. The idea is to lower the height when putting it in the loading box and use it as a partition where you can stack various items one by one, and extend its legs outside to use it as a table.

There are also ideas for child safety, such as the child safety entry and exit guide lamp LED. This is a door spot lamp that illuminates the crosswalk shape on the floor with a strong light. It serves to notify nearby cars and motorbikes that children are getting on and off.

Children’s headrests that are inserted into the headrest stay also stood out. It is a device that helps children whose heads cannot touch the headrest to rest their heads safely. A headrest is a safety device that minimizes cervical vertebrae damage in a rear-end collision.

The idea of an external sliding cargo box, considering the character of Staria, which is highly utilized for work, is also impressive. It is a cargo box with a sliding structure, so you can easily load and unload cargo outside the car. In addition, ideas such as a rotating portable LED lantern for vehicles and a dedicated mode for Staria automatic car wash were chosen. Of course, these ideas can also be expected to be utilized for other car models.

Such a campaign is of great significance; it means they took a step further from developing automobile products centered on manufacturers, and started to create products that customers need and even contain their ideas.

Hyundai Motor held the second customizing idea contest through H-ear in May of this year, and customized products for first-timers in their 20s and 30s who purchased their first cars, and active senior customers in their 60s and 70s who use cars to enjoy various lifestyles. The automaker looks forward to the innovative ideas of the final winners to be announced in August of this year.

People who usually have an idea for a car should try H-ear. You can become a member by going through a simple sign-up process on the website, and by entering additional information to become a ‘panel,’ you can join the ‘lab,’ a space for exchanging opinions and ideas. In addition to participating in various events, you can have a discussion on the topic of registered questions or leave your ideas freely. Various benefits - discounts when purchasing a car - are also provided to the panelists who worked hard. Hesitating because your idea is too personal? It’s okay. Suggest them, and Hyundai will listen. That’s exactly what Hyundai is looking for.

HMG Journal Operation Team


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