On October 6th, Hyundai Motor Company’s high-performance brand ‘N’ held its birthday party on September 15th. On this day, Hyundai Motor Company had unveiled its high-performance brand N for the first time in the world at the ‘2015 IAA (International Motor Show)’ held in Frankfurt, Germany. In the eight years since its launch, N Brand has been working hard; While expanding its lineup, it also led the growth of Korean car culture.
N Brand not only sells high-performance cars, but also creates a robust culture by offering a variety of car lifestyles to its customers. In particular, N brand events have shown trends in car culture that year and presented new fun - and this birthday party is no different.
N Brand’s birthday party was held at the outdoor parking lot of Starfield in Hanam, Gyeonggi-do. The host kicked off the party with a drift showrun of the IONIQ 5 N - which once graced the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a British automotive event. The powerful sliding of the rear wheels while driving showed that the pleasure of driving will continue even in the age of EVs.
The atmosphere at N Brand’s birthday party was free; There were many fun events here and there, such as Car Meet, a gathering of car enthusiasts - an exhibition of car photos taken by customers, a contest to select the most popular cars, and Gymkhana where you could participate with your own car. There was also a snack bar for those who got tired after looking around the site.
Various events continued on stage; In the N Talk session, the N brand’s activities and behind-the-scenes stories were introduced, and good news for fans was also delivered; The news said that an E-Pit charging platform exclusive to the N brand will be installed at the Inje Speedium Circuit. People were able to see the N brand’s efforts to build facilities for a culture of enjoying cars.
Gabriele Tarquini, a touring car racing giant loved by N brand fans, also visited the event and held a meet-and-greet. Tarquini brought great pride to N brand fans when he won the ‘World Touring Car Cup (WTCR)’ championship in 2018 at the age of 56 with his i30 N TCR. He currently serves as the manager of BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, and achieved the remarkable achievement of being a ‘double champion’ by winning both the driver and team categories in the 2022 WTCR.
There were a variety of things to enjoy not only for N brand car owners but also for general visitors to the site - rally cars showing the motorsports history of the N brand, a concept model presenting the future of the N brand, and a mini driving game where participants have to exit a narrow alley in an Avante N, and content that allows you to experience and feel the N brand, such as test drives of new cars such as the IONIQ 5 N and Avante N. This is the automaker’s effort to meet more people.
Until now, the N brand has mainly been met by N’s enthusiast fans. For example, the N Brand birthday party in 2022 was held only for owners at the Inje Speedium circuit. People drove on the circuit together and shared the joy of driving. But this year, the N Brand birthday party found itself in a city center parking lot; They got one step closer to the public. Representatives from Hyundai Motor Company’s domestic marketing team explained the reason.
“High-performance car culture is popular overseas, but it is not well known to the public in Korea. In Korea, it was not until after the launch of the Veloster N that a culture of high-performance cars was formed, and then the fandom also began to grow. The N brand aims to be a popular high-performance car that anyone can enjoy, so we are trying to bring the N brand closer to the public this year,” explained Nayon Lee, manager of the domestic marketing team.
For your reference, the domestic marketing team is in charge of new car launches and domestic brand activities. The same goes for N brand. While the N brand management department declares its vision from a global perspective and engages with fans, in Korea, the domestic marketing team went closer to its customers in various sectors.
N Brand and its customers naturally meet through various events. The domestic marketing team plans and conducts various events for N Brand. However, the N brand holds events much more frequently than other brands of Hyundai Motor Group. This means that people are exposed to N brands more often. Hye-jung Han, manager of the domestic marketing team, explained:
“The N brand sells fewer units than regular models. Even if you are that interested, there may be few opportunities to meet in person. So this year, we formed relationships with customers across the country through several events. By providing a space and content that anyone can enjoy, we have increased awareness and favorability of the N brand.”
Manager Nayon Lee added; “We decided that a single event was not enough to properly convey the charm of the N brand to domestic customers. We have carried out a wide variety of activities, from events for N brand customers to events that anyone can participate in. I wanted the N brand itself to become a culture.”
Fun connects events and culture. That’s why N Brand’s events also boast a variety of fun things. N brand’s events include programs to enjoy in your own car, such as slalom and circuit driving, as well as a variety of content for interested customers. And the participants become fascinated by it. Eun-hye Kim, manager of the domestic marketing team, gave the background story to create such an event:
“When planning N Brand events, we focus on ensuring that both existing and potential customers can experience enjoyment. It’s more difficult than planning other events, but it’s just as much fun. In order to create a good event, we always pay attention to various aspects. We consider the customer’s perspective through events in other fields, not just automobiles. Above all, we are preparing with the hope that those who participate in the event will see why they cannot help but love high-performance brands, awaken their inner racing instinct, and, above all, have an enjoyable experience.”
This year’s N brand is putting fandom and high-performance car culture at the center of its marketing. In addition to emphasizing the N brand’s motorsports activities, the exhibition hall also features racing using VR devices to allow users to intuitively experience high performance by competing with participants from all over the country. Meanwhile, they are also increasing test drive experiences to get closer to the public.
“Test drives are more important for the N brand than for its competitors. Through a test drive, you can feel the N brand’s unique driving performance and feel good about it. So we are thinking about ways to increase test drive opportunities for customers. In addition to regular test drives, we are trying to reach customers in various ways, such as mini drags and gymkhana races.” Manager Nayon Lee says:
It feels somewhat difficult to share the values pursued by N, a high-performance brand, with many people. High performance is not an easy word. However, the power of ‘joy’, which can be said to be the core of the N brand, is powerful. They are getting closer to customers by creating enjoyable programs and various events. Manager Eun-hye Kim explained this as follows:
“N Beach, held every summer on the beach, was opened because we wanted everyone to enjoy N. “Many people came from far away to see the exhibition of very special vehicles, including the WRC motorsports winning car that is difficult to find anywhere and the IONIQ 5 N drift car.”
Manager Hye-jung Han also added; “To commemorate the launch of The New Avante N, we also held a national touring exhibition. Previously, events were held mainly in the metropolitan area, but we met customers from all over the country, including Gwangju, Busan, and Daejeon. It went viral on the Internet, and although it was only a short period of time, many people visited it. This was a great opportunity to increase our reach with the public.”
In the future, N Brand will continue to share its high-performance DNA and fandom enthusiasm with the public. It will be more fun and various events will take place. This year, N Brand’s official event ended with a birthday party. Even after all the events were over, people couldn’t easily leave - meaning this event was very fun.
But there is no need to feel sorry; Hyundai Motor Company’s domestic marketing team is already preparing for next year’s event for the N brand. The news made people wait for the event in 2024, which will be full of sparkling ideas. The N brand may be able to deliver the joy of cars to more people in the future.
Photography by Hyuk-soo Cho
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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