Hyundai to break into UK mobile handset market

Hyundai, the car and electronics manufacturer, is planning an assault on the UK mobile handset market with the launch of a new division. It has already appointed its first marketing chief to spearhead the strategy.

Hyundai Mobile UK is working closely with telecoms specialist Advantage Cellular and has hired Advantage’s marketing manager, Graham Jelfs, as its first head of marketing and communications.

The manufacturer has already had success in the mobile handset sector in the Far East and Eastern Europe and says it is now ready to launch in the UK.

Jelfs says: “Hyundai has observed the mobile community in the UK and feels now is the right time to introduce its hi-tech handsets to a rapidly advancing market. We are about to begin presenting to UK operators, retailers and distributors, and from there we will launch a marketing strategy to promote our presence in the UK.”

Hyundai says it is aiming to reach a market share of between 3% and 5% within the next five years, and it is planning to launch ten to 15 new models in the first half of 2009.

The company will be run from Advantage Cellular’s distribution hub in Oxfordshire and will make use of its warehousing and logistics facilities. It will be led by the division’s managing director, Roland Prinz, who was previously managing director of mobile distributors Alpine Commercial Trading.

Prinz says that the deal with Advantage will give Hyundai access to stock in the local market. He adds: “We are now eager to meet with networks and distributors that have direct routes to the market, especially those focusing on the retail sector.”

The existing Hyundai Mobile division offers a range of handsets for consumers and businesses. The models vary from hi-tech touchscreen phones to more simple camera phones.

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