Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Brother Behind the Success of Hyundai's Restyled Sonata

Andre Hudson, the designer of the upscale, sexy looking 2011 Hyundai Sonata, takes a moment to stand-by his pride and joy.

The sales numbers for July have finally been tallied and analyzed. And according to Hyundai officials, last month represented an all-time sales record in the states for the Korean automaker, marking this as only the fourth time Hyundai has sold over 50,000 vehicles in a month. 

Moreover, this sales success has been driven largely due to the redesign of the sexy looking 2011 Hyundai Sonata we reviewed earlier this spring

In fact, the Sonata has been so successful since arriving in dealership showrooms this February, it has been stealing sales away from both the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Year-to-date sales of the 2011 Sonata has increased by 33 percent, in the midst of a recession. Much of the sales success should be attributed to the hands of thirty-four-year-old Andre Hudson, the design manager at Hyundai, who was responsible for the exterior design of this Korean midsize sedan. 
At first glance, the redesigned Lexus Hyundai can easily be mistaken for a Lexus.

As far as we know, Hudson is one of the few if not the only African American that we know of designing cars for a foreign automotive company. In case you know of others, let us know. Surprisingly, we just learned of Hudson from reading about him in Black Enterprise's 40th anniversary magazine, which is available on newsstands now.

Hudson, who formerly designed cars for General Motors before moving from the Midwest to the West Coast, is making a name for himself in the industry.

Like Ed Welburn, GM's global design chief, Ralph Gilles, president of the Dodge brand and Chrysler LLC vice president of design, and Earl Lucas, the exterior designer of the 2010 Ford Taurus,  Hudson has become the fourth brother to help revive the auto industry due to his keen eye for award-winning designs. 

When the 2011 Sonata first hit the scene, we all wondered why we were so enthralled with the design of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Now we know!We've always been trend setters in the fashion industry. Its no wonder why when allowed the opportunity, we can do the same for designing vehicles, too. Go figure.

Just maybe the automotive industry wouldn't have suffered for such poor, lackluster designs over the past few decades had these brothers being leading the design teams. Now the next challenge in the auto industry is going to be getting more sisters like Crystal Windham in key design roles.
The Avante, also known as the next-generation Elantra (or the baby Sonata), was also styled by Hudson.


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