Friday, February 11, 2011

Classic Ads: Why a Hyundai Excel is as Good as a BMW 325i


If this ad is to be taken seriously, the only difference between a late 1980s E30 BMW 325i and a Hyundai Excel is price and the engine / transmission layout. After all both have, “[A] plush interior, European styling [and] room for five.”

After all, niggling little details like equipment levels, brand image and build quality have never bothered car buyers before, right? Apparently not, as the Excel went on to become one of U.S.’s best selling imports, with 168,000 of the little blighters sold in its first year stateside. That’s a lot of, “Hun-days,” [sic].

So what if it had the looks of a three-year-old Toyota Corolla and was built in a place that wasn’t even a country sixty years ago; it cost just US$5,499 and in salesman speak that’s a damn good deal. There are probably innumerable benefits to owning a 1988 Hyundai Excel. Such as...uh...or maybe...um...and then there’s...oh.

It was cheap, yeah? And cheap is good despite what a certain fictional character may have said to the contrary. That’s true for at least the vast majority of cash-strapped Americans and almost certainly for Hyundai. Yes, it was front wheel drive and sure it had no outstanding qualities other than the price tag. The same could be said for many of the cars sold today, and you don’t see any of them comparing themselves to a German heavyweight.

So watch the ad and reminisce about a simpler time when men wore pinstriped shirts, martini lunches were often followed by cocaine afternoons and a balmy little upstart from the Sea of Japan had the verve to stick its fingers in its ears and stick its tongue out.

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