Hyundai, as well as sister-brand Kia, at one time emulated more staid Japanese brands until both Korean auto makers embraced a less-restrained design language three years ago. Hyundai sold more than 200,000 Sonatas in the U.S. in 2011 for the first time in a calendar year. However, the Sonata still is selling less than 300,000 plus units typically enjoyed by the conservatively styled Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
This shows that the American buyers may not be ready for a radically-designed midsize sedan. Since the mission of the new Altima is to overtake the Camry as the number 1 seller in the US, it is not as aggressively styled as the Sonata. However, I guess the taste of the American buyers are certainly evolving.
Nissan is wise enough to take note of the rise of the Koreans and shaped their product accordingly. It seems that Toyota and Honda are still deep in their slumber. How about Mazda? I believe they have got their arsenal ready for the Koreans with the upcoming Takeri-inspired Mazda 6.
Mazda Takeri concept