Many automakers are probably indulging in a bit of private schadenfreude following Hyundai/Kia's public mea culpa for inflated fuel economy figures that the company blames on a procedural error during testing. But one brand in particular may stand to gain the most from Hyundai's misfortune. According to a report from Bloomberg, Honda is best-positioned to gain from Hyundai's loss, with a recently-refreshed model lineup with multiple models that match or surpass the fuel economy from Hyundai's equivalent models following the revision.
Enhancements to the regular Civic model allowed it to achieve 39 mpg highway, which prior to the re-stated Hyundai figures, was one mpg short of the Elantra's 40 mpg figure, but now gives it a 1 mpg edge over the Elantra. According to analysts at Strategic Vision, Honda is the brand potential Hyundai buyers are most likely to cross-shop, and is best poised to benefit from Hyundai's recent reversal of fortune. The report says Hyundai sales could be impacted by as much as 11 percent as a result of the inflated economy figures, but others believe the impact to be much smaller, as the other product attributes such as attractive styling and generous feature content for the money still apply to Hyundai's models.
Hyundai claims procedural errors in fuel economy testing resulted in the overly-optimistic fuel economy figures, but Honda representatives said the EPA testing methodologies and procedures leave little room for subjective misinterpretation. Honda representatives refused to publicly speak negatively of Hyundai and Kia in the report.