Launching a new car, from concept to production, is no small feat. For Brandon Ramirez, Senior Group Manager, Product Planning, overseeing all of Hyundai’s model planning, including the 2012 Elantra, voted the North American Car of the Year, is all in a day’s work.
“In Product Planning, we focus on customer needs and defy conventional thinking with an aim to deliver the best products possible and delight buyers throughout their vehicle experience,” asserts Ramirez.
He joined the company in 2004 as a product manager. He has seen the company’s success grow and credits a focus on design, value and fuel efficiency, areas in which the brand’s three flagship compact models excel. Three of the newest models, the Elantra, Accent and Veloster, display the new “Fluidic Sculpture design” of Hyundai that adds a sportiness and uniqueness to the brand.
Design, value and fuel efficiency have a strong appeal for Latino car buyers and Hyundai’s sales figures confirm it—the Sonata, Elantra and Accent are the top-selling Hyundai models among Latino car buyers.
“Typically the average days it takes a car to be sold in the industry is 60 days. The Elantra, Veloster and Accent average 10-20 days, which is a measure of high consumer demand,” asserts Ramirez, who currently hosts the innovative “Meet Veloster” YouTube videos available for viewing on Hyundai’s Youtube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJBDwHHW_ps).
A California native and second-generation Latino whose grandparents hailed from Aguascalientes and Zacatecas, Mexico, he earned a business degree from California State Fullerton followed by a master’s degree in business administration from the University of San Diego.
His first job, working for an apartment development company where he researched markets to develop and sell apartments, helped him land a job in the auto industry. His subsequent role at Mitsubishi, where he established the manufacturer’s first Mexican office and worked with Daimler Chrysler Mexico to develop product and pricing strategies, helped him land the job at Hyundai.
Now a married father of three, Ramirez thanks his father, Rene, for inspiring him to succeed. He remembers his father’s advice when he complained about not being able to meet challenges at school or at home: “No pierdas el ánimo, hijo. Never say you can’t do something. Try your hardest at whatever you do and I’ll always be proud of you.”