At this year's New York Comic-Con, Hyundai (NASDAQOTH:HYMTF) unveiled the Santa Fe Zombie Survival Machine. Complete with an automatic crossbow, three machine guns, a samurai sword, and razor-wired windows, this vehicle is the ultimate Walker-killing machine.
Unfortunately for those preparing for their own zombie apocalypse, the Santa Fe Survival Machine isn't for sale. But you can buy a Santa Fe. Even better? The Santa Fe isn't just the ideal Walker-killer -- it has great reviews, and it's driving sales at Hyundai.
Hyundai takes on the Walkers
Thanks to a marketing agreement, if you've ever watched The Walking Dead you've probably seen Rick Grimes and company careening around in a green Hyundai as they attempt to escape zombie hordes. However, when it comes to the Santa Fe, it may not need the extra press. Here's why.
There are a number of different trim levels from which to choose, but the base is the Santa Fe Sport. With a starting MSRP of $24,750, the Sport seats five, comes equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, and gets an EPA-rated 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24 mpg combined.
Furthermore, some of the standard features include; 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, full power accessories, Bluetooth phone connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, satellite radio and USB/iPod integration.
Even better? Edmunds stated that the, "Hyundai Santa Fe has what it takes to unseat the class-leading crossovers, with quality, power, comfort and style." And the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association named it the Best New Crossover at the 2013 Atlanta International Auto Show.
More pointedly, these accolades are seen in Santa Fe's sales. In September 2012, Hyundai sold 50,961 Santa Fes, year to date. As of September 2013, Hyundai sold 62,744 YTD -- an increase of 23.1%.
Hyundai vs. the Horde
The SUV/crossover segment is becoming more popular, and more profitable. And that means competition is brutal.
The best-selling SUV/Crossovers are, by rank, Honda's (NYSE:HMC) CR-V, Ford's (NYSE:F) Escape, Toyota's (NYSE:TM) RAV4, and General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Chevy Equinox. All have strong 2013 sales compared to the same time last year, and all sold more than 160,000+ units year to date as of September. In addition, each model contributes a sizable amount to their company's overall market share.
The Santa Fe, by comparison, comes in at No. 20 among best-selling SUV/CUVs, and it's definitely trailing these big dogs. But its favorable reviews suggest that Hyundai's offering has significant room to grow. Case in point: Good Car Bad Car reports that U.S. sales for the SUV/CUV class are up 11.7% this year, and Automotive News reported that as of August, crossover sales of all sizes accounted for 25.6% of the market.
What this means for Hyundai
As of September, Hyundai commanded 8.2% of the U.S. auto market. Plus, according to its latest annual report, Hyundai's global unit sales, sales revenue, operating income, and net income have all increased over the past three years. With its strong reviews and sales -- and potential for stylish Walker-killing in the event of a zombie apocalypse -- the Santa Fe could help Hyundai continue to grow its brand, and help make the company a great addition to your portfolio if you're looking for car stocks.
Fool contributor Katie Spence has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.