Auto co. replaces GM as exclusive car sponsor

Hyundai has replaced General Motors as the exclusive car sponsor of next year’s Oscars, and will buy six spots throughout the telecast.

Company will likely use the airtime to promote its Genesis sedan, a car it brought to the U.S. this year to prove it could compete in the luxury segment with a full-size vehicle. Company’s better known for its fleet of small, affordable cars — something consumers have lately been clamoring for.

Slagging sales forced GM to cut back on major ad buys and sponsorships, with the nation’s largest automaker bailing from not only the Oscars, but the Emmys, the upcoming Super Bowl, the next Olympics and other sports events, as well.

The general had spent $13.5 million during this year’s Oscars.

Hyundai, under the leadership of former Ford marketing exec Jim Sanfilippo, has been looking for more high-profile ad buys to put a bigger spotlight on its line of vehicles, especially the Genesis.

It showed off the sedan in two spots during the Super Bowl, the first time it’s appeared during the big game since 1989.

Strategy seems to be paying off with car sales and marketshare up nearly 9% and 3%, respectively, for Hyundai in the U.S., an anomaly for most car companies in the down economy. Including SUV sales, overall sales are down 5.8%, whereas other companies are down in the double digits.

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