Hyundai and Kia Review Limited to U.S.

LOS ANGELES — Despite what sources describe as “overtures” made to contending shops about a global media consolidation, the Hyundai and Kia media review will be limited to the U.S. market. “Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. and their respective U.S. subsidiaries are evaluating the benefits of consolidating buying in the U.S. market to achieve savings from economies of scale and to identify other potential benefits,” said Chris Hosford, Hyundai director of communications. Sources said “the search may or may not [eventually] involve other parts of the world, it is not clear that global consolidation would be a benefit.” In addition, expanding the review would raise the specter “of conflict no matter where you go,” said an executive. Two of the three contenders have potential conflicts: WPP’s CIA Medianetwork handles Lincoln-Mercury and Jaguar in the U.S. and significant DaimlerChrysler business overseas. Carat’s U.S. operation does not have a car account, but the Aegis network handles several car brands in other countries, including Fiat, Renault, BMW and Nissan. The third contender, independent Horizon Media, does not have a car account on its roster.Bates Worldwide is Hyundai’s media agency. OMD handles buying for Kia. Combined, the two nameplates spend an estimated $400 million-plus in the U.S. A decision is expected within a week.