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Opinion: April Fool’s Day is a good time to test a risky idea

By Chris Thompson, 03 Apr 2019 Features

Opinion April Fools Day good time test risky idea feature

A post from Hyundai Australia got us thinking about a way to market a risky product

As I write this, April Fool’s Day has just wrapped up for 2019, and we’ve been subjected to the worst and almost-worst humour from companies all over the world.

In the motoring world, it wasn’t all bad. Toyota Australia gave us the PieAce van, a convertible HiAce with a pie oven in the back, and BMW Motorrad came up with an autonomous system for its sports bikes that allowed riders of any skill to run lap records on two wheels.

A lot of people took the bait on that one, given BMW's rather dry press release.

But a post from Hyundai Australia on Instagram, which itself admitted to being a joke, stuck out a little.

With computer generated images of a Hyundai N Roadster by South Korean designer Yeonjoon Park masquerading as a new model announcement, many punters were drawn in by the prospect.

Related: Top five best car-related April Fool's stunts

Hyundai’s post made it clear to those who read all the way through that it was just some fun, but the damage was done. ‘Take my money!’ was the general sentiment of the comment section.

But Hyundai itself asked the question: “What do you think, should we build it?”

If there’s one day of the year you can get away with announcing a risky new product concept, it’s April 1.

If it goes well, then great! New car inbound, sales guaranteed.

If feedback is… mixed, ‘Oh, of course that was just a joke. April Fool’s!’

But consider the specific offering Hyundai made when compared to its peers. No pie oven, no modem in the glovebox, and certainly no two-wheeled autonomy.

A 202kW Roadster would be a tempting option for those who prefer forced induction to something like the Mazda MX-5’s revvy atmo engine.

Over to you, Hyundai…