Compiled by John O'Dell, Times staff writer

Quotable Mazza: A few pages before the Sephia review, Car and Driver gave Hyundai Motor America Inc.'s chief executive, Doug Mazza, a block of ink in its quote-of-the-month box.

The Mazza-ism that caught the editors’ ears?

“There’s about a million and a half cars that won’t be sold (in the United States in 1994). The issue is, who is it who won’t sell them?”

Hyundai Motor America, based in Fountain Valley, certainly hopes that it won’t be one of those that isn’t selling. The company has aggressively upgraded its model line and at the end of this year will unveil a replacement for its inaugural--and most troublesome--offering, the Excel.


It was the bargain basement-priced Excel that made Hyundai the fastest-growing new car importer in the mid-1980s. But mechanical problems that accompanied the Korean manufacturing plant’s rush to make as many Excels as the U.S. market would absorb contributed to lingering image problems.

The new car will be curvier, peppier and slightly smaller outside while--through the wonders of ergonomic engineering--providing slightly more passenger room inside. It is likely to start at or just under $8,000.