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Hyundai toying with the idea of Genesis upscale sub-brand

By SYF77 on 15 Feb 2012

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Hyundai intends to distinguish between its upscale models and its mainstream vehicles and to accomplish this, the Korean automaker is considering a plan to market its premium vehicles under a Genesis sub-brand, not unlike what Toyota has done with their Lexus branding.

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Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales for Hyundai Motor America, said that this proposed move would replace Hyundai's round "H" badge with a new badge on rear-wheel-drive premium vehicles, such as the Equus, Genesis sedan and Genesis Coupe. These upscale vehicles would get the Genesis badge with an alphanumeric naming system. Mr Zuchowski clarified that Hyundai has not made a decision about the rebranding exercise yet.

At this moment, the company is studying if the usage of the Hyundai badge would hamper or improve sales. Anyway, the combined sales of the Genesis and Genesis Coupe increased by 13% in 2011 to 32,998 units, as compared to a year ago. Additionally, in the first year of production, Hyundai sold 3,193 units of its US$60,000 Equus sedan. Thatís 893 more than the company expected. So the question is really whether Hyundai should adjust a formula that has proven to be relatively successful.

On the other hand, Zuckowski admits that even though Genesis sedan and Coupe sales have increased by 13% in 2011, many buyers have chosen to replace the Hyundai logo with the optional Genesis winged badge. Creating a sub-brand is not always a recipe for success. An example of a sub-branding failure is Mazdaís Xedos nameplate that was applied to the European Mazda 6 in 1992. The plan was give up 5 years later.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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Tuna_seng Feb 15 2012 12:52 PM
Wow. They have come a long way. Kudos to the Koreans! I have no doubt that they can do it.
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