Hyundai Motor group has plans to enter the premium sector currently dominated by Lexus, Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
The luxury arm would most likely be called Genesis and include company's current rear-wheel drive offerings such as the Genesis Sedan and Coupe as well as the soon-to-be-launched Equus. The automaker, which saw its U.S. market share increase by an impressive 50 per cent in the past two years, would further enhance the range of the Genesis brand with a compact sports saloon in the likes of the iconic BMW 3-Series, and a crossover utility vehicle to compete with the Lexus RX 350.
John Krafcik, president of Hyundai Motor America, told The Wall Street Journal that the company has three branding scenarios under consideration. The first and most likely to happen would be for Hyundai to launch the Genesis as a sub-brand and sell the cars in separate parts of its own showrooms. The other is to follow in the footsteps of Lexus and launch the brand into separate dealerships The final option would be for the company to develop the aforementioned sedan and SUV models but keep the Hyundai branding for the time being.
While Hyundai remains open to all options, Mr. Krafcik said that he is most concerned about launching a spin-off brand due to the costs related to the creation of a new network of dealers and that the company would need to make an additional $6,000 in revenue per each car sold by the outlets. There appears to be a lot of enthusiasm among Hyundai dealers in the US, who are almost certain about the creation of the Genesis brand.
Although Hyundai’s new products such as the Avante has been impressive as of late, I feel that very few would equate the Korean brand to anything premium. Perhaps Hyundai can shelve the idea for the time-being and come back to it 10 years from now.