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Old 05-08-2009, 02:34 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Hyundai hopes the luxury Equus sedan finds a niche in U.S.

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HWASEONG, South Korea — With Hyundai having found unlikely success selling luxury cars in the U.S., now it's toying with the idea of moving up in price point again — to $75,000 sedans.

It's exploring whether Equus, an updated large sedan that just went on sale in South Korea, can take on the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS 460L in America.

Long known for cheap cars and a 10-year warranty aimed at dispelling a reputation for inferior quality, Hyundai is hoping its luxury strategy will burnish its image. It already has two luxury models in the U.S. under the name Genesis, a midsize sedan and a sporty coupe.

PHOTOS: Hyundai's vehicle lineup

Success of the Equus "would decisively shift public opinion in our favor. It would be the capstone," said spokesman Oles Gadacz at Hyundai's Research & Development complex outside Seoul.

This summer, the South Korean automaker plans to ship 100 Equus luxury sedans to U.S. dealerships to quietly gauge what American customers think about the model. Equus also was displayed at the New York International Auto Show last month simply to gauge reaction. "We have modest expectations," Gadacz said.

Hyundai sold 6,021 Genesis sedans this year through April, Autodata says. Prices ranged from $32,250 for a V-6-powered version to about $42,000 for a fully loaded V-8 model. To lure luxury buyers, Hyundai is discreet about where its logos appear on the Genesis. Buyers so far have included those moving over from entry-level Lexus or BMW 3 Series, as well as those trading in Toyota Avalons or other large non-luxury sedans, says Art Spinella of CNW Marketing Research.

Jeff Schuster, executive director of forecasting for J.D. Power and Associates, says that while there is promise, Hyundai needs to worry about stretching its brand too far. But Milton Pedraza of the Luxury Institute says upscale buyers now yearn for value, not just sophistication, and there is room for a lower-price alternative luxury brand.

The larger Equus uses the same 4.6-liter, 375-horsepower V-8 as is found in Genesis. In South Korea, Equus comes in a chauffeur version with a rear-seat power leg rest and seat massage unit.

If it decides to sell Equus in the U.S., Hyundai could face "a stronger challenge" than Genesis did, says Alexander Edwards, CEO of Strategic Vision.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...ai-equus_N.htm
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:39 AM   #2
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Hyundai may want to go to wikipedia and type "VW Phaeton" in the search bar. Honestly the Genesis sedan is not selling in the same volume's as similarly priced Caddilac CTS's and Lexus ES models, now they want to ship a vehicle that will sticker closer to a S-Class and 7 Series, and still call it a Hyundai. No dice my Korean friends, this will absolutely be a disaster. Hyundai dealers will be unprepared to deal with this type of customer (Same as VW), their service departments will not be accomadating to this type of customer (who wants wait in line with their $75,000 car behind a person with their 1997 Accent), and dealers certainly won't want to take one and put it on their floorplan.

It would be one thing if they go ahead a create a Luxury brand with it's own showroom and bring over a variant of the Azera, Genesis sedan and Coupe, Equus and a variant of the VeraCruz. That would be a stronger launch line-up than Lexus, Acura or Infiniti had. Other than the Coupe, none of these higher priced models have achieved sales expectations that Hyundai USA has had, and I feel it's mostly due to the brand sign that sits outside the showroom. Put them in a new showroom, with a facility comparable to a Lexus store, and call it Genesis USA, and it will succeed.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
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This will not end well.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:26 AM   #5
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Mistake, imminent.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:58 AM   #6
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Too much, too soon.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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Looks like a Maybach
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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errr... well im sure the car will be VERY nice based off what the genesis has shown but 75K might just be too much. If that car was closer to 50K I could see it being a possible foot in the door to the higher end luxury market.

I really wish them the best but I have my doubts that for 75K someone would buy a Hyundai since most people buying 75K cars are in it for the name of the car.. not what they get... similar to Mac users (had to throw that in).
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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As a mac user, I take offense to that....

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Old 05-08-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
errr... well im sure the car will be VERY nice based off what the genesis has shown but 75K might just be too much. If that car was closer to 50K I could see it being a possible foot in the door to the higher end luxury market.

I really wish them the best but I have my doubts that for 75K someone would buy a Hyundai since most people buying 75K cars are in it for the name of the car.. not what they get... similar to Mac users (had to throw that in).
Agreed; they are going to have to offer significant value(much lower price). Remember that the first Lexus significantly undercut the price of the equivalent Benz. And even then I might buy a used Benz, BWM, Audi, or Lexus over a new Hyundai with the same price and features.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
errr... well im sure the car will be VERY nice based off what the genesis has shown but 75K might just be too much. If that car was closer to 50K I could see it being a possible foot in the door to the higher end luxury market.

I really wish them the best but I have my doubts that for 75K someone would buy a Hyundai since most people buying 75K cars are in it for the name of the car.. not what they get... similar to Mac users (had to throw that in).
I also agree. As nice as it is, Hyundai has a lot to prove before they can put up MSRPs like that. To a lot of non-enthusiasts, they think that a $75k Nissan (the GT-R obviously) is far too much coin, despite the car being able to run with cars more than triple its price... and we're talking about Nissan in that situation. So for Hyundai to come into the U.S. market with intentions of selling a $75k "luxury" sedan aimed at the bigger luxury sedans while probably not offering triple the luxury might not be the best idea. But at least they're trying to get reactions first before green lighting it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:08 PM   #12
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looks nice .. but probably won't sell too many.
100 units is a good starting # to get a gauge i guess.
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