Hyundai: The Future Lap Belt Of Luxury

April 20, 2009

Hyundai has been on a roll in recent months, and it looks like the Korean automaker is gearing up to capitalize on all that good publicity by launching a new luxury brand. Well, sort of. Eventually.

Speaking in New York last Friday, Hyundai Motor America President/CEO John Krafcik said that he's hoping to help Hyundai bring out a luxury sub-brand--ideally one centered on the well-received Hyundai Genesis and Genesis Coupe. (Presumably, the new Equus would fit in there, too.)

A former exec with Ford and Toyota, Krafcik has a solid understanding of the marketplace and how best to implement such a plan. Right now, it's looking like the Genesis sub-brand would function much like Scion does for Toyota, with vehicles sold through existing dealerships, but on a separate section of the Hyundai lot. While it's not the go-big style of Lexus, it's definitely cost-effective. And rather than introducing a completely new new chain of dealerships (aka, potential financial suicide), Krafcik's strategy builds on Hyundai's rising popularity, which is smart. No word on when all this might happen, but we're guessing 2012 or so.

In other Hyundai news, Krafcik also said:

  • Hyundai is bringing direct injection and turbocharging to the marketplace next year, via the four-cylinder Sonata.
  • Electric cars are coming to Hyundai lots, but no diesel vehicles.
  • Krafcik thinks that Ford and GM are miffed that they've had to follow Hyundai's lead and offer versions of Hyundai's Assurance program to get buyers through the door. This makes Krafcik happy.
  • No one's given back their car through said program.

That's all surprisingly good news for a Monday, right?

[source: WardsAuto]

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