Ask The Best And Brightest: How Should Hyundai Sell Its Luxury Offerings?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ask the best and brightest how should hyundai sell its luxury offerings

It’s a strange question to ask, considering that Hyundai is already selling the Genesis and Equus luxury sedans, but apparently Hyundai decided to bring out the cars before launching a brand. According to the Wall Street Journal

There are three branding scenarios under consideration. The most likely is to create a subbrand called “Genesis,” and sell the models under the same dealership roof as Hyundai but in a separate part of the showroom, possibly with dedicated salespeople, said John Krafcik, the president of Hyundai Motor America.

The other scenarios are to keep the premium cars badged as Hyundais, or—in the most ambitious move—spin off the brand into separate dealer facilities, much like Lexus or Honda Motor Co.’s Acura

Those are the options, but for a little more context, let’s check in with Hyundai USA boss John Krafcik…

The WSJ reports:

“One of the keys to this plan is how well the Equus does,” Mr. Krafcik said. “We don’t need to make a decision for some time” on the branding question.

Mr. Krafcik said he wants to be open to all options, but has some concerns about spinning off the brand. It would costs millions of dollars to create a new network of dealerships, adding pressure to increase sales for the brand and to raise prices.

He estimated separate dealerships would require the company to obtain about $6,000 more revenue per each car these outlets sold.

And the additional cost is just the beginning: Lexus and Infiniti would probably not have become the brands they are if their vehicles had been launched as Toyotas and Nissans before being re-branded. Bringing in a completely separate brand with bespoke dealers won’t have the same impact if the same cars are stalking the streets with Hyundai badges. On the other hand, if Hyundai does launch a 3 Series-fighter and a RX-style luxury crossover, it will need to do more in the way of becoming a luxury brand… or does it? Is the concept of luxury-style offerings from a value brand completely doomed to fail? Is a sub-brand really any better? Decisions, decisions…

Join the conversation
2 of 44 comments
  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Dec 09, 2010

    Most "Americans" are bent on making the biggest impression they can (not me of course). That's why people put brick facade on only the sides of the house that can be seen.... These will be the same folks who cross shop the Genesis with the 3 Series. If they think size matters, they'll buy the Hyundai, status, the 3 Series. Few will cross shop the A8 (genuinely - sincerely) In this vain, I don't believe dealership experience counts for much. So just sell them next to the Accents. The oil changes will take place at Wal-Mart or the back yard anyway, where the vinyl clad side of the house gazes.

  • Nick Nick on Dec 10, 2010

    At first I thought TTAC had managed to get a picture of Tom the Pissed Off Roofer or the guy from Duncan Construction. As for marketing the Genesis, just sell'em like they do everything else. In addition to Sonatas (which are swarming like ants) I am seeing a surprising number of Genesis sedans already.

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.