NAIAS 2014: Hyundai Gives Us A Product Planning Peek With Their New Genesis

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
naias 2014 hyundai gives us a product planning peek with their new genesis

Ever wonder how product planning really works? It turns out that product planners aren’t just hired to sit around and tell car companies what to build. Apparently you have to do things like work with data and make Excel pivot tables. Which is why I’m still working here. But the 2015 Hyundai Genesis gives us an interesting example of what drives product planning decisions.

For the American market, Hyundai will offer all-wheel as an option on the Genesis V6. As for the V8, Hyundai is “studying” it as an option at a future date. On the other hand, Canadian market cars will not be offered with rear-wheel drive at all. Even for such a small market, the fact is that a rear-drive sedan would sit collecting dust on dealer lots, and Hyundai Canada’s planners made the choice to forgo RWD. Even BMWs are almost exclusvely xDrive in the Great White North. Canadians will get to enjoy a rare exclusive product – for now at least.

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on Jan 15, 2014

    If memory serves, the US Mercedes GLK has standard RWD and an AWD option, while Canadians get only the AWD version. I'm sure that there are other examples of this. The overall volumes are low; it's more cost effective to offer one package than two, even if it ends up losing them a few customers who didn't want the AWD.

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    • MBella MBella on Jan 15, 2014

      @segfault As the others have said, it's for the south. I have seen one RWD GLK, and on RWD ML in the whole time I have worked for Mercedes, but I'm in Michigan. The guys down south probably have experienced the opposite.

  • Ktm_525 Ktm_525 on Jan 15, 2014

    Did I read this right? Canada will get the V8 AWD or only the V6 AWD?

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Jan 15, 2014

    Makes sense. One would think AWD is a must in a country with no paved roads.

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    • Thornmark Thornmark on Jan 16, 2014

      @PrincipalDan In the US unpaved, err pothole ridden, roads are an example of wasteful government expense. Money meant for roads is diverted into non-road uses.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Jan 15, 2014

    I was quite surprised when a friend recently bought an Infiniti G37 without AWD, especially since his wife hates RWD in winter..........waaaait a minute!

    • Onyxtape Onyxtape on Jan 15, 2014

      I live in Seattle and specifically looked for a non-AWD G37. It only snows a week a year here at most. Since everyone up here is a snow-wuss, it was the only non-AWD on the lot and I was rewarded with a nice discount for it. I don't care about the 1MPG AWD penalty, but the handling does feel different enough.