Editorial: By Royal Decree

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Buried in a Reuters article on Hyundai’s new Prius-fighter was talk of Hyundai’s new Aslan sedan. The Aslan is intended to take on the growing sales of imported sedans in South Korea, namely the VW Passat, BMW 3-Series and Audi A4. Based on a front-drive architecture, the Aslan seems to occupy a slot between the Sonata and the Grandeur (aka our Azera) – which made it all the more surprising when Reuters reported that “The automaker is also looking at introducing the Aslan in China, the United States and Middle Eastern countries.”

A sort of large, sort of premium sedan makes sense for China and the Middle East. These vehicles tend to thrive in markets where lots of passenger space, “premium styling” and a comfort-focused driving experience are prized by consumers.

But the United States? Sales of the new Sonata haven’t had the same impact as the previous generation. The mid-size sedan market is on a downward trend, and the outlook for large sedans is dismal. Between the Sonata and the Azera, Hyundai has the large sedan space sewn up, and Hyundai product planners would be the first to tell you that the Aslan would be a redundant offering. So why the talk of exports?

Simple. Sometimes, certain vehicles are sent to certain markets by “royal decree”. See also: Phaeton, Volkswagen. Products are cooked up at the “mothership” and sent to certain markets, even if they may not be wholly appropriate for sale there. The regional arm is tasked with the sales and marketing of said product, even if it doesn’t make sense (yet another large-ish sedan) or wholly inappropriate for the brand (think about the Kia K900).

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Oct 31, 2014

    Can someone, anyone, please make a non-hyper-luxury sedan with a roofline that allows a proper rear seat and rear door windows that allow a person to get in and out easily? See Volvo 944 for how to do it properly. This coupe-sedan obsession has got to stop. Please think of the CHILDREN!

    • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Oct 31, 2014

      This. As far as adults are concerned, there are an awful lot of 2-seaters being built nowadays. And you'll crack your head even getting into the front seats. Sedans are dead to me but I'm glad to see someone agreeing about the main reason why.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Nov 01, 2014

    Looking at the vehicle, especially the front end and grille is appears to be very much slated for the Sino vehicle market.

  • Energetik9 Energetik9 on Nov 02, 2014

    Looks like a fancy Sonata. Yeah, I just don't see it having much sucess.

  • Bee Bee on Nov 03, 2014

    I gathered that Asian means lion in some language? Still... I can't get over the utter lack of creativity. The Hyundai Asian? Or asian Hyundai? Redundant names and a redundant car, really. Hyundai/Kis is over saturating the market, like BMW has been doing. Oops... Realized it was asLan... I don't have my glasses on.

    • See 4 previous
    • Lie2me Lie2me on Nov 05, 2014

      @Lie2me Nope! but thanks for playing