QOTD: How Do You Manage the North American Hyundai-Genesis-Kia Triumvirate?
Yesterday, TTAC covered news of the launch of a second-generation K900 model in the United States at the upcoming New York International Auto Show and Mobility Conference. Upon considering the K900 and its potential for success, some questions arose about the three different badges on offer from the Hyundai-Kia conglomerate, and what we might do with them.
Where does Hyundai go from here?
This question of branding was spurred on and expanded by a tweet from an Internet Person, who suggested Kia needed a luxury brand with which to offer high-end models like the K900 and Stinger — a Genesis of its own. That would leave Hyundai-Kia with four brands on North American shores, all vying for their own slices of the sales pie. Does a fourth marque make sense? Would Kia have better success with a separate luxury brand?
Or are three brands just the right amount? One might argue that luxury offerings from Genesis allow Hyundai to venture into the higher end of the market, picking up sales it would otherwise miss, utilizing luxury entries which have their main established sales base in South Korea. The Kia brand is then free to offer different, alternative-type vehicles (Stinger, Soul), albeit without the same level of clout as Genesis. This doesn’t seem like a long-term answer, for both market expansion and volume reasons.
Perhaps a culling is in order. All offerings from Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia are variants of the same thing — a body style here and a platform there, utilizing the same components across brands. The argument could be made for some kind of a merger, Datsun-Nissan style. All Hyundai and standard Kia vehicles are merged into Hyundai. The remaining Genesis lineup receives any formerly Kia vehicles which are over a certain price point. Consolidate dealers, make the product offerings simpler, save Hyundai money at the end of the day. Any enthusiasts of Kia quickly convert to Hyundai enthusiasm.
Expansion, continuation, or contraction: which is best for Hyundai-Genesis-Kia?
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