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The Dude
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Agent00J submitted on 1/17/2009 AutoSpies.com

Fresh off a win as North American Car of the Year it is clear that Hyundai is serious about shaking up the luxury car community with the Genesis sedan.

Widely praised across the industry for a great first effort, the fact is Hyundai is positioning itself much like Lexus did 20 years ago when it made its first appearance in the marketplace.

But can a Hyundai reign supreme in the luxury car ranks?

I have my own thoughts on the question, but the Genesis sedan is good enough that if others don't take notice what Hyundai has accomplished, it could very well be besting the best in second and third generation form.

My working title for this piece was "The Price of Pride - Why Hyundai won't unseat Lexus in Luxury Supremacy" - a title that I think identifies the biggest hurdle Hyundai faces with their emerging luxury car.

The name Hyundai, and peoples perception.

Commented on here by several of you, the truth is those looking for the luxury car experience aren't going to darken the door of Hyundai dealership because of the perception of "cheap." And since perception is reality, the goal of getting people behind the wheel of Genesis to experience what it is that Hyundai has accomplished must first overcome the stigma created by years of cheap.

In my part of the country, the advertising of local dealers is borderline obnoxious as louder than normal spokespeople hawk their wares.

Those in the market for a luxury car expect a luxury experience to accompany the purchase. Buying said luxury car from a dealer that also advertises $149 + a job gets you a car alongside the luxury model really leaves a bad taste in ones mouth.

And sadly, no matter how good the Genesis is, or continues to get, it is the stigma of the rest of the model lineup that will continue to haunt dampening the attempt to break into a market Lexus owns with the ES and GS.

So short of creating a new division, true success in the luxury market will be limited relegating the Genesis to a "last resort" purchase as opposed to a status symbol.

But in this economy, launching a new division is the last thing on anyones mind, and therein lies the true quagmire, a great car saddled with a less than stellar public perception brought on by the rest of the lineup.

So whats Hyundai to do?

I have laid an idea or two, but why not bring their problem to the readers and ask them the question, if you were running Hyundai - how would you overcome the Hyundai perception in an effort to create luxury car supremacy with the Genesis?

Why not check in with an idea or two, the management at Hyundai graciously thanks you for your ideas.
 

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I don't care for Lexus's personally myself I think there ugly. I like more of the european designed cars.
And, Lexus' are too soft, not enough feed back. The Genesis is between a Lexus & a Mercedes for feel, but closer to a Mercedes or BMW for looks.

IMO, Hyundai/Genesis will usurp Toyota/Lexus, all in due time. Hyundai makes a better quality product at this point. Now we just have to wait until everyone else realizes that. In the mean time, they should keep doing what they do by refining their product & building cars people want to drive. Eventually the luxury brand will come, but with it, so will the additional costs. In other words, if you want Genesis sedan or coupe at a discount price, buy it now. If you would rather have that "dealership experience" in svc & sales, wait a few years til the refresh & luxury line appears, then add 20% to the cost of the car.



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I think this is just the beginning of Hyundai being transitioned into a luxury brand, while Kia will remain the economical line. Over the next few years, I wouldn't be surprised if the dealerships for Hyundai will start to look a lot more like BMW's in an effort to change public perception. With that being said, the Genesis Sedan will appeal more to those looking for features rather than a name and their positive opinions, along with Hyundai's future-changing brand image, will take the company to a place where they can compete on "status symbol vs substance" level in due time.

Hell, I'd love for the norm to be Genesis Sedans right beside BMWs and Mercedes at the country clubs
 

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Hyundai is gaining momentum with new customers. As long as the don't go cheap on the materials in the interiors and continue with body design changes. The biggest complaint I've read on the Honda and Toyota forums is how cheap the materials look and feel, but the price of the cars keep going up. Read comments that they were considering buying a Hyundai. People can't believe that the Genesis sedan and coupe we have are Hyundai's. Hyundai has come a long way in the last 10 years.
 

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What the author fails to realize is that right now Hyundai has successfully penetrated the luxury market... people are more concerned about what their dollar will bring them and they are going with Hyundai because the Genesis Sedan is offering about the same vehicle experience as the higher priced cars of BMW, Lexus, Mercedes... the total user experience will get better.. Hyundai knows it needs to change the perception that the general public has of them (cheap cars). Look at their sales.. they are staying steady and as the economy improves, so will their sales.. It's just a matter of time.



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As the article points out, basically every manufacture does this... at at least for the Genesis Sedan and Coupe, they will maintain a fairly high residual value.. 49% for the Coupe after 3 years.. better than the Infiniti G37..



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Will Hyundai be able to keep costs down and luxury up is the question. If they are to close to price of Lexus and others I think they will have a hard time pulling buyers. They are getting up there at around $40k for the Genesis but its still a ways below the other luxury brands.
 

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Will Hyundai be able to keep costs down and luxury up is the question. If they are to close to price of Lexus and others I think they will have a hard time pulling buyers. They are getting up there at around $40k for the Genesis but its still a ways below the other luxury brands.
I think they will be able to pull it off... Hyundai has great supply lines where they can get materials cheaply... the only issue that is a concern to me is their workforce.. as they become more skill at putting together higher class cars, the labor aspect will become a greater factor.. but even so, Hyundai right now is making a killing with every car they sell here in the States because of the weak WON compared to the dollar... and that will help keep the cost of the cars down in the short term..

Keep in mind too that to get the same class of vehicle out of Lexus, BMW or Mercedes, you will spend 20-40g's MORE... and those guys dont care whether you lose your job or not..



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Will Hyundai be able to keep costs down and luxury up is the question. If they are to close to price of Lexus and others I think they will have a hard time pulling buyers. They are getting up there at around $40k for the Genesis but its still a ways below the other luxury brands.
Hyundai will be able to keep costs down, as long as, they don't upstart a luxury line. Once they do that, costs will jump within just a few thousand of Lexus & just several thousand shy of BMW & MB. Right now at $40k, the Genesis is only about 70% the cost of a equivalent Lexus. A new lux line would put them within about 10%.



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