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Is There Room in the Luxury Market for Hyundai?

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  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Since the Equus will compete directly, price-wise, with the RL, I'll keep in mind what you just said about less than 150 sales a month being something to not put much weight on
    you have this tendency to want to compare things (like GS sales or RL) only when you think those comparisons somehow support your position. I mean if you want to compare Gen sales with something then compare them to the sales of other upscale sedans and if you are going to want to compare Equus sales to something that it more obviously targeted at - try evaluating it in relation to the LS/7/S sales that Hyundai thinks it will be an 'equal' to.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    So now you are saying we should not compare cars that are in the same price range? How then should cars be classed for comparison? I have tried to do it by the size and features of the car, e.g. compare the Genesis to other large-ish RWD luxury sedans that offer both V6 and V8 power, e.g. GS and M. But you didn't like that comparison because the Genesis cost less than those cars. But you DO think it's OK to compare the Equus, which will start around $50k, with the LS, which starts at $65k and goes to $75k (n/i the stretch version). Why is it OK in your mind to do that, when it's NOT ok to compare a car like the Genesis 4.6 to the Acura RL, which are within a few thousand dollars of each other, or the Genesis to the GS or M?

    Talk about making comparisons only that support your position! :P
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    And the Legend became the RL when Acura moved away from names to letters. So what?
    Guess you didn't want to google anything - you only show that you really don't know how good Acura products were when the brand was established. The RL came 10 years after the original Legend and a lot less of a car - to wit:

    takes confidence to name a car the Legend. If it had been forgettable with nothing legendary about it, Acura could have found itself derided for the irony. It would have forever become the butt of automotive jokes, or worse, part of an Alanis Morissette song. Luckily for Honda's luxury division, its bravado paid off with the Acura Legend, a car that's still held in high regard years after it bowed out in favor of an ironically forgettable replacement.

    The Acura Legend was launched in 1986 alongside the Integra sport hatchback to create the Acura brand in North America. Actually co-developed with British automaker Rover (which named its version of the car the Sterling 825), the Legend -- available in sedan and coupe body styles -- was immediately a hit among consumers and reviewers alike.


    a review/article, incidentally, from Edmunds.com

    remembering of course that those shiny new Acura dealers were wonderful and only to be bested by those Lexus (and Infiniti) dealers a few years later.
    The Legend (and Integra to a lesser degree) both had a lot to do with Acura's early success and did establish a 'luxury' brand. What they have done with it (2nd tier lux brand IMO) since the Legend (with the RL etc) is not the point . Honda in effect showed Toyota/ Lexus how to do it. If Hyundai really thinks that somebody is going to pay $50 or $60k for a Hyundai branded product, I think that they should be reading their history books.
  • Integra was a car for import tuners. it had absolutely nothing to do with a luxury. and maybe it's just me, but that's what acura should've been. a luxury brand that has a small hardcore coupe. :) acura maybe have been still cool if they stuck with the original formula. but too bad they had to replace integra with horrendous RSX.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    edited May 2010
    I don't want to google? Ha. That's funny.

    The Acura Legend, sold as the Honda Legend outside the U.S., Canada, and parts of China, was a sporty luxury vehicle sold from 1986 to 1995 as both a sedan and coupe. It was one of the first vehicles sold under the Acura nameplate, and was the flagship sedan under the Acura nameplate until being replaced in 1996 by the Acura RL (officially badged as the Acura 3.5RL). The 3.5RL was a rebadged version of the third generation Honda Legend.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acura_Legend

    But I like your thought about how the Civic-based Integra helped Acura establish itself as a luxury brand:

    The Legend (and Integra to a lesser degree) both had a lot to do with Acura's early success and did establish a 'luxury' brand.


    If that was OK for Acura, I am sure you'll agree it's OK for Hyundai to use economy cars to help establish itself in the luxury market.

    As for Acura showing Lexus and Infiniti the way... I guess if Hyundai isn't concerned about longevity in the luxury market, they could follow Acura's lead. Or Infiniti's. Infiniti also hasn't done really well in the luxury market--like Acura, only one luxury car, the M, to show for all their money and effort over the years. And the M hasn't been much of a sales success, has it? No, not a great model to follow either. Maybe Lexus--rebadge the Sonata as a Lexus, as Lexus did with the Camry to form the first ES, spruce it up some, and use it to help establish itself in the luxury market--kinda like Acura did with the old Integra. What do you think of that idea? You should like it, since you liked it for the J3.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,565
    what a mainstream brand CANNOT do

    Subaru is more mainstream than they were when I saw my first one in the early 70's in Evergreen, Colorado. Very narrow, but the owner loved it's ability in the snow. But Subaru can't really afford to invest too much in a luxury ride I don't think. Too much risk if it bombs.

    Subaru's owner, Fuji Industries has 4 main divisions and 15,000 employees.

    Hyundai Motor has 75,000 employees. Hyundai Motor is just a division of Hyundai Kia Automotive Group.

    The revenue streams are a bit different. :)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,197
    I remember the Acura Legend very well. A co-worker bought one and it truly lived up to its name. That's coming from somebody who is hardly an import fanboy. The Legend was a great name. Acura lost something when it went away from great names like Legend and Integra to today's alphanumeric gobbledy-[non-permissible content removed].
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,197
    I don't know if the Integra was built with tuners in mind. I think it became a preferred car of tuners as the cars became affordable as they aged and young buyers could afford them.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    I think this is one of the reasons that we have seen Toyota's and Honda's quality go down in the last few years. They are being decontented, subpar materials are being used, etc. etc.

    This is one of the most common complaints I hear, and one of the main reasons people jump brands. I can't fathom it, it's beyond my understanding why any car manufacturer would reduce the quality of materials in their cars. Staying the same is OK, charging slightly more is OK. Putting pressure on suppliers to reduce their prices over the long term is the best solution. Reducing materials quality is a sure way to turn off customers and make them look elsewhere. Nothing puts off a customer more than sitting in a new car and noticing it's not as nice as previous models.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,020
    I always thought Toyota though had done a reasonable job upgrading materials as well as fit/finish for their Lexus branded products

    I agree, so perhaps I wasn't clear. The Lexus division is fine...it is the Toyota's, especially the Camry, that has gone downhill, IMO.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • dean3927dean3927 Posts: 80
    I agree that the buyer sounds rational and knowledgeable about cars in general.

    I thought it particularly interesting that the final 2 choices came down to the Avalon and Genesis (a comparison not inrequently made here), and, a 2010 Genesis at that (with a revised suspension).
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Yeah I was just going to say, Honda has not cut in material quality/fit & finish and are still class leading in those regards, though there are other areas, like body style/features, etc that I would beg to differ.

    It is definitely Toyota specifically who has gone downhill with material quality/ fit & finish! I saw this specifically with the Camry and RAV-4 I test drove last year! Both models are due for major redesigns so will see if Toyota got the message or not!
  • dean3927dean3927 Posts: 80
    2. Toyota had such a good name at the time - that the fact that Toyota was making the thing was an ASSET to the new marque

    You have stated this thought repeatedly in making the point that the situation with Hyundai and the Genesis/Equus today is different from that of Toyota and the LS then, and thus Hyundai ought to have achieved a practically flawless reputation before launching the Genesis/Equus.

    I have read at least one professional review of the Genesis, in which yet another expected reference to Toyota and its LS was made. However, the review stated clearly that Lexus helped a less than perfect, still-looked-down perception of Toyota; that the LS helped change people's minds about Toyota products.

    Can you demonstrate that Toyota had "such a good name at the time"?
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Can you demonstrate that Toyota had "such a good name at the time"?
    the success of of both Lexus and Acura demonstrates it, because neither of them would have made it without the correspondent association with their mfgrs. - and additionally the slower ascent of Infiniti also testifies to the fact that Nissan's rep at the time was on a somewhat lower level and also shows how good that rep must be to succeed in the rapid manner that Toyota and Honda did..
  • I agree with Captain2. I'm old enough to remember. I bought my first Acura Legend in '88 because of Honda's rep, and suspected the Lexus would be highly reliable. My father bought a first year Lexus LS400, and the first drive was just shocking for me, but my father had no concerns about buying it. Both the big German Marques and the American marques' reliability were in the toilet by 1989, and the Japanese big 3 records were immaculate. (Toyota/Honda/Nissan).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,161
    Around here a lot of Integras sold to the middle aged secretary types when new. When they hit about 5 years old they'd depreciate to the level where the kids would pick them up.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    it truly lived up to its name
    yeah, it did - and a 'proper' lux car entry in its time. What it didn't do in its last rendition is keep up with the fad to RWD, a continuing mistake on Acura's part IMO. It's success, those beautiful Acura dealers, and the whole way the transaction process was handled did establish a benchmark for many others to follow - including Lexus.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Acura lost something when it went away from great names like Legend and Integra to today's alphanumeric gobbledy-[non-permissible content removed].

    can you say Lincoln? Does anybody out there really know which one is the Fusion clone, which one the Taurus etc. etc.? Limits product differentiation AFAIAC
    Actually would suggest that Genesis is a great name, but do believe that eventually they'll have to come with something different than simply Sedan and Coupe for the individual Genesis branded models . Kinda like Genesis Equus although I'm still not sure about Equus - or how to pronounce it :confuse:
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I tell you one thing about Acura that you touched on that is true, you can say what you want about their reduced status, lack of V8, RWD, styling, etc etc but by far they have a great dealership/buying experience. All you have to decide is what color you want and if you want nav or no nav, that is it. There is no beating around the bush about option packages, oh this deletes that, and you can't get that if you get this, etc etc!

    I wish more could follow that model, including Hyundai, but I do give Hyundai credit, that unlike many other manufacturers, GM, Nissan, and Lexus come to mind off the bat, their option packages are not too complex and pricy and relatively easy to choose among!
  • schnellesautoschnellesauto Posts: 59
    edited May 2010
    Agreed. Acura needs a rear drive based instead of the Wrong (Front) drived based for me to ever consider them. The other issue is that many of their lineup are based off their lower end Honda's.
    RDX is a CRV
    MDX is a Pilot
    TL an Accord
    TSX, a European Accord

    Infiniti does it (entire lineup of rear drive with optional AWD) that are not based on their Nissan USA vehicles, except QX56 which changes for 2011, why not Acura?
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Very good points. I just hope Acura follows Infiniti in the non-mainstream division platforms for their vehicles. I think Acura will someday but not any time soon. They don't even know what direction they want to take their company/goals/objectives let alone change their platforms completely.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I just hope Acura follows Infiniti in the non-mainstream division platforms for their vehicles
    certainly better than the 'rebadging' they are intent on doing now - Infiniti in my mind didn't really get in the lux picture until the 2nd generation M followed the G circa 05, they had the dealers and FTM what was a generally accepted lux name, but nothing much else other thsan rebadged Nissans to that point. In that way much like Acura.
    Hyundai OTH has the unique product that might otherwise qualify - if it only had the dealers and the lux name.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Infiniti in my mind didn't really get in the lux picture until the 2nd generation M followed the G circa 05...

    What do you consider the Q-ship? An economy car? :surprise:
  • dennis87dennis87 Posts: 1
    Sorry, but I can't agree that the two German masques were in the reliability toilet. I have and had both a 91-93 Benz and they were dead reliable. Sold '91 in January with 205K miles and it is still being used in area and it never burned a drop of oil. The 93 is a 300SL 24V with about 120K miles again other than normal maintenance no other costs.

    As far as Hyundai moving into the luxury market. In my opinion having just brought a Genesis, I think they have a great product especially considering the price but they must upgrade their dealers which just don't provide buyer environment when compared to Benz, Lexus, et-al
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited May 2010
    Very true, Infiniti really didn't return to the luxury market until the last Gen M and 1st Gen G Sedan. Pre-2003 it was not looking very grim for Infiniti. Frankly, the 2003 G and FX are probably are what saved them from the scrap heap and brink of extinction!
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited May 2010
    Just because you had great reliability experiences, and by the way I'm more than happy you did, does not mean the vast majority did. If you look back at CR long-term reliability history, prior to about 2006, Audi, BMW, and MB had a lot of black dots in many different areas. I had a 2002 C-Class, and while overall it was not that bad and a lot of fun to drive, I did have 3-4 different things under warranty that needed to be fixed/replaced.

    Overall, though it is not that way anymore. As I said, since about 2006-2007, all 3 have improved dramatically in overall reliability, especially in their big selling models. I mean the new GLK got a practically perfect score after its first year and has much better than avg reliability already!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,161
    Oh, I didn't claim MB had problems with reliability then - it didn't. Maintenance was pricey and MSRPs were steep, but the cars were solid. The dark ages came about 10 years later for MB, and even then many of the cars weren't bad...I have a car from the tail end of that era, and it has been pretty decent, especially as I drive it hard sometimes. MB has pretty much come out of that dark age now.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the Q45 was a very underestimated car IMO, but never really did much perhaps because of all the cheaper stuff Infiniti was messing with at the time - the G20/I35s etc.. A good car to be sure - just not a player for whatever reason
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    the 2003 G and FX are probably are what saved them from the scrap heap and brink of extinction
    and before that it was Renault, Carlo Franco and a few billion French francs!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Here's a couple of thoughts on the reasons the Q did so poorly in the marketplace:

    Low sales are attributed not to the car’s overall quality or performance, but to lack of advertising and the debatable prestige of the Infiniti name.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infiniti_Q45

    So Acura started well, with the Legend, then collapsed to irrelevance in the luxury car market. Infiniti didn't compete strongly in the luxury car market until the M debuted a few years ago. Not good models for Hyundai to follow, IMO.
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