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Is There Room in the Luxury Market for Hyundai?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    I guess it also begs the question, what is the Equus aiming at? It can't aim for all of them...

    I can understand how some like the iso-tank, and LS sales prove it on this continent anyway...but by looking at the healthy sales of the oftentimes much pricer competition, many don't want it as well. Equus can't chase both ideals.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited February 2011
    This seems inconsistent to me. OT1H, you slam the Equus because some (like C/D) compare it to the LS, which isn't the best selling luxury car on every continent. It is clear to many (including C/D, and me) that Hyundai's main target with this Equus was the LS. Then OTOH, you wonder what the Equus is aiming at, as you don't believe it can aim at every competitor.

    So, what is wrong then in aiming first and foremost at the LS, which has been very successful in one of Hyundai's most important markets? It can't aim at everything, right? Why not the LS?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited February 2011
    Why not? When the Genesis came around, some seemed to insinuate that suddenly H was going to become the second coming of the Europeans, not to mention the Asian competition. Why wouldn't the next highline entrant try to compete in the same way? I wonder how profitable it can be competing with what is in essence a one market wonder, but perhaps the costs have already been absorbed by the KDM.

    So, it really doesn't compete with an S/7/A8, etc, at all, right? I guess it really can be just that easy ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    For some buyers it might compete with European luxury cars, but I think it's pretty clear what Hyundai's main target is for the Equus.

    Consider, though: if Hyundai can reach parity, at a much lower price, with the likes of the LS on its first serious attempt at a high-end luxury sedan... what will the next Equus be like?

    You don't seem to grasp the big picture here: the current Equus is not about dominating the luxury car market in every country, right NOW. It's one in a series of steps to penetrate that market. The Genesis was the first step, at the lower end of the luxury car class. Then comes the Equus, higher up the price ladder. Then the next-gen Genesis, with AWD and undoubtedly other improvements that will make it more competitive in the low-end luxury market. And so on and so on...
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I personally believe the Equus to be aimed square at the LS. It also may be aimed at those folks who see the value in a car that (on paper) is equal to the LS at a lower price point. E and 5 shoppers wanting something larger may also have it in their sites.

    It certainly will not be a segment leader or possibly even a money-maker for Hyundai but as you mentioned H is taking steps to be competitive in the upper price points.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    I'd like to think that anyone shopping in that price range would know better, but we all know money can't buy everything :shades:

    I don't live in the world of if. Even parity (which takes more than a magazine review) isn't easy. This isn't going to be as simple as imitating a Camcord. Good luck penetrating that market when even Lexus has a relatively hard time selling its large cars elsewhere. They've got the blandiose design down pat though, I will give them that much.

    Always waiting for the next one - better engine, more features...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited February 2011
    And here I thought the World of If was your preferred domain! (e.g., "I wonder if they'll give a sweetheart lease too.") ;)

    Getting to parity with the Camcord took quite awhile for Hyundai--not until the 4th Gen Sonata in 2005. Then in the 5th Gen they surpassed the Camcord. So it can take some time. "Let it take time, lad."

    However, you won't have to wait long for that better engine...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Well, one is more likely than the other :shades:

    The 03 Accord inspired Sonata started for MY 06, didn't it? And is the new one really better, or is it the one finally on par? Maybe it took even longer. But that's beside the point here

    When spending so much, one shouldn't have to wait at all. I don't see the others saying the properly equipped car is just around the corner.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited February 2011
    When spending so much, one shouldn't have to wait at all. I don't see the others saying the properly equipped car is just around the corner.

    So, you have never seen another luxury automaker say, for example, "Very soon we'll replace our poorly-designed braking system with one that actually works reliably", or how about "Someday we'll put a hybrid powertrain in our vehicles"? Or how about, "Someday soon we'll replace our V6s with GDI I4s that are more fuel efficient, yet powerful [like Hyundai has been doing]"? Odd, because those are from actual situations from the past few years from some luxury automakers--although the quotes are representations. In each case, buyers had to wait awhile. It's pretty common in the automotive industry; automakers improve their cars over time.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    How is a bleeding edge braking technology that ended up having bugs related to a new entrant that pretty much just mimics an old one and does nothing new?

    What do DI 4s have to do with the LS side of the market? I know of one maker that had a DI I6 nearly 60 years ago.

    Which luxo-Hyundai is a hybrid?

    But for the higher models, there have been waits for a sorted suspension, and now apprarently for the improved engine. When the new model is introduced, a known update coming in x months isn't usually lurking in the shadows.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited February 2011
    MB buyers had to wait to get luxury cars with braking systems that worked.

    BMW buyers in the USA have to wait for the 5 Series to get GDI I4s; today, they are available only with V6s. BMW says the GDIs are coming. Wait, wait.

    MB, Infiniti, and Lexus buyers had to wait to get a hybrid sedan. For example, when Infiniti rolled out the new M not long ago, they did not offer the hybrid right away. It was "lurking in the shadows", as you say. Now, it's available.

    These are examples of how other makers of luxury cars have added features to their cars over time... features their fans had to wait for. Just like people who want the more powerful 5.0L V8 in the Equus will need to wait a little while to get it. The reason most automakers don't announce a known improvement when they come out with a new model is, they don't want buyers to wait to buy the new model. Thus I was a little surprised that Hyundai was so up-front on their plans for the 5.0L. But it was good for prospective Equus buyers, and avoided the customer sat problem of having buyers who went for the 4.6L car, then were disappointed when the 5.0L option came out not long afterward.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited February 2011
    MB buyers had an hugely vast majority of cars with trouble free braking systems - but the brand new tech on a few cars had a defect - as is often the case with a NEW technology. Apples and oranges compared to putting off merely improved versions of existing technology - not something truly new. Irrelevant

    I don't recall seeing any planned 4cyl 5er for this continent. There has NEVER been a 4cyl 5er sold on this continent. Not sure how the middle range car relates to another top of the line car. Irrelevant.

    Hybrids aren't big players in the luxoboat market anywhere. Go see what percentage of S and LS sales are hybrids. These cars exist just for the sake of existing. Irrelevant. Who cares about the M? This is the LS/Equus side of the street, right?

    Delaying the better engine for unknown reasons doesn't seem like a leadership ideal.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Not sure how the middle range car relates to another top of the line car.

    What is the middle range car and top of the line car here? You have mentioned both the Genesis and Equus in this current thread. Some compare the 5 Series to the Genesis.

    Hybrids are irrelevant to you. But obviously not irrelevant to customers of MB, Lexus, and Infiniti or those automakers wouldn't offer hybrids.

    And now you are saying Infiniti, the M specifically, is irrelevant also? :sick:

    I knew any example I would bring up here would be irrelevant to you, however. Some things never change. I guess that is a reassuring thought, in a strange way.

    So then, if the 5.0L Equus were available today, you'd buy one? Or do you really care one way or the other that Hyundai decided to make sure the engine was ready for prime time before putting it into its flagship sedan? (Maybe if MB had tested that ol' braking system a little longer, they wouldn't have had to recall 1.3 million cars...)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    This is all about the Equus now, isn't it? That's why the thread was revived, and the defense begins...

    Other than being similar in size and ridiculously similar in profile to the previous 5er, I can't see how that car relates to the Genesis. Maybe for those who have never driven one.

    Making something and having it be important aren't the same. How many S or LS hybrids do you see? These cars exist just so the maker can say they exist.

    Yes, the M is an also-ran.

    Why do my purchasing plans matter? If the Equus debuted with the better engine, it would gain some cred. Would I buy one? Of course not, if I was looking for a boat and I had 65K to blow, I'd buy a 3 year old S or maybe even a similarly aged CL.

    Do you plan to buy one? I am pretty sure you don't.

    Recalls are a risk you take with innovation. MB has more than once beta tested tech on the car buying public. When you simply mimic others, you don't have to deal with that worry.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    This is all about the Equus now, isn't it?

    Is it? I thought it was still about Hyundai's foray into the luxury market, with the Equus being its latest entry. If you believe it's all about the Equus, why did you bring up the Genesis earlier?

    The M outsold the 7 and S last year. Maybe the 7 and S are the also-rans.

    I don't plan to buy a 5.0L anything. But then, I'm not picking on Hyundai for waiting a bit to introduce the 5.0L, since other luxury automakers also introduce running improvements into their models. If we are to pick on Hyundai for that, then to be fair let's pick on everyone else for doing the same kind of thing.

    Recalls are a risk with any machine as complex as a car. That's why some automakers take care to test their new features (like a 5.0L version of the Tau, for instance) before introducing them. Some automakers rush features into production before all the bugs are out. That's when the recalls happen. MB can get away with some recalls, they have a fiercely loyal customer base (as this discussion demonstrates) and with their history on reliability, maybe folks will say, "Another recall from MB. 1.3 million cars. Meh." Hyundai, the new kid on the luxury block, can't afford to make quality gaffes like that, especially in their flagship car. Then all the fingers will point and tongues will wag, "See! I told you Hyundais are crap!!"
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    The thread was revived for the Equus. Read it yourself. I only mentioned the Genesis at all to mock how some thought it would be the end all be all newcomer, which it hasn't been.

    The M and the S compete about as directly as the Forte and the Veyron. The M also outsold the Gallardo last year, I guess the Italian is an also ran. Completely unconnected vehicles, insane.

    That engine isn't a simple "running improvement", not evolution. It looks more like an "oh crap" upgrade to compete more effectively with the establishment.

    Groundbreaking complex electro-mechanical systems are a lot more involved than a simple enlarged engine. Not much new going on in the engine world. Few cars these days have significant engine problems. Some automakers don't do much innovating at all, and some are responsible for a significant amount of innovation in automobiledom itself.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    You can mention cars other than the Equus here, others can't. Got it.

    BTW, engines are electro-mechanical systems. And brakes have been around as long as engines (actually, longer than engines). It's just that you don't hear these days about many cases of huge numbers of vehicles being recalled because of a problem with brakes. Most automakers, including Hyundai, seem to have that electro-mechanical system down pat.

    Innovation, with added complexity, for its own sake isn't worth much. What's important is innovation that matters. A braking system that has to be withdrawn from the market because it doesn't work isn't innovation that matters. A good braking system that does its job reliably matters.

    If the 5.0L Tau is an "oh crap" upgrade, then we'll have to call the V6 in the 2011 7 Series an "oh crap" downgrade. Except it took BMW 20 years to deliver that downgrade. What a long wait that was.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    I mention related cars, others don't. Get it. Got it?

    Engines are established technology where little real innovation is taking place, especially in the mass market. Newfangled braking systems are a world different. Some innovate - and there is always a little pain with innovation. Some don't. Some just mimic others. Nothing wrong with that, if it can be admitted.

    6 cylinder 7er has existed in the real world for decades, nothing new there.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I have to agree that H should have waited and introduced the 5.0 with the Equus. It just doesn't make sense to rush a car like the Equus. Its not like this vehicle is a mainstream model like the Elantra or Sonata.

    It also would have given it a significant bump from the Genesis.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited February 2011
    Engines are established technology where little real innovation is taking place, especially in the mass market.

    I disagree. The mass market in particular is full of engine innovations. Maybe it's just that you haven't kept up with innovations there in the past few years? I could list the innovations in the mass market from Hyundai alone... but that would be off-topic, so if anyone is going to talk about that, I guess it will need to be you. :shades:

    There was no 6 cylinder 7 Series in the US market for 20 years before 2011 MY. Long wait until BMW realized, "OMG, we need to offer a 6 cylinder!" But less than a year's wait (based on announced plans) for the 5.0L Tau in the Equus. Doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Those who would like the Equus but don't mind only 385 hp can buy one now (if they can get one). If they want the more powerful 5.0L, they can wait a bit. At least they know it's coming, and when.
  • I agree with the back-ster on this one. Try as I may and try as I might, the Germans only offer has-been slop for the ones that think they look cool or sophisticated in one. And they charge so much ya might as well give up eating for a few years in order ta buy one.

    Too much good food here in northern Idaho for me to engage that idea full-completely. Hyundai/Kia have the Germans firmly wrapped up under their belts for the future. It's basically dumb Americans and dorky Europeans that are sucked in to the VW-Audi-BMW-Mercedes bandwagon.

    BTW-have you seen how homely the latest Jetta is? Yikes, VW! See what I mean here?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited February 2011
    Yes, Hyundai, the champion of automotive innovation. So much of what we enjoy in modern cars was born in Korea. Right.

    6 cyl 7er has been in production since the model line was born. BMW USA marketing ideals have nothing to do with it. It's just an additional model, no doubt a profit margin boost, for a VERY successful lineup - not a quick move to compete with the real players. Certain automakers from an area near Japan would sell their souls to have the same competency.

    Better days are always just around the corner.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    How many of these "slop" cars have you driven or even sat in? I'll wager none ;)

    I'll predict now that Hyundai's luxury ambitions will result in nothing outside of the KDM and the devolving NA market. It's dumb Americans who think an awkward looking LS copy is some kind of new world beater.

    Jetta is a beige product geared towards the NA buyer. Says it all, really.
  • missed their demographic with me. Doesn't matter, the Germans have a strong foothold and what I think means very little to them. I just think that Ford has upped their game so much that I can now seriously take a look at even their small cars and I will get a good car for my money. That's all.

    Which is seriously off-topic. Sorry, hosts.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    edited February 2011
    When the Jetta became the darling of under-25 females, one could predict what would come next. I'd certainly look at a Euro style Ford over one.

    There is a direct VW relationship to this - mass market brand aiming for the status market owned by brands who aren't as mass market on this continent. The Phaeton still exists, just not sold here amymore.
  • The sweetheart lease deal got my attention..When the Lexus was first introduced in this country, I understand GE Credit helped them on their launch, and as my Caddy dealer Gen Mgr complained some years later to me that his lease return cars were all ending up at the Lexus dealer..Forgot to tell him that the dealer and GE credit finance person both belonged to the same "yacht club".. I am sure that Hyundai will find the same helping hand to move their 60 grand car..After all GE did receive some a few Billion from the Govt hand out program, your tax $$$$$s at work..

    Maybe one should wait for a year old Equus and enjoy the 50% price drop..Hard to believe there is any "status" benefit in owning $60k Hyundai!!

    While I am not in the Asian car buying mode, the Lexus has a great track record and has proven to be a reliable item offering reasonable depreciation, and would be good choice..

    Since having spent 30+ yrs in the supplier market to the Big3 and the military scene, my choice is still something with a Detroit name and believe me the current pickings are slim..GM and Chrysler are not on my list, and the Mustang GT in my garage is a fun-running car and the last of the supercharged Pontiac also somewhat spirited adding both together in $$$$s spent are not near 60k..

    My only Lexus story was a incident told to me by the owner of a large casting operation whom I represented and the Lexus he had purchased for his wife. They lived about 100 miles from the dealer and his wife would take the car to the dealer, pick up a loaner and go shopping..The dealer somehow discovered that 2 tires were defective and replaced them with 2 tires of a smaller size which totally upset the handling, however another 200 mile round trip to correct the mistake.. The owner drove a Chevy pickup and had 375 employees in the plant...The shopping trips were the worst part, not the tire mistake...Mistakes happen..
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    edited February 2011
    I'll predict now that Hyundai's luxury ambitions will result in nothing outside of the KDM and the devolving NA market.

    Is this more from your World of If? (wink)

    This reminds me of the famous quote attributed in 1943 to the former president of IBM, Thomas J. Watson Sr.: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." It turns out he never said that, but like your comment, it does not take into account what big changes can happen in a relatively short time.

    Sure, TODAY Hyundai is focusing on the ROK and NA (and maybe China?) for luxury cars. Just a little over a decade ago, Hyundai sold fewer than 100,000 cars in NA. At the time, I am sure some predicted they would have to leave the NA market or would never be more than a minor player in that market.

    I am sure the other luxury automakers are hoping that your prediction comes true. But I wouldn't bet on it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Nope, no if, just calling it as I see it ;)

    I just can't see other markets that won't warm up to fancy Lexus vehicles warming up to a just as beige imitator.

    There will have to be some changes as substantial as those that took place from 1943-83 to really make me want to change my thoughts. Computers evolved a lot more shockingly than cars have.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    You seem to be assuming that Hyundai will stand pat with their current luxury offerings.

    Something to consider:

    1st Gen Equus: Hyundai knew it wouldn't be competitive in markets like the USA, so it never came here.

    1st Gen Genesis: NA COTY, Ward's 10 Best engines (Tau), respectable sales for the first luxury car in the US market from a brand no one had associated with luxury cars.

    2nd Gen Equus: Seems to have reached at least parity, maybe more, with Lexus (LS), at least in the eyes of some (like C/D).

    2nd Gen Genesis: Who knows?....

    3rd Gen Equus: Who knows???....

    And what else might be in the wings?

    If you want to look at some shocking evolution of cars, try comparing the Hyundais of 10 years ago with those of today.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    edited February 2011
    Lots of good quotes in this story:

    Mark Phelan: Quality makes Hyundai surge (Detroit News)

    "the fastest-growing automaker in the world, and it's poised to accelerate in 2011."

    "Quality was our undoing in the early '90s. Now it's our strength"

    "Hyundai has performed one of the most amazing brand transformations I've ever seen, and they've done it the right way: with great products," IHS Automotive analyst Aaron Bragman said."

    "Hyundai has looked strong only to run off the rails before, however. It caused a brief sensation with low-priced cars in the 1980s before poor quality nearly ran it out of the country."

    "Hyundai has the right vehicles and they have their finger on the pulse of the market"

    "Not every vehicle Hyundai has added succeeded. The Azera large front-wheel drive sedan and the $58,900 Equus luxury sedan are sales disappointments."

    "While nearly every review asks whether Hyundai needs a car to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-class, most call the Equus a pretty good car and a very good value."

    "People aren't used to paying $60,000 for a Hyundai, but 10 years ago, the $35,000 Genesis was unimaginable. The Equus may be testing the waters to see whether the market is ready for a separate Hyundai luxury brand."

    Alabama is loving Hyundai too. (Herald Tribune)

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