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Is There Room in the Luxury Market for Hyundai?



  • 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: 32,909
    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: 32,909
    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: 32,909
    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: 18,624
    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: 32,909
    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: 18,624
    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.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    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)
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    IMO, it would behoove Hyundai to first look after their customers with faulty Santa Fe auto transmissions, and new Sonatas that pull to the left (and no, dealers bumping tire PSI in the left front tire and lowering PSI in the right, does not constitute a 'fix') before looking to expand.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    Name a car and we can name an issue with it. And the people affected by these known problems usually runs well under 5% I think.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited February 2011
    Where was the first Equus (a bizarro world parallel universe copy of a 90s LS) "competitive"? In the rabidly nationalistic homeland? Or the third world? It looks like something from China.

    Is the Genesis really a "luxury" car? Many don't consider the midline Euros to really be there...why would the Genesis be higher? I'm won't deny it's a nice car, although initially lacking in handling and design. Who knows what will come next, I guess. Better hold off to get the polished version.

    Who knows this and who knows what? Who knows how the competition will react, and advance even more? Those with a track record for driving competence, design competence, and prestige. Setting sights on the beigest luxury isn't the end all be all of the higher end. Trying to sell an Azera for 40K Euro (and failing laughably) doesn't bode well for really getting it as the market gets higher and the pressure does likewise.

    Nobody has denied H has undergone a shocking transformation from third class to a mass market competitor. But, some seem to want to admit that other segments are the same, and I can't see it that way.

    That Phelan "article" is something...only in America...
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Ok, this might be interesting. I'd like to use Subaru as a comparison, as so far I have gotten the impression they are not as quick to shirk responsibility as...ok a few random picks here...Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Honda, BMW, Mazda, GM etc.

    What 2 major ailments has Subaru had that they gave their customer a runaround on?

    My post may sound like attitude, but it is not intended that way. Lets take a fair, non mud-slinging poll of comparos out there?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    edited February 2011
    Head gaskets.

    Leaky seals.

    I don't have a link for you because I drive a '97 Outback with leaky seals. The head gaskets are fine. So far. :shades:

    I'm sure we can track down some posts where the dealer or Subaru balked at giving the customer what they wanted, but my point is that all cars have problems, and they all are known for some issue.

    VW - power windows
    GM - gauges
    Ford - er ... all I can think of off-hand are Windstalls
    Audi - cupholder spills taking out the $$$$ dash electronics
    Honda - Odyssey transmissions

    yada yada yada :-)

    Naturally, we have a discussion that touches on this:

    Brand problems swept under the rug
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    No links required, I prefer an honest account anyway.

    But my question wasn't just what were the ailments, it was more about what were the ailments that they shirked responsibility on and caused the owner stress and frustration while getting the mfgr to fess up.

    I was under the impression Subaru acknowledged those issues without fighting with them?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    edited February 2011
    Depends on who you ask.

    I love Subaru and think they have especially good customer service.

    No way was I going to have mine worked on by the dealer in Boise when I lived there.

    The Hyundai dealer wasn't too impressive either, but I just went there once to test drive an Elantra Touring. No idea how their service department was. The Honda and Scion dealers seemed pretty good, again, just from the showroom visit. I had ok luck with the Nissan dealer there and probably should have stuck with them instead of using the indy mechanic I found.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,346
    Just saw your link...sigh...just what I need, another juicy content filled thread of reading from the beginning (my usual practice). I don't mean to sound's just that I spend way too much time here as it is. So guess what my newest Watched Discussion is gonna be? I guess I should consider myself lucky that my browser doesn't display all the discussion choices automatically. I have to discover them one by one just like this latest one you linked to. Guess I'll have to decide on a couple others to is full of compromise. :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Some MBs from not long ago look like cars from a 3rd world country also.

    Is the Genesis a "luxury" car? Mixed opinions on that. Some see it competing with other V6 and V8 RWD luxury cars and thus put the Genesis into the luxury category. Others look at the starting price in the low $30s, and say it competes mostly with FWD cars like the Taurus, Avalon, and Maxima. To me, the Genesis looks and feels and is equipped like a luxury car... at a bargain price.

    Remember, attacking the LS head-on is not the end game for Hyundai... just one step, but a big one. If someone had said 10, even 5 years ago, that Hyundai would have a luxury sedan that wins auto mag comparos against the LS, most people would have thought them crazy. So in five more years, or 10 more years, where will Hyundai be? They seem to be moving ahead faster than the market in general. Witness their assault on not only the luxury market, but mainstream cars (like the Camcord you brought up earlier). They now have fully competitive offerings across the board.

    And while you poke at the current Azera, check out the new one, due to hit the USA next year. You and others may not be laughing so much then. /
  • toyetoye Posts: 351
    Hyundai's image, quality and design has changed so much perhaps they should just change the company's name to "Genesis."

    Heck nothing that Hyundai will be selling in 2012 will resemble what they were selling just 3 short years ago in early 2008.

    That is how complete their transformation has been
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