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Is There Room in the Luxury Market for Hyundai?



  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    But if people buy in to the mystique of the name, by all means, exploit it.

    I'm not into exploitation, especially when I'm on the wrong end. But,,, there's a sucker born every minute (I guess every 20 seconds these days).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Awhile back there was a thread here on the Hyundai Assurance program. Some (I won't name names, it could be embarrassing) claimed the Assurance program would lead to a flood of used Hyundais hitting the market and depressing resale values, while costing Hyundai a ton of money. Some questioned whether it should be offered on the Genesis.

    So, guess how many cars have been returned as of September under this program? Anyone?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Less than one, actually. Per state. ;)
  • craigmricraigmri Posts: 243
    Guys, been a while since I've posted here. I hate all this positive Hyundai news over the last few years. I have owned the following Hyundais over the years:

    1988 Excel 3 door GLS
    1992 Scoupe LS
    1998 Sonata GLS
    2001 Santa Fe GLS
    2007 Santa Fe Limited
    2008 Veracruz Limited-Current vehicle

    Why do I hate all the positive Hyundai press and great sales? The cat is out of the bag and the sweetheart deals of yesterday are gone. I used to consider Hyundai and a hidden treasure. You always got so much car for ridiculous money as you could always negotiate unbelievable deals. Less so now it seems.

    I've not only watched Hyundai quality grow through the years, I experienced it first hand. As for the question if there is room for Hyundai in the luxury market......If the Veracruz and Genesis are not proof enough just wait.....They're just getting going.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Hyundai and Kia are about the only mfgrs that aren't being killed by the economy - think possibly it could be because they sell price?

    Smart buyers don't buy price any more than they buy a badge. Smart people buy quality, engineering, options, comfort, styling, value, and warranty. This is especially so in down economic times. I suppose some of them will return to more frivolous makes when the money is flowing once again, most probably won't find it necessary.
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Lexus has forced the Germans to keep prices somewhat in check, if anything...and maybe to work on the durability of components

    True,,, and perhaps Genesis can do the same favor for Lexus owners.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Accord, Camry, and Avalon, to satisfy those cash-poor BMW owners. And those badges have more "prestige" than Hyundai

    I dunno, that's definitely changing gradually.

    You know how it is - public perception lags 5 years or so behind reality.

    Acura doesn't have a V8 (never mind Honda), and now Hyundai does, and it's a good one. Do you really think the image of a Honda having more prestige than a Hyundai will last?

    In global sales Hyundai just left Honda in the dust.

    Image, or perception, ought to be next.

    I watched an older episode of Top Gear yesterday, and Jeremy Clarkson said Honda sold 3 cars that interested him in the UK - the NSX, the S2000, and the Civic Type R.

    Guess what? 2 of those 3 are out of production, and the 3rd isn't sold in the US. So not a single car in the Honda/Acura lineup perks their interest. Not one.

    The Genesis sedan won the North American Car of the Year, which is voted on by journalists, so we all know it has the respect of the press. The rear drive coupe isn't exactly premium, but the performance and fun aspects are nailed down, and they have Rhys Millen drifting one to play the fun angle for them.

    How long can Honda ride on their old reputation? And will they ever earn respect in Europe?

    (fintail is probably eating this stuff up)

    Toyota got too big for their own good. They are their own worst enemy. I have nothing against them - I own one, but you can't build a billion cars and maintain the same quality you had when you built half as many. Their rep will slowly erode as well.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Do you really think the image of a Honda having more prestige than a Hyundai will last?

    No, I don't. And I agree that Honda and Toyota are benefiting from their reputations. I have nothing against either of them, have owned some of each and wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again. But I no longer see any advantage in owning one vs. a Hyundai with the exception of crash safety (Hyundai lags Honda and Toyota there on mid-sized cars on down) and resale value, which is due to the phenomenon you mentioned--public perception lagging reality by a few years. Honda and Toyota built their reputations on two things: reliability, and value. Then they went upscale. Sound familiar?

    Toyota is in trouble. To their credit, they recognize it and freely admit it, and they are working hard to correct it. They and Honda hear Hyundai's footsteps, as was pointed out in the recently posted article. Hyundai has gained the respect of its major competitors, but not yet from the nay-sayers who can't see the reality in front of their faces because of long-held preconceptions.
  • England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are internationally recognized as having exceptional cultural histories. These cultural histories had tremendous impact on these nation’s ability to produce true luxury cars.
    No disrespect to Korea, but it does not have such a history and that is why Hyundai is not capable of making a true luxury car. As it has with most of its cars, it is very capable of providing cheaper imitations of what other manufacturers have done, but an imitation will never be accepted as the real thing.
    BTW, in 1963, Motor Trend named Rambler as Car of the Year and sales fell from 4th to 6th, to 8th in ‘64 and bottomed out at 9th for the rest of the decade. In 1971, it named the Chevy Vega as COTY and that car proved to have significant engine and rust problems. The Motor Trend website has listed other “errors” in COTY awards, most recently the new Thunderbird, which had lackluster sales before being phased out.
    Also, the length of a warranty really doesn't mean anything if manufacturer will not back it. 75% of Mercedes Benz's sold since 1952 are still on the road.
  • ""England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are internationally recognized as having exceptional cultural histories.""

    What are the cultural histories of a Honda made in Ohio, a Nissan made in Tennessee, a Chrysler made in Canada, a Chevy made in Mexico, and an F150 made in Canada!??!
    What are the cultural histories of nearly everything at Wal-Mart, which mostly are made in China!??!
    I am writing this on an HP, but I don't think of it as writing on a Chinese computer! At the time it was the best value, and has done it's job just fine for several years now!
    Excuse me now, as a real American, I have to put on my Chinese pants, shirt, boots, and cowboy hat, and go for a ride in my [non-permissible content removed] pickup made the the USA!! None of that cheap domestic stuff for me!

    Hyundai is successful because of what it offers, not because of where it's from!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Toyota got too big for their own good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's not confuse the Motor Trend COTY award (given by one single publication) with the North American COTY award - voted on by all the automotive media in North America.

    When the Genesis won that it meant not that one single publication liked it, but rather that there was universal approval by a wide variety of american media.

    That's quite different.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are internationally recognized as having exceptional cultural histories.

    Well... this his explains a LOT. Now it's clear. For you, this is not about cars. It's not even about car makers. It's about the "cultural history" of a country.

    I suggest you do some research on the cultural history of Korea. You may learn something. Maybe enough to come back here and apologize to the people of Korea for saying that they are not capable of creating a "luxury car".

    Then I suggest, as soon as the Equus is available in your area, take one for a drive. Maybe then you'll agree with industry experts--people who evaluate cars FOR A LIVING, and don't seem to have prejudices against any particular race of people, that the Equus is indeed a "luxury car".
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Toyota got too big for their own good.

    When a tree's branches spread wider than the roots, it withers. It can no longer send nourishment out to the far reaches. When the roots become old an inefficient, the new branches can not be sustained.

    That lesson has been known forever, yet only a few of the most excellent businesses really heed it. Toyota, and eventually Hyundai will have to split off certain vehicles and allow engineering, manufacturing, and marketing to be mostly autonomous.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Smart buyers don't buy price any more than they buy a badge
    well OK BUT 'your 'smart buyers' that apparently will buy anything because of a low pricetag' (or FTM) a rather worthless warranty need to understand that it is things that may have a 'badge' that actually can cost LESS than those Korean products. Like, for example, Civics/Accords/Corollas/Camrys cars that certainly have a more prestiguous badge, certainly sell for more but ultimately COST LESS. You can diss 'cost of ownership' stats all you want but class leaders in this regard are NOT usually Korean - so much for 'smart'.
    Read somewhere (perhaps here on this forum) that those 'rip-off' Japanese brands did better (sales wise) wth C4C than the cheaper (Korean brands). Goes to show I guess that, indeed, given a price independent choice that the choice does go back to those brands with real (or perceived) quality differences :P .
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    apologize to the people of Korea for saying that they are not capable of creating a "luxury car".
    give me a break, the fact that a "Hyundai' can not be a luxury car' has nothing to do with 'the Korean people' or any 'insult' in that direction . Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and several others can't make a luxury car either - perhaps you would have us 'apologizing' to everybody??? :confuse:

    PS the Equus will never be a 'luxury' car as long as it is sold with a Hyundai label and at a Hyundai dealer. At any price....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW backy's not the one who said it had to do with the Korean people...
  • cipollacipolla Posts: 22
    Had my 08 VC limited serviced at my Hyunadi dealer, I was told that Hyunadi no longer will make the VC. They will start sometime in the future and will be sold only with the Genesis and Azera,Equus and not with sold with other Hyunadi's.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Can you clarify? As a seperate brand, you mean?

    Anything is possible. Dodge just made Ram a brand.

    I guess they want to echo GMC truck, sort of.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Toyota can't make a luxury car? You're kidding, right?

    Chevy doesn't have a luxury car because GM had decided to hand that responsibility to Cadillac. But as we've discussed, Chevy is capable of making a $50k sports car.

    And Ford has delegated its luxury car making to Lincoln. Although the new Taurus is getting pretty darn luxurious, in content and price.

    I'm glad you agree though that Korea has enough "culture" to make a luxury car. You just don't like the chrome badge on the trunk.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A loaded AWD Sienna Limited stickers in the $40s, and comes with HIDs, laser cruise control, Navi, backup cam and audio sensors, and the requisite entertainment system.

    It lacks the Lexus badge but even has the soft leather and gratuitous fake wood. :D

    I'm tellin' ya, it's a Lexus!

    C&D's Taurus stickered for $37.5k.

    Nowadays, though, I really think $40k is not luxury, near-luxury maybe, even then entry-level.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    That's true, but I was thinking of how Toyota sells cars outside the USA as Toyotas, even though they'd have a Lexus badge here. I have this feeling someone at Toyota HQ is shaking his head, saying, "Ah, those funny Americans... some of them need to see a 'luxury' badge on an expensive car before they'll buy one, despite all of the Japanese culture and tradition for quality that goes into our Toyotas. Well, we are glad to accommodate them!"
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,657
    I think it was md4cow who called the Equus something along the lines of a Korean Town Car. I suspect that's pretty accurate - especially design-wise.

    Although the national capability/culture statement seems overblown....many enthusiast buyers do buy on brand or engineering heritage. Of course, IMO, the smart money is not spent on new, but on low mileage maintained used.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There are pros and cons to each approach, though.

    It works in the USA, where customers expect a bit more warranty and especially service with their big ticket purchase.

    In Europe, where Mercedes sells the A-class, it doesn't matter as much.

    On the con side, it increases costs, marketing, that warranty, and even small redesigns.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Ford wishes, in its wildest dreams, that the design of the Town Car were anything close to that of the Equus.

    That fine European engineering heritage had done wonders for reliability, hasn't it? And because a car has a MB or BMW or Audi badge on it, I am guaranteed a superior driving experience and the highest levels of quality and reliability, aren't I?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,657
    Styling wise, the Equus and the TC are about equal to my eyes. Supersized Azera greenhouse with a comical almost cynical hood ornament. There's something to brag about. It might be more advanced mechanically...but the TC also dates back to the Harding administration. I bet the driving experience is pretty much what the TC would be had it ever been updated. It's no 7er or S, I will bank on that.

    Looking at worldwide sales volumes and the constant inability of the Japanese to crack the European high end market, it looks like many people with real money will sacrifice a margin of reliability for unmatched driving capability and build quality. The high end Korean car certainly won't fare better there.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I won't defend the Equus' styling (to me it looks like a giant Elantra) but didn't the Town Car get a dated pushrod V8?

    Equus at least has a modern V8 engine.

    I agree the hood ornament is just tacky.
  • Build quality and reliablity. Aren't these two factors linked together?

    You are contradicting yourself by saying that the Japanese have better reliablity, in general. But the Europeans have better build quality. What are you talking about?
  • The back seat is makes you feel like an executive. Obviously, this is Where Hyundai is leading all other luxury marques at this point. maybe, just maybe Bentley, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce has back seat massage chairs, auto-matic folding frong passenger seats, and a refridgerator. But, none of the German or Japanese brands come even close. Call that a Yugo, and that is one great car.
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