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Is There Room in the Luxury Market for Hyundai?



  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    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.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 45,725
    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: 2,345
    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?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 2,345
    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?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 2,345
    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: 18,922
    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
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,613
    edited February 2011
    there's been more intelligence coming out of S.Korea the last 10 years in carmaking than has come out of Germany the past 60 years. Chew some caramely popcorn up over that statement.

    I like companies like Mitsubishi, Kia, Suzuki and Hyundai that build value in to their product for your product dollar. VW is having trouble putting a viable drivetrain together with a complete electrical package. And the German car is so hot to trot? Think about it for a minute.

    There's not only room for Hyundai in the luxury market, but there's room for someone else, too, to emerge. A huge Buick, perhaps?

    A sleek and beautiful Chrysler...the new world order 300? Just don't look German, they're the ripoff Kings of Carmaking.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Don't forget Lincoln. Ford probably has time and resources now to revamp that line too.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,613
    edited February 2011
    is impressing me so much that I am again thinking strongly of returning to the carmaker that I have bought 56% of my total cars bought from.

    Luxury Ford's? Naw. No. Nope. Not saying they're not good cars. Just don't like big cars. I won't say I never will like big, luxury boats. Just probably them.

    2012 Ford Focus sedan

    Rather I will buy one of these. Or the hatchback. In two years. If I don't go for a Dodge compact based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

    2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

    Or just keep this 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and enjoy the fruitage of it.

    Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    edited February 2011
    Which old MB looks like a third worlder? Pray tell. I can't think of any that are such a shameless copycar like that old Equus. Hyundai would be well advised to repress that memory.

    The luxury car argument is subjective, we both know that. Genesis is a fine enough car and a value for what it is, but that doesn't make it luxury in my eyes.

    What is the "end game" for Hyundai? Going up against the Euros? Seriously? That's a different ballgame than chasing the LS. Again, I have never denied Hyundai hasn't progressed remarkably, and if I had new car fever, I'd even shop them...but the real higher end is a different game. That's all. More reality rather than any kind of assumed disrespect.

    I see Azera cgi theories. The old one itself was not bad if one dared to admit what it was (and didn't pay too much for it) - a numb souless relatively plush box. But when some empty suits at H priced it in one market at the same price as E class and 5er just became laughable.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    edited February 2011
    Here ya go... would be right at home in Moscow. Looks like a nice copy of a Ford Fairmont:


    What is the "end game" for Hyundai? Going up against the Euros?

    Have you been following the automotive marketplace the last decade? Do you seriously think Hyundai will be content to take on and beat the US and Japanese car companies only? Have you noticed they've developed vehicles targeted for the European market? Sure, it's a different ballgame from taking on the LS. So was delivering a $40k+ sedan. So was delivering a $60k+ sedan.

    FYI, the new Azera (aka Grandeur) is real, not a "CGI theory". Google will give you lots of pics and videos of the actual car, if you're interested.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    edited February 2011
    That car was introduced in 1972, and in your photo is wearing dumbed down lighting and park bench bumpers mandated for the US market. This is how it looked in the real world:


    In largest engine form, it was the fastest production sedan on the planet and undeniably the most advanced sedan in the world at the time - even pioneering mass production of ABS in its later years. Yeah, that's third world!

    Designing some econohatches for Europe is a different dimension of existence than playing with the luxobarges. Those 40K nd 60K sedans we know here won't fly there.

    I'm not seeing any official 2012 Azera pics out there, but I'm not terribly interested - it's not relevant to the thread, and I am under 60, so I won't be buying one anyway. Will an improved Grandeur now be priced at 50K Euro? :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    edited February 2011
    The United States is not in the real world? Where do you live--Frankfurt? BTW, the picture is of a 1980 model.

    I would expect one of the most expensive lines of cars in the world to get features like ABS before economy cars. In the '70s, no economy cars had ABS. Hyundai was one of the first if not the first car company to offer ABS as either standard or optional, and side airbags as standard, on its economy compacts in the USA as early as 2000. Not bad for a car starting at $12k. It was also the first company to have ESC standard on every one of its mid-sized family sedans in the USA as early as 2005. Easy to put features like ABS and ESC on a luxury car that costs $40k+; harder to provide those important features at economy-car prices, so more people can benefit from them. As late as last year, MB did not offer ABS as standard on all of its cars--specifically, Smart cars. Not very Smart, eh?

    You continue to be fixated on the present, ignoring the huge strides Hyundai has made over the past 20 years, and particularly in the past 10 years. If you think Hyundai is going to limit their assault on the European market to mainstream cars, I think you're in for a surprise.

    P.S. Grandeur = Azera (name for US market). But as you said, you're not interested. It could be relevant to the thread depending on how "luxurious" the new Grandeur/Azera is. In the videos I've seen, it looks much more upscale than the current car.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    edited February 2011
    Yes, the real world. The US is the most dumbed down car market in the developed world, and it was even moreso back then when there were asinine regulations about lighting and bumpers among other things. The US has not been a bastion of progress for some time.

    There are virtually no differences between a W116 made in 1972 and one made in 1979 (by calendar year 1980, the car had been replaced by the once again world-beating W126, but it was sold in the behind the times NA market for MY 1980),

    This has nothing to do with economy cars. You said a car looked "third world", I gave facts about how it led the world. Stop trying to distract, it won't work. Give it up. It wasn't a Chinese copycar style imitation like that early Equus. It led, it didn't follow.

    MB innovations - honeycomb radiator, float carburetor, fuel injection, direct injection, 4 wheel brakes, crumple zones, traction control, ESP, brake assist, diesel passenger cars, turbodiesels, double glazing, mass production of ABS and airbags, and that's just off the top of my head. A little more advanced than simply offering things someone else invented, but at a cheaper price. What existed in "economy compacts" is irrelevant to this thread.

    A Smart is a "Mercedes" now huh? How twisty.

    If you can show me any H products that are *legitimate* threats to the Euro establishment, I would love to see them.

    I know what the hell a Grandeur is (but in all my time in Europe, I never saw one). Is there even a "current" Azera, is it even still in production? I can't imagine how or why it would be. No matter how plush it is, a ~30K FWD blandbox won't be a "luxury car", sorry.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    even pioneering mass production of ABS in its later years.

    Believe it or not, a Bendix ABS system was an option on the 1971 Chrysler Imperial. Until I learned this a couple of weeks ago, I had always assumed that MB was the 1st.

    Chrysler Imperial

    (scroll down to the entry for 1971)

    But Chrysler wasn't the pioneer. That honor goes to the Jensen FF, a limited production 4WD luxury GT car built between '66 & '71 that was powered by (appropriately enough) a Chrysler V-8.

    Jensen FF
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    edited February 2011
    But how many were made? A dozen?

    My caveat was mass production. There were thousands of MBs with both airbag (which GM had and dropped many years earlier) and ABS being made by 1981. MB had the tech perfected.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    BTW, the picture is of a 1980 model.

    I agree with Fin here. If you wanted to post a more representative picture of the W116 generation S-class, you could have picked one of the '72 model year - before the 5-mph bumper mandate took effect. I'm old enough to have been of driving age back then, & I recall that it took the better part of a decade for most car manufacturers to figure out how to deal gracefully with that reg.

    Easy to put features like ABS and ESC on a luxury car that costs $40k+; harder to provide those important features at economy-car prices, so more people can benefit from them.

    Agreed, but if you look back at the history of automotive development, you'll see that important new features typically debut on luxury cars & then work their way down to mass-market vehicles. The best & earliest example of this is self-starting, which was introduced on the 1912 Cadillac but which was universally standard in North America by the early 20s. So Hyundai is following a century-old tradition in this respect.

    When we were shopping for a new car for my wife in '99, one of our requirements was ESC. At that time, the least expensive car that offered it as an option was the $33K Lexus ES 300. But by 2005, when I was shopping for a compact SUV, ESC was standard on the cheapest Honda CR-V.

    Again, the trickle-down effect is definitely at work in the auto industry.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    If you're asking about the Imperial, the answer is that ABS was available to any prospective buyer as an option. My hunch is that comparatively few buyers actually chose it - safety was a hard sell back then - but it was there in the sales literature, along with tufted upholstery & 8-track stereo, for anyone willing to pay for it. (I actually turned up a copy of a sales brochure from that year on the Web, but I can't find the link right now.) This wasn't a limited-production experiment.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Fintail asked for a picture. Any picture. I gave him one. I can't help it if MB's great engineers can't figure out how to make a 5 mph bumper that looks good. Even my cheapo 1976 Corolla had 5 mph bumpers that looked better than that. (And they worked great, also!)

    Some trickle-down is due to mandate, e.g. ESC will be required soon on every new car sold in the USA. Even though we are not part of the "real world." (wink)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    There are virtually no differences between a W116 made in 1972 and one made in 1979...

    That's one benefit of more competition in the luxury market--first by the Japanese, and now by Hyundai. MB had to start accelerating improvements in their lineup. 8 years with virtually no differences? Talk about "waiting"...

    Which Chinese car did the first Equus copy?

    Since you first brought up "mainstream" cars in this discussion, I thought it would be OK to follow your lead. BTW, MB talks about Smart sales in their reports on Mercedes Benz sales... so they at least consider Smart cars to be part of Mercedes Benz.

    So MB invented 4 wheel brakes? Too bad they didn't learn how to make reliable braking systems, to avoid recalling 1.3 million cars a few years ago. Almost all the innovations you listed were invented many years ago. Hyundai didn't create its own first car until 1975. In the past 20 years, Hyundai Motor Company has over 1500 patents. Patents are one indicator of innovation. How many does MB have in that time?
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Even my cheapo 1976 Corolla had 5 mph bumpers that looked better than that.

    IIRC, that generation of Corolla was designed after the 5-mph mandate took effect, so that the stylists could design around it. (My wife had a Toyota Corona of that vintage.)

    Re trickle-down: the ESC mandate in this country didn't kick in until '09 & won't apply across the board until next year, so it doesn't explain why ESC became much more widely available between, say, the mid-90s & the mid-2000s. I'll stick to my earlier explanation: the good stuff almost always debuts on high-line vehicles & then works its way down market. This also applies to non-safety features such as A/C (introduced on the '40 Packard) & power steering (introduced in '51 on the Chrysler Imperial & a year later on the Cadillac).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    I wonder if you checked that box, you'd actually receive what you ordered, or would just be given a story. I've read of those cars too, but never seen one - kind of like an automotive unicorn (or for a fuselage Chrysler, Loch Ness Monster :shades: )

    There were airbag GM fullsize cars built mainly around 1973-74 as well, but production was almost invisible and any survivors are almost museum pieces now.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    Did any company have a good looking 5mph bumper? Many American cars had them that looked like chrome railroad ties, silly and ridiculous That Corolla had no styling at all, so nothing to mess up.

    And now that bumper standard is long gone, deemed useless.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 45,725
    edited February 2011
    Or when a car is so ahead of the pack when introduced, and the pack is unable to catch up , that there's no need to jump again for some time. From model years 1973-91, there were only 2 kinds of S-class. That's something.

    I never said that hoary first Equus was a copy of a Chinese car. It is a copy in the Chinese copycar school of thought. You could say it was a Geely and nobody would doubt it. Unsuitable for the first world.

    I don't recall any MBs losing brakes and actually being a problem, only electrical glitches - which were remedied. Sounds like a red herring. Now MB is advancing in all metrics yet again. Competition does improve the breed, even if there are stumbling blocks.

    Patents and useful tech are not one in the same. You drive a modern car today in some part because of MB innovation. I have a nearly 50 year old car with fuel injection, disc brakes, crumple zones, 4 speed automatic, and so led. And the brand will continue to advance. Without someone starting at the top, this wouldn't work to other vehicle classes. It's worked that way for over 100 years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    In the 70s, the Corolla was designed for the Japanese market... not the US market. Hence the 5 mph bumpers were a retrofit to the basic design. Toyota just managed to do it a little better than others.

    I agree with the trickle-down concept; I was simply pointing out that trickle-down is sometimes accelerated by government mandate.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    You mean, deemed too expensive to implement by automakers. Probably too much weight involved also. I wish that 5 mph bumper standard were still in place. Ridiculous how much damage can be done when someone hits your bumper at a very low speed.

    But that's another discussion...
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