Hyundai Motor Co. will produce a new "flagship" sedan that will be slotted between the Azera and Genesis as it bids to gain more high-end sales. The carmaker unveiled an exterior design concept of the sedan, dubbed as the AG, at the 2014 Busan motor show in South Korea. Hyundai said it will start selling the production version of the AG in South Korea in the second half of 2014.
According to Hyundai spokesman Brian Sir, the carmaker doesn’t have plans for overseas sales of the AG. Hyundai spokeswoman Meeyoung Song said the carmaker calls the AG its “new flagship premium sedan” to highlight the importance the company placing on the new model.
The AG sedan features Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, which can be seen on its long hood. Hyundai said the front-wheel-drive flagship sedan will offer “quiet and sophisticated driving comfort, while adopting a series of advanced convenience features.”
The new model could be Hyundai’s response to stiffer competition posed by German luxury brands. In fact, sales of imported vehicles have surged following recent free-trade agreements with the United States and Europe.
She said that since the competitive landscape is changing in South Korea, Hyundai needs to respond more actively to cover the premium market. She noted that the carmaker has conducted a detailed customer survey aimed at “subdividing” the existing premium market and improving its competitiveness.
Imports started to flow into South Korean in 1987, when the country opened up its market to foreign brands. South Korea signed a free-trade agreement with the European Union in 2011, and the free-trade pact with the US became effective took effect in 2012. Now, foreign brands account for 13 percent of the market. BMW is leading the way, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.