Hyundai to create new premium group for its luxury nameplates

Article by Anita Panait, on March 29, 2013

Hyundai is planning to come up with retail marketing procedures for its Genesis and Equus nameplates as it gets ready to roll out a second-generation of the vehicles. Hyundai has hired field managers in recent months to oversee sales, marketing and retail strategies for the Genesis sedan, Genesis Coupe and $60,000-plus Equus sedan.

Each of the carmaker’s five regions will have a premium product operations manager who will report to a senior group manager based at Hyundai Motor America headquarters in California. Hyundai will roll out the second generation Genesis sedan in early 2014, to be followed by the other upscale cars. The first-generation Genesis sedan was launched in 2008, the Genesis Coupe in 2009 and the Equus in 2011.

Hyundai posted a 5-percent jump in sales of the three vehicles to 37,945 in 2012. Hyundai’s premium group will be tasked to first identify the best practices employed by around 320 of the 800 dealerships authorized to sell the Equus.

According to Hyundai Motor America chief excutive John Krafcik, the premium group will help dealers adopt those practices and develop new premium sales, marketing and customer service ideas.

Krafcik remarked that the new structure represents significant change for Hyundai. He remarked that unlike several other carmakers, Hyundai has not assigned employees from marketing, sales, public relations or other departments to work on certain vehicle lines, other than a number of product planners.

Krafcik said that they realized that these are different products and different demographics. He said that the thought was that the carmaker could do better in concentrating on premium and “taking things to the next level” with some focused people in the field.

Krafcik, however, quipped that the new premium product group should not be viewed as a step towards launching a new luxury brand. He noted that Hyundai does not want “isolated islands of retail excellence,” like Lexus. He remarked that all of their premium knowledge are expected to filter into all of their products.

Topics: hyundai

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