The Korean carmaker Hyundai began in the industry as a value brand without a line of up-market products, but it has demonstrated in the past few years that it could go up the ladder with efforts like the Azera and Veracruz.
With the introduction of the Genesis sub-brand, this became abundantly clear, showing that Hyundai is capable of doing full-blown luxury vehicles, with the Genesis ultimately becoming a model lineup on its own, just like the Lexus of Toyota.
The carmaker didn't want its dealers to cash out $5-10 million on new showrooms to sell a whole new brand; instead it opted to sell the Genesis at existing Hyundai dealership, but removed from the rest of the lineup models. Although the Genesis line is new at this time, it however holds a lot of potential.
Genesis sedan is intended to compete with luxury cars such as the Lexus GS, while its coupe variant places a premium on sport in contrast to luxury. The Equus sedan, the high-end home-market of Hyundai, which was shown last week in New York, appears to be ready for a head-on with the LS460 with regards to size and features, while coming with a much lesser price tag.
Equus flagship sedan of Hyundai could hit the US 2-3 years down the road. Hyundai is planning, beyond Genesis, for turbo-charging and direct injection in its products starting 2010 beginning with the brand new Sonata.
The aim of the carmaker is to boost sales in the profitable US market, however, with the current economic atmosphere, volume forecasts move into the background to supporting the sales achievement of Hyundai at present.