Toyota, Lexus; Nissan, Infinity; Honda, Acura; when is it Hyundai’s turn? The Korean manufacturer is experiencing a period of unparalleled success with yearly sales records and joined with sister company Kia, is now the sixth largest manufacturer in the world. But it’s missing something, a luxury brand.
We’ve all seen the Genesis Sedan and Coupe, and Hyundai’s 4.6-litre V8 Tau engine, but so far we’ve been told its not coming to Australia, nor is it going to Europe for that matter. The reason? Hyundai is not yet confident.
The Genesis has already gone on sale in South Korea (Hyundai’s homeland) and will be sold in China as well as the Middle East and Russia. Following that there will be a long-wheel-base version for Korea and the Middle East.
Hyundai is taking the next-step of entering the Western market with a luxury brand with extreme caution, noting the dismal sales of Lexus in Europe as one of the reasons. If Lexus, with the might of Toyota is having issues in Europe, what chance does Hyundai have?
There is also talk of a more powerful version of the 4.6-litre Tau V-8, it may be bored or stroked (or both) to 5.5-litres to power the LWB version or maybe high-performance variants.
According to MotorTrend, Hyundai was also considering releasing a convertible in 2010 but realised the cost is far too high given the competition.
There will be a three-four year wait period while Hyundai analyses the success of Genesis before deciding to create its own luxury brand and compete against the Germans and Lexus.
Lexus started some 19 years ago and is now recognised as one of the leaders in luxury motoring, but the Japanese brand was dismissed by the Germans when it first hit the market, will anyone dare dismiss Hyundai when it joins the fight?
When should Hyundai enter the luxury market?