Should Hyundai Launch a Separated Luxury Brand?

by Feb 19, 2014All News, Hyundai6 comments

Hyundai may introduce a third premium nameplate to the market “within a couple of years” under a Genesis sub-brand or something to further distinguish its upscale cars, the brand’s U.S. boss said. 

[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:5px;”]Speaking to Automotive News, Zuchowski declined to answer whether this would be the rumored “RK” 3-series fighterThe proposed move would replace Hyundai’s round “H” badge with a new badge on rear-wheel-drive premium vehicles, including the Equus, Genesis sedan and Genesis Coupe. The upscale vehicles would be branded as Genesis with an alphanumeric naming system. They would be sold in Hyundai dealerships, not through a separate dealership network.

“There’s a conversation going on within the company that says, ‘Does having the Hyundai badge on the premium vehicles sell more vehicles, or does it restrict us from selling more vehicles?’” said Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.  “No decision has been made about the rebranding”, he said.

While Hyundai is considering launching a luxury brand, a separate sales channel along the lines of Lexus, Infiniti and Acura is out of the question, Zuchowski said. Many Genesis buyers are replacing the Hyundai badge with a winged Genesis badge as a dealer-installed option, Zuchowski said. 

No firm timetable has been set to make the decision on whether to create a Genesis subbrand. But Zuchowski said it could coincide with redesigned version of the Genesis (Spring 2014) and next-gen Equus, expected 2015-2016.

Written by loubeat

Passionated about Korean cars from Hyundai, Kia & Genesis. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.


  1. Richard

    No, on the basis that should they choose to do so, it will drive pricing through the roof. The current model works, and uplifts the brands image as whole. What should be done however, is the reduction of product overlap with Kia. Either Hyundai does Luxury or Kia does. I’d say Hyundai, but that’s something they need to correct.

    • bd005

      A huge increase in price would be due to the cost of separate dealer network which is what they are not planning to do.

      And Hyundai and Kia are competitors – neither one is going to lose sales of their mainstream lineup and since they both cater to different tastes design-wise, the dual models (for the most part) sharing a platform works for them.

  2. Kim Chee

    If Zuchowski thinks Genesis owners are replacing their Hyundai badges for Genesis ones because they are inherently supporting a separate Genesis brand, he is sadly mistaken. That erroneous presumption alone shows automakers are having trouble keeping in tune with what the market’s needs are. Ask any hardcore Genesis owner – sedan or coupe – the PRIMARY reason they’re replacing the Hyundai badges with Genesis ones is because they want to set themselves apart from the masses – they are customizing their vehicles so that it becomes unique and more eye-catching to the not-so educated population who drives by and asks, “Wow what kind of car is that”. Although unfortunately, a large majority of Genesis coupe owners are implementing this badge swap so it’s becoming less and less unique. And if Hyundai does move forward with a Genesis luxury brand, like Richard said – their prices will be driven unnecessarily high – they’d be shooting themselves in the leg and turning off would-be Hyundai buyers, because in all honest truth, Hyundai still has a ways to go in order to achieve “luxury”. And Richard has it spot on – Hyundai and Kia needs to be more distinct, and one should be the luxury. Zuchowski, pay attention to the public. Afterall, we are the ones that pay for that suit.

    • Jose Antonio López

      Yeah, that’s totally true. Thanks for post! 😉

    • bd005

      Genesis owners are doing so b/c, let’s face it, the Hyundai swoopy badge is ugly and tacky.

      And Zuchowski is talking about a sub-brand (still sold at Hyundau dealerships) and a full-fledged separate brand with the requisite separate dealer network (which is where the real cost comes in).

      Nonetheless, as Hyundai expands its luxury lineup, whether they do a sub-brand or not, they will need to require its dealerships to build-out a separate showroom for the luxury lineup, if not add a separate waiting space for service calls.

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