Hyundai Genesis is selling better than it was expected. Until the end of past September it sold more than 2,000 units per month on average in South Korean domestic market, and this is 33% more than Hyundai’s expectation at the time of its launch.
Hyundai Motor Group is planning to introduce a new family of FR models (this means front engine and rear drive) in the next 2-3 years with both Hyundai and Kia brands. The 1st generation Genesis was developed for the U.S. market. The model was designed by American designers and the design center in California, U.S.A.
On the other had, the 2nd generation Genesis was developed for Korean market to compete against European makers that have penestrated the market and increase its market share rapidly. Therefore, the overall design concept was in European taste and the management’s decision said to be right.
The success of Genesis was encouraging Hyundai group management. At the Paris Motor Show in October Kia said it will produce GT concept car which was unveiled in Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011. Kia plans to introduce GT in 2nd half of 2016.
Then the group will have 4 FR models in the market to compete against the imports. Such variation as GT will bring the company more profit. Starting from new Genesis, both brands will start the new FR family with the third generation Equus scheduled to debut in early 2016.
The new Equus is expected to be introduced in late 2015 or early 2016. Peter Schreyer, who was promoted to CEO of Hyundai & Kia design team, is working on the model. There are many people who think that K9 was designed 100% by him (and also attributed its fail) but I know that he was not fully involved in K9 design, not like K5 and Sportage R where was the responsible. The reason why I believe this thing is, Kia failed in K9 launching but Peter Schreyer was promoted to take responsability for Hyundai design and also Kia.
Considering Hyundai’s management style if Peter was responsible for the design and styling of K9 that failed in launching in the domestic market, he would have been moved away but he was promoted to president of design. As this situation says the failure of K9 provides Peter a good chance to show his capacity in designing the new Equus.
Furthermore, Hyundai will have a RWD model in C-segment. Peter Schryer showed a keen interest in Jaguar XE at Paris Motor Show. Here I would like to point out two probles that first Hyundai does not have such brand power that support luxury car marketing.
Coming to the point Hyundai/Kia will have to stuggle in luxury car market unless it adquire Astin Martin or Lotus where it does seem to be difficult to compete with Honda Acura, Nissan Infiniti and Toyota Lexus. These three brands introduced their luxuray class models by far before Hyundai.
However, even the three brands have had to face a high wall to break through into the luxury brand image making and the managements of the companies overlooked such obstacles. They are not well accepted and recognized in the market.
However Indian Tata and Chinese Geely acquired Jaguar-Land Rover and Volvo respectively with which brand they are already penetrating the luxuray car market or getting into the market.
This proves that the luxury car market is not free to any auto makers with only good quality products. This is like who dare will pay 69.99 dolars for McDonalds. Both Aston Martin and Lotus are not in a good shape at the moment which is a good chance for both Hyundai and Kia to acquire them.
Particuarly Daimler who owns 5% of stake of Aston Martin, said it is not interested in acquiring Aston Martin. If Hyundai/Kia buy the Lotus brand will help the group enable to develope high performance vehicles. For example the suspention system on the new generation Genesis was developed with a help of Lotus engineers.
Hyundai and Kia’s speeding up development of FR vehicles is good sign to the customers. They have to enhance its brand image as shortest as possible. There is not much time left for Hyundai/Kia to counter act for emerging market rapidly increasing demand.
Suppose Hyundai/Kia acquires Aston Martin and Lotus it will cost only less than 2 billion dollars. Hyundai/Kia recently bidded 10 billion dollars to buy the site but there has been no explanation to the investors and it makes me whether the management have sincerely studied for the future planning and strategy,
Now the market is asking Hyundai/Kia it is desireable to develope and introduce FR vehicles but to enter the luxury car market they should squeexe their brain as they said in ther slogan “New Thinking New Possiblities.”
© Copyright 2014 The Korean Car Blog and Mark Juhn