Earlier this year we were the first to break the news about Hyundai’s plans of bringing in the Genesis to India. Now a report reveals that the company is considering the launch of the Genesis sedan, Equus luxury saloon and Veloster sports hatchback in the country. No time frame has been revealed but market research has commenced to gauge customer’s perception towards a luxury Hyundai vehicle. With the overall market in doldrums, it’s only the luxury car segment which has seen a swift increase in sales as premium car buyers are less elastic to financial slowdown.
Hyundai wants to enter the luxury car space as it wants to be perceived as a more upmarket car brand in India. The company has successfully managed to change the notion of Americans towards the Korean brand and the Sonata, Genesis and Equus are vehicles which have been accepted very well in Uncle Sam’s country. However the plans of launching these high-end vehicles is still at preliminary stage and the company isn’t revealing any details. Remember Hyundai had showcased the Genesis coupe and the Veloster hatchback at the 2010 and 2012 Auto Expo respectively. The Veloster was also doing the rounds in the country as part of a brand building exercise.
We can expect Hyundai to showcase the Equus at the upcoming 2014 Auto Expo. The automaker has found good success with the Santa Fe although the Sonata hasn’t sold as much as the company would have liked. The upcoming facelift of the Santa Fe is bound to give the vehicle a big boost in sales. If the plans of launching these high-end cars is materialised, the automaker will set up a different dealership network to retail them. Hyundai is one of the few automakers which sells vehicles at both ends of the spectrum, i.e a Rs. 3 lakh Eon and a Rs. 30 lakh Santa Fe are sold from the same showroom. Maruti Suzuki on the other hand simply can’t sell vehicles which cost more than Rs. 10 lakhs.
The luxury car market of India is expected to grow at a healthy 20% next year, prompting Hyundai’s decision to bite a chunk of the pie. If the company manages to set-up its premium product outlets by 2015, it will have pulled a fast one on rivals Infiniti, Lexus and Acura. These Japanese big-wigs are expected to enter India officially in 2018 and are owned by Nissan, Toyota and Honda respectively. Hyundai will have to compete with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, four brands which have high brand recall with most people buying them because of their image than tech specs.
While the Genesis and Veloster need no introduction, the Equus isn’t very popular the world over as it’s sold in selective markets like the USA, Canada, South Korea, China, etc. The vehicle is Hyundai’s flagship offering and doesn’t even use the Hyundai badge in some markets to reflect the high-end image. The Equus rivals the Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series, drawing power from a 5.0-litre V8 engine which belts out 429 HP of power and 509 Nm of torque. Like all other Hyundais, the vehicle is fully loaded with a slew of equipment and features a generous cabin with loads of buttons and acres of space. When launched in India, the Hyundai Equus is expected to be priced at around Rs. 70 lakhs.
Source – Financial Express