While comparisons to the Accord and Camry may be more apt, Hyundai has their sights set on more upscale targets. The Korean company has been looking upmarket for vehicles to benchmark when developing their cars, and that philosophy will extend to marketing. One of the new spots touts the Sonata's horsepower advantage over the BMW 525i, while another concedes that even though the Azera can't self-park (a dubious feature, at best), it offers a well-equipped luxury sedan for less than half of an LS460's price, allowing you to pay someone to park your Azera.

It would seem that Hyundai makes a regular practice of looking over the heads of direct competitors, shooting for a segment above their actual market slot. Indeed, the Mercedes ML 'ute was a target when the new Santa Fe was being worked up, and at the Concept Genesis's recent debut during the New York Auto Show, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes were heard, while the existence of Honda or Toyota wasn't even acknowledged. The last Hyundai campaign we can even recall is the "Hyundai, Yes, Hyundai" effort of the early 1990s, when Hyundai's hottest offering was the Scoupe. They've come a long way from building Mitsubishi cast-offs, and Hyundai is now a force to be reckoned with.

[Source: Automotive News (Sub req'd)]

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