Hyundai's product line-up has been both steadily improving and moving up-market, first with the launch of the Veracruz luxury SUV and now with the announcement of the upcoming Genesis RWD V8 luxury sedan. The emergence of the premium Hyundais has lead to industry speculation that the burgeoning Korean carmaker could be considering the launch of a separate premium brand to compete with its Japanese rivals.
Although they've far from confirmed any such decision, Hyundai execs have suggested it could be in the cards. Product planning VP John Krafcik was quoted as saying, "We haven't decided that as of yet. Genesis will be sold through our Hyundai dealers as a Hyundai, but we're still in the midst of discussions as to whether or not we should have an alternative distribution channel with a new name. It's still a possibility."
Like Toyota did with Lexus, Nissan with Infiniti and Honda with Acura, a premium marque from Hyundai would give the Korean carmaker the prestige and justification for the higher prices that inevitably come with producing up-market products. While Japan remains on alert from nuclear weapons from North Korea, the real bomb seems to be coming in automotive form from South Korea.
[Source: Winding Road]