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Hyundai may have started off as a value brand devoid of high end transportation, but over the past few years, efforts such as the Azera and Veracruz have demonstrated that Hyundai can elevate its game. This became abundantly evident with the introduction of the the new Genesis sub-brand, which shows that Hyundai can do full-blown luxury. Hyundai USA CEO John Krafcik feels that Genesis could eventually be a model lineup all its own, much like Toyoda's Lexus brand. Krafcik told Wards Automotive that Hyundai didn't want to ask its dealers to spend $5 to 10 million on new showrooms to peddle a whole new brand. Instead, the decision was made to sell the Genesis at existing Hyundai dealerships, just separated from the rest of the lineup.

The Genesis lineup is in its fledgling state at this point, but it holds promise. The Hyundai Genesis sedan has its sights trained on luxury competitors like the Lexus GS, while the Genesis Coupe obviously places a premium on sport over luxury. Hyundai's high-end, home-market Equus sedan, displayed for the American audience in New York over the last week, looks ready to compete with the LS460 in terms of size and amenities, while costing thousands of dollars less. Hyundai's Equus flagship sedan could arrive Stateside within 2-3 years.

Beyond Genesis, Hyundai has plans for turbocharging and direct injection in its vehicles beginning next year with the all-new Sonata. The goal is increased sales in the lucrative US market, but given the current economic state of affairs, volume projections take a back seat to sustaining the sales Hyundai has already achieved.

[Source: Wards Automotive]

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