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In the Beginning – How the New Genesis Brand Will Get Off the Ground

Shared dealers, but a unique dealer experience.

by on Nov.05, 2015

Hyundai's US design chief Chris Chapman with the HCD-16 Vision G Coupe concept.

When the new Genesis luxury brand debuts next year, parent Hyundai Motor Co. will introduce it in a careful series of steps, the details of some yet to be worked out, according to insiders and well-informed industry observers.

Only two product lines will be ready at first, both based on Hyundai’s existing, high-end products. And while they will get new names and badges, they will continue to be sold within the confines of existing dealerships, rather than from fancy new showrooms, a move that could significantly reduce Hyundai’s initial cash outlay.

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But in the years that follow, Genesis will begin to receive an assortment of new products, and will see a focus on new sales and service techniques designed to differentiate the new luxury brand from more established competitors from the U.S., Europe and Japan, sources agree.

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Kia Co-Pres Schreyer “Addicted” to Change as He Reshapes Hyundai, Kia

“I want to make the brands strong…fresh,” says design chief.

by on Aug.18, 2015

The Hyundai HCD16 Vision-G gets a second showing at the Pebble Beach Concours.

Parked on a field off the well-manicured greens of the Pebble Beach golf course, the big coupe almost glows in the late evening sun, drawing admiring stares from the crowd that surrounds it.

For now, the HCD16 Vision-G is just a concept vehicle, but Peter Schreyer is quick to tell you that it will have a significant role in the Hyundai brand going forward. And he should know. The one-time Audi stylist who now serves as co-president of both the Korean carmaker and its sibling brand Kia, Schreyer has won wide praise for transforming two econobox brands into design trendsetters.

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“I want to make the brands strong, while keeping them fresh,” said the 62-year-old Schreyer during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Hyundai Vision G Concept Hints of Radical Shift for Next Equus Sedan

Big show car also could return as new premium coupe.

by on Aug.12, 2015

The Hyundai HCD-16 Vision G Coupe concept makes its debut in LA before heading to Pebble Beach.

When Hyundai launched its big Equus a few years back, it took a relatively conservative approach to styling in its bid to take on such premium luxury models as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. Expect to see it shift into a more radical gear going forward, at least if the new Hyundai HCD-16 Vision G Coupe Concept is any indication.

Making its debut a few days ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Vision G pushes the luxury design envelope much as the last-generation Hyundai Sonata took things to the extreme in the mainstream, midsize luxury sedan segment. And while there are no plans to put the show car into production, senior Hyundai officials confirmed to TheDetroitBureau.com that signature styling “cues” will reappear on the next-gen Equus when it is redesigned in the next several years.

Show Off!

“You’re not wrong,” when asked if the concept is a forerunner of the Equus replacement, said Peter Schreyer, the director of styling, and one of three presidents, for both the Hyundai and sibling Kia brands. The Vision G “carries a lot of DNA of our future direction.”

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Hyundai Takes on BMW with New AG Sedan

No plans for U.S. market; another BMW-fighter in development.

by on Jun.02, 2014

The new Hyundai AG is based on the maker's more mainstream Grandeur/Azera model.

Increasingly intent on becoming a player in the luxury car market, Hyundai has pulled the wraps off a new large car, codenamed AG, designed to take on high-line competitors such as BMW and Audi.

The Korean carmaker has already pushed into the luxury market with the flagship Equus and mid-range Genesis – the latter newly updated for 2015. But senior company officials have confirmed plans to expand their line-up of upmarket offerings.

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The new sedan making its debut at the Busan Motor Show, however, is targeted specifically at the Korean luxury market which has seen a surge in growth among imports like BMW, Audi and Mercedes.  Codenamed the AG, the new Hyundai offering is not expected to be shipped to the U.S. Other new luxury offerings are under development for export, sources with the maker told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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After Genesis: Hyundai Looking to Take on BMW 3-Series

But Korean carmaker won’t flood showrooms with luxury models.

by on Apr.08, 2014

The new Genesis sedan will attempt to take on German rivals, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, more directly.

In the beginning, there was Genesis.  But even as its second-generation luxury sedan begins rolling into showrooms, Hyundai is looking at its options for expanding its presence in the luxury car market, the maker’s top U.S. executive told TheDetroitBureau.com. And one very strong possibility will be to take on the vaunted benchmark of the compact luxury segment, the BMW 3-Series.

But it has already ruled out several possibilities and Hyundai Motor America’s new CEO Dave Zuchowski cautions that there’s a limit to how many new upscale models it plans to put in its showrooms.  Despite the higher profit potential of cars like the Genesis and even bigger Equus, he stressed, Hyundai isn’t walking away from its traditional “value” segment focus.

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“Genesis is our halo vehicle,” said Zuchowski, during an interview in Phoenix following a media drive of the 2015 luxury sedan.  “It elevates our brand and says we can compete with the best in the world.  But Genesis is all about image and prestige and the Sonata is all about volume,” the new CEO stressed, referring to the next-generation midsize sedan due to follow later this year.

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Hyundai Captures Top Spot on Total Value Index

GM, Toyota and Tesla also snag honors on the survey.

by on Nov.19, 2013

The Hyundai Equus received the highest score in Strategic Vision's latest Total Value Index. Hyundai also took the top overall spot on the survey.

Hyundai is the top value among automotive brands in the U.S., according to Strategic Vision’s 18th Total Value Index. The maker took top spots in four market segments as well as earning the top overall score – 804 – with the Equus luxury sedan.

Last year’s individual winner was the BMW Z4.

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The study, which looked at 45,952 new car buyers for 2013 models between September 2012 and March 2013, looks at the ownership experience along with the customer’s views on the economic impact of the purchase in both the near and long term. (more…)

First Look: Kia’s $70,000 K900 Premium Luxury Sedan

Kia challenges BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus -- and Hyundai -- with premium sedan.

by on Oct.28, 2013

Kia will formally reveal the new K900 premium luxury sedan at the LA Auto Show next month.

If you still associate the name, Kia, with econocars and quirky, low-priced models like the Soul, you’re likely to go into sticker shock when you get a look at the new Kia K900.

This first look at the large luxury sedan was accompanied by an unusually terse press release revealing little more than the fact that the Kia K900 will officially be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

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The Korean carmaker also revealed the premium luxury sedan will go on sale “next year and (will)) be available with either a V-6 or V-8 engine.”

But a significant number of details have already begun leaking out about the K900 which is already on sale in the home Korean market under the nameplate Kia K9.

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Hyundai Market Share Likely to Slip

Korean carmaker hitting limits of production capacity.

by on Jul.15, 2013

Hyundai expects to sell around 2,000 of the 2014 Equus luxury sedans in the U.S.

Despite record sales this year, Hyundai expects its market share to shrink in the U.S. because of a continuing – and growing — shortage of vehicle resulting from a lack of production capacity.

“We see more demand for our products than we do production,” Hyundai Motor America Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said during a visit to the Hyundai-Kia Technical Center to show off the updated version of Hyundai’s luxury car, the Equus. “We can’t get a single incremental unit out of our plants,” he said.

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Nevertheless, Hyundai is still “on track” to increase sales 4.4% this year, to 734,000 vehicles in the U.S., which means from a sales standpoint, “Our year is going well,” Krafcik added.

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Hyundai Refines Equus for 2014

From “cheap and cheerful” to posh and luxurious.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Hyundai's 2014 Equus features 30 new and enhanced features to compete against some tough competiton.

If you still think “cheap and cheerful” when someone mentions Hyundai, you obviously haven’t checked out the changes the Korean carmaker has undergone in recent years. And nothing symbolizes that more than the Equus, the maker’s big sedan that takes aim at some pretty formidable competition in the premium-luxury segment.

Less than three years after reaching U.S. shores, the Hyundai Equus is set to undergo some significant updates for the 2014 model-year, which Hyundai revealed this week at the New York Auto Show. That’s probably no surprise considering the tough competition it faces from Europe, Japan and the U.S., notably an all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class the German maker plans to reveal in just a couple months.

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According to Hyundai, there are “30 new and enhanced features,” starting with some immediately obvious tweaks to the exterior and interior. They include new front bumpers and a revised grille, as well as the addition of standard LED fog lamps and new 19-inch “turbine blade” wheels.

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Hyundai May Follow 2014 Equus Update With New Luxury Models

Facelifted Equus to launch at NY Auto Show.

by on Mar.14, 2013

The undisguised 2014 Hyundai Equus.

Hyundai landed an unexpected body blow to the luxury car segment when it introduced its first-generation Genesis and followed with the well-received Equus, the big sedan taking on the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

An updated version of the Hyundai Equus is scheduled to debut at the New York Auto Show later this month but the Korean carmaker doesn’t appear ready to stop there, sources both inside and outside the company telling TheDetroitBureau.com that an expanded line-up of luxury models could follow in the not-too-distant future.

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But it now appears extremely unlikely that Hyundai will now follow up with a separate luxury channel for the American market, something it has agonized over in recent years.

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