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Posts Tagged ‘luxury cars’

New Genesis Brand Taking Cautious Approach to Growth

Flagship G90 to be one of six new models in the works.

by on Aug.11, 2016

The 2017 Genesis G90 replaces the old Hyundai Equus and targets the big Mercedes S-Class.

With the launch of the big G90 sedan, the all-new Genesis brand plans to take on some of the world’s toughest luxury competitors, products like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The luxury arm of Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co., Genesis is nothing if not ambitious, with a total of six products scheduled to fill its line-up over the next five years. Those range from a compact sports coupe to a large SUV and tackle some of the luxury markets best-known entries, including the classic BMW 3-Series.

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The Genesis name has been around for almost a decade, making its original debut as the first luxury model from Hyundai itself. But after years of resisting plans to create a separate luxury division, Hyundai reversed course, last year announcing it would spin off Genesis and turn it into a brand of its own.


Forget Leather and Wood; Automakers Struggling to Redefine Luxury

Focus shifts to the “total customer experience.”

by on Jul.21, 2016

Lincoln will increase its suite of customers services with the launch of the new Continental.

Leather, wood, a big engine and lots of chrome. Those have been the traditional signatures of a luxury car. But what happens when you can add those same features to an entry-level sedan? That’s a question high-line brands have been struggling to deal with as they face increasing competition from more mainstream manufacturers.

That new reality is forcing luxury marques to shift focus a bit. You’ll still find massaging leather seats on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, open-pore wood on a BMW 7-Series, and a choice of high-performance engines for your next Audi. But you’re likely also to find a variety of new features and services designed, among other things, to simplify and speed up the car buying and service processes.

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“Because so many things that used to be considered luxury are now available across the line, the only way to differentiate yourself as a luxury manufacturer is to make the total ownership experience painless and seamless,” said Joe Phillippi, senior analyst with AutoTrends Consulting.


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.


Hyundai Launches New Genesis Luxury Brand

Surprise about-face pits Korean maker against tough competition.

by on Nov.04, 2015

Hyundai Vice Chairman Euisun Chung announces plans for the new Genesis brand in Seoul.

Hyundai is formally entering the luxury car business. The maker has reversed course and now will launch a separate upscale brand called Genesis.

The Korean carmaker first dipped its toe in the luxury market nearly a decade ago with the launch of the first Genesis sedan, but until now had said it would not create a separate brand because of the high costs and risks such a move would entail. But it appears to have reconsidered that reluctance with the recognition that upscale products have been delivering a disproportionate share of industry profits in recent years.

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“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman and a grandson of the company’s founder.


Luxury Brands Cruise to Strong Sales in June

SUVs, crossovers push makers to big results.

by on Jul.01, 2015

BMW's SAVs posted a 75.3% increase in June offsetting a 12.9% drop in car sales.

Improvements in consumer sentiment, low interest rates and the steady growth in the sales of truck and utility vehicles, including those sold by luxury brands, helped set the torrid pace for sales in June, which boosted the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales or SAAR past 17 million units.

Luxury brands performed well last month, led by BMW reporting a 6.5% increase, including a 75.3% increase in sales in utility vehicles that helped offset a 12.9% drop in sales of BMW’s vaunted passenger cars.

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The same pattern prevailed at Mercedes-Benz, which posted record sales in the first half of the year after a 5.8% increase in June with strong sales of the C- and E-Class models. As a whole, first-half sales of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars totaled 101,212, increasing 3.5% from the same period in 2014. (more…)

Viva Italia: First Look at the New Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa aims to hit a high note with new performance sedan.

by on Jun.24, 2015

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia makes its debut in Milan. Another seven new models are set to follow.

With acclaimed opera singer Andrea Bocelli sharing the stage, Alfa Romeo rolled out its new Giulia sedan during a packed news conference in Milan, Italy on Wednesday.

Alfa can only hope it has hit a high note with the launch of the new performance model once it rolls into showrooms early next year. The Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan will be going up against a crowded field of luxury competitors, including the likes of the vaunted BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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The challenge will be especially tough in the U.S. which is expected to be the single market for the new Alfa Giulia – and for Alfa Romeo on the whole. The brand has largely been absent for more than two decades, something company officials suggested can be both a plus and a minus for the ambitious Italian brand.

“There’s nothing about the brand that needed to change. We needed to change ourselves,” suggested Harald Wester, the head of Alfa Romeo, as he opened up the news conference.


New Giulia Sedan Could Be Make-it-or-Break-It Car for Alfa

Project key to broader success of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

by on Jun.24, 2015

Alfa Romeo plans to introduce a new sedan in the U.S. as part of its plans to sell more than 100,000 vehicles here.

Italy’s Alfa Romeo will pull the wraps off its all-new Giulia sedan later today during a splashy event in Milan, the birthplace of the long-struggling brand.

The hoopla should be no surprise considering the critical role it will play in the promised revival of the Alfa brand, and in the broader success – or failure – of the strategy laid out for parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles by CEO Sergio Marchionne.

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Largely limited to the European market today, Marchionne wants to more than quadruple Alfa’s sales by 2018, with North America targeted to become one of the brand’s largest market After a long absence, however, Alfa is virtually unknown in the U.S. and Canada today, selling only a few 100 of its pint-sized 4C sports cars since making its return last year.


New Jaguar XF Gets Larger, Lighter, Faster

Coupe-like sedan takes aim at major German luxury brands.

by on Mar.31, 2015

A Jaguar XF appears to float above the ground during its official NY unveiling on Tuesday in NY.

After offering a tease of the new XF during a daring tightrope drive across the Thames River in London, Jaguar has again taken the wraps off the new mid-lux sedan during a New York Auto Show preview – this time revealing some intriguing details.

The new “aluminum-intensive” model gets much larger inside, resolving long-running complaints about its previously cramped interior. At the same time, it gets lighter and, Jaguar promises, significantly faster.


“In creating the all-new XF, as a design team, we have been driven by discipline, the discipline of simplicity,” proclaimed Jaguar chief of design Ian Callum, adding that, “Every exterior line on the XF has a clear purpose – nothing is superfluous.”


Rolls-Royce Expects Modest Growth Thanks to Bespoke Line

Executives expect customized models to comprise 100% of sales.

by on Feb.04, 2015

Rolls-Royce's new Phantom "Nighthawk" is expected to help the luxury automaker to grow its sales in 2015.

Fresh off another year of record sales, Rolls-Royce expects to see a modest increase in volume this year – largely due to its Bespoke program, which offers buyers an almost limitless range of customized options for the British brand’s models.

The popularity of customization is becoming a real selling point for luxury vehicle makers. In fact, BMW’s super luxury division thinks that the percentage of orders for customized, tailor-made cars will grow steadily closer to the 100% level in the coming years.

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Rolls has not only been adding more models to its line-up, but also offering unique, limited-edition variants – such as the Phantom Drophead Coupe Nighthawk it introduced in Phoenix this week. Said to be “inspired by stealth technology in modern aerospace development,” only nine Nighthawks will be produced. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Fends Off Lexus for January Luxe Sales Lead

BMW falls to third place in monthly tally.

by on Feb.03, 2015

Mercedes-Benz grabbed the early lead in luxury car sales in the U.S., but close behind is Lexus.

Lexus has moved within striking distance of taking over the lead in luxury sales from its German rivals after a 31% sales increase in January.

With January sales totals in the books, Lexus is trailing Mercedes-Benz by fewer than 1,500 units, setting up what promises to be a contest for luxury leadership that is likely to stretch out over the next 11 months.

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Carmakers like to claim the leadership crown doesn’t matter. But it does. (more…)