Hyundai could have a major impact on the luxury car market.
That statement may result in eye rolls and thoughts of the Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza, which are both are great premium cars, but haven’t succeeded at making a dent in the sales of the top luxury players.
Things are changing, though. Luxury car sales are down so far this year, which may help Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand put up a fight against BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.
Hyundai is hiring some of the best in the business and seems primed to take full advantage of declining sales among its competition.
Part of the reason Hyundai luxury cars haven’t been taken seriously is design. A luxury Hyundai still looked like, well, a Hyundai. That should change.
Hyundai plans to hire another ex-Volkswagen designer to replace its current style guru, Peter Schreyer. The Korean brand has extended an “offer of a lifetime” to Luc Donckerwolke, the former Volkswagen group designer who was most recently working with Bentley.
Yes, a Bentley designer will take over at Genesis and, presumably, give it a shape that can stand up to the big German and British automakers. As if that weren’t enough, Hyundai also lured away Bentley exterior design lead Sangyup Lee.
If the Genesis New York concept, pictured above, is any indication of where Donckerwolke and Lee will take the brand, Hyundai may have what it takes to disrupt the luxury status quo and give shoppers an all-new reason to buy Korean.
Falling sales for America’s top luxury cars could also help the fledgling automaker.
The Truth About Cars said,
Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, BMW (the three top-ranked premium auto brands), Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti posted declining sales in the first-third of 2016.
Sales are in decline for a number of reasons, including recalls, supply issues, and changing consumer tastes. If Genesis can create a car that looks like a Bentley, performs like a BMW, and costs the same as an Avalon, we might see a big shakeup in the list of top-selling luxury cars in this country.
Could Genesis pull you away from your favorite luxury car brand?