Hyundai‘s vice-chairman, Shin Jong-Woon unequivocally quashed rumors regarding a separate premium brand for Hyundai’s upscale vehicles, telling Automotive News “There are no plans for Hyundai to make a separate brand.”
Hyundai spokesman Frank Ahrens elaborated on Jong-Woon’s comments, citing costs and branding difficulties as the main obstacles towards establishing a premium channel ala Lexus, Infiniti or Acura.
“It’s expensive. Dealerships, marketing, all those things. You don’t just spin it off at no cost,” said Ahrens. “Secondly, you’ve heard us talk a great deal about trying to raise the brand perception. And that’s perception for all the vehicles. So how would it help the brands if we were to cut off our top level?”
While Toyota has had smashing success with their Lexus brand – it is currently the best selling luxury car brand in America – other brands like Infiniti, and to a greater extent Acura, have had difficulty emulating the success of Lexus. Hyundai is currently attempting to raise the overall profile of its brand, and top-tier products sold as Hyundai vehicles are perhaps the best solution to helping Hyundai gain more acceptance in the public’s eye.
[Source: Automotive News]