Hyundai already competes in the luxury sedan market with the Genesis, and now the Korean automaker is considering jumping into the luxury crossover business.
“We definitely studied a premium people mover, if you will,” Hyundai America CEO Dave Zuchowski told Edmunds. “It is not in the plan and it is not eliminated. It is something under consideration.” If the premium crossover does come to fruition, it would target the Lexus RX 350, Cadillac SRX and the Audi Q5.
One of the current hold ups is the lack of a separate distribution channel to sell these new luxury products, a decision which Hyundai consciously made. Rather than create a new division, like Lexus or Cadillac, Hyundai wants to keep all of its products at one dealership and under one banner “That decision, and we absolutely think it is the right decision, has some flow-through impact on products,” said Zuckowski.
Another potential issue is the similarities the new luxury crossover would have with the Santa Fe, as the two would be built on the same platform and would be sold from the same showroom. “The RX is basically the Highlander and they can charge a premium for that vehicle because they are sold in different showrooms,” Zuchowski said.
Despite all the hurdles, Zuchowski says that a luxury crossover is still something that the company is looking into, and trying to build a business case for.
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