New York 2010: Hyundai Equus Flagship to Feature Premium Services

With the debut of the new Equus luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show, CEO John Krafcik also announced that sales of flagship model will come with premium services. For starters, Hyundai dealerships will feature the car in a showroom-within-a-showroom format, alongside the Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe. But if you’d like to test drive an Equus and don’t want to go to the dealership, no problem, Hyundai will take the car to you.

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New York 2010: Hyundai Equus to Rival S-Class, But Priced in the Mid $50,000 Range

It certainly looks like a flagship luxury sedan, created to rival established German saloons like the 7 Series and S Class, but it costs roughly half the price and… it’s a Hyundai? Yes, debuting at the New York Auto Show, Hyundai will now offer its flagship luxury sedan from Korea in the U.S. aiming to, “compete with the best luxury sedans in the world on all levels.”

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New York Preview: Hyundai Equus to Make Production Debut at Big Apple Show
Report: Hyundai to Create Showroom-Within-a-Showroom to Highlight Premium Models

Rather than spin off the new premium Hyundai products into their own brand, necessitating the creation of new dealerships and huge marketing budgets, the Korean automaker is opting for the “showroom-within-a-showroom” approach. According to documents obtained by Ward’s, Hyundai Motor America (HMA) is looking to make the move soon, creating a luxury area within current dealerships where staff will display and sell new models like the Genesis Sedan and Genesis Coupe as well as the upcoming Equus flagship luxury sedan (pictured above).

Instead of costing dealerships millions of dollars, the new displays are only likely to run in the hundreds of thousands. This setup is quite different from what Japanese automakers like Toyota did when it launched the Lexus brand, opting instead to set up entirely separate dealerships.

“Similar to the attributes of Toyota-Scion buildings, this strategy will create physical and psychological separation in the Hyundai showroom environment,” writes HMA VP of national sales Dave  Zuchowski in his memo.

Cars like the Genesis Coupe, in its higher end trim, compete with models like the Infiniti G37 and BMW 335i Coupe, while the Genesis Sedan stacks up against vehicles like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Lexus GS. The new Equus, however, is aimed at top-tier models like the BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS. It is expected to cost slightly less than an LS and will go on sale this Fall.

Hyundai sees the Equus as another, but important, step on the road to becoming a legitimate luxury retailer. “We intend to use the launch of the new Equus to develop and further establish Hyundai as a legitimate force in the premium-luxury segments,” says Zuchowski.

[Source: Ward’s]

See after the jump for AutGuide’s first look at the new 2011 Hyundai Equus:

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Breaking: Hyundai Equus Stretch Edition Unveiled in Korea With New 5.0-liter V8
Video: 2011 Hyundai Equus First Ride

AutoGuide was recently invited by Hyundai to take a ride in its new flagship Equus luxury sedan, which is due out in the U.S. in 2011. We posted some initial impressions immediately afterward and have since prepared a little video of the car and our chat with Hyundai Motor America’s VP of Marketing Joel Ewanick.

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First Ride: Hyundai Takes Us for a Spin in the Company's New 2011 Equus Flagship

Earlier this week Hyundai announced that it would launch the company’s Korean market Equus flagship right here in the U.S. And to help promote the car, Hyundai decided to show-off a few examples of its top-tier luxury sedan at one of the world’s most high-profile automotive events: the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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Breaking: Hyundai Equus Flagship to Go On Sale in U.S. Next Year

Hyundai continues to shake up perceptions of what a Korean automaker can be, announcing today that it will offer its flagship Equus sedan in the U.S. starting next year.

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Hyundai Equus To Go On Sale in U.S. Next Summer

Hyundai will bring its top-level Equus luxury sedan to North America next summer. While buyers of German luxury sedans like the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class aren’t likely to buy Korean (not yet anyway), Hyundai thinks it will attract enough Lexus LS buyers to make the Equus a viable business plan.

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