Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors are aggressively penetrating the high-end automobile market of the United States, bringing fresh impact to those consumers who have identified them with manufacturers of inexpensive vehicles.
According to NBC Detroit’s November 4 report, Kia is planning to release the K900 luxury sedan early next year at a price of around US$70,000. Hyundai is poised to vie with the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, and Mercedes Benz E-Class with its newly-designed Genesis.
In the past, Korean cars were considered to be just slightly better than a Yugo, a cheap compact car manufactured in Yugoslavia that is notorious for its poor quality. “However, Hyundai and Kia have completely transformed themselves in terms of design, finishing and all of the other aspects,” said Auto Trend Consulting analyst Joe Phillippi.
NBC quoted a Hyundai executive as saying, “The luxury sedan Genesis won the North American Car of the Year Award in 2008, and the Equus, though its sales volume stood at 2,000 units or so a year, has refined the manufacturer’s brand image while competing with premium models like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes Benz S-Class.” NBC also forecast that the new Equus, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2015, will cause a change in the dynamics of the luxury sedan market, with its additional high-end models to be released by 2020.