The Korean automaker Hyundai waited until the perfect moment to announce that the Equus flagship sedan will in fact be making its way into dealerships right here in the U.S. The announcement came from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance after much anticipation and speculation as to whether the American market was ready for an ultra premium sedan from Hyundai, and judging by the Genesis sedan’s warm reception, it looks like we are.
Hyundai Motor America president and CEO John Krafcik said that "We showed the car at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, and the response was fantastic,... Since then, we’ve had a fleet travelling around the country, capturing input from our dealers and consumers. Here, too, the response was extraordinarily positive, and similar to the market reaction to the award-winning Genesis, so we’ve decided to bring it to the U.S.” In the states Hyunudai hopes to steal a few luxury buyers from the likes of Mercedes, BMW and Lexus.
Congratulations are in order for the Korean automaker making a bold move and not being afraid to ruffle a few feathers at the world’s greatest car show. So while the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will be featuring names like Bugatti and Bentley and celebrating a century of Morgan, Audi and the designs of Zagato; Hyundai has given everyone something else to think about.
HYUNDAI TO SELL ITS FLAGSHIP SEDAN IN U.S.
Crafted to rival Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and the world’s most prestigious luxury automobiles, marking another step in Hyundai’s growth as a leading brand
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif., August 12, 2009 – Hyundai is shaking things up at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance by announcing its intention to launch its most premium luxury sedan in the U.S. next year.
Hyundai’s flagship, badged as the Equus in the Korean market, will be on display and on the roads surrounding the annual gathering of collectible classic luxury automobiles throughout the week, giving attendees a glimpse of the company’s most prestigious model.
“We showed the car at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, and the response was fantastic,” says John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. “Since then, we’ve had a fleet travelling around the country, capturing input from our dealers and consumers. Here, too, the response was extraordinarily positive, and similar to the market reaction to the award-winning Genesis, so we’ve decided to bring it to the U.S.”
Hyundai’s flagship sedan, developed under the codename “VI,” launched this year in Korea. The Equus nameplate used there has adorned the company’s flagship model for 10 years, where it enjoys a reputation for quality and luxury in a place where Japanese and European luxury marques such as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes are coveted.
Here in the U.S., the runaway success of the 2009 Hyundai Genesis, which has garnered worldwide critical acclaim and remarkable sales success, gave Hyundai reason to consider expanding its brand further into the upper echelon of automotive luxury. But it was dealer and consumer response to a summer-long tour that saw Equus sedans visiting Hyundai showrooms across the country that solidified the decision.
DETAILS OF U.S. PLANS TO COME
Hyundai’s new flagship sedan is built on Hyundai’s all-new, innovative, premium rear-wheel-drive architecture, shared with the North American Car of the Year Genesis sedan and the performance-focused Genesis Coupe.
The new sedan will be sold in the U.S. beginning in late 2010. Pricing, packaging, specifications, and the final name of the car for the U.S. market will be announced closer to launch.