A few years ago, Hyundai collaborated with Italian fashion label Prada to build a special-edition Prada-designed Genesis model. That endeavor proved to be a flop as only about 400 of the 1,200 models were sold.
But the Korean automaker is apparently undaunted because it’s once again taken the same partnership route, only this time it’s with French fashion brand Hermes.
Called the Hyundai Equus Hermes Edition, the special-edition model is only three units strong and none of them are for sale. Guess Hyundai learned a lesson or two from the Prada debacle, huh?
Aesthetically speaking, each of the three Equus Hermes models have interiors that live up to Hyundai’s pursuit of a "modern premium" car. More than 20 high-end items were used to dress up the interior, including luminary materials like crocodile leather lining the door panels. If the material rings a bell, it’s also the same one Hermes uses on a lot of its handbags.
As an extended wheelbase, the Equus Hermes has enough space to accommodate a host of luxury features, particularly the rear, which has its own folding table, four-cup holders, a water bottle compartment, and a large storage space, among other things.
Unfortunately, none of the three units of the Equus Hermes Edition are up for sale, according to Hyundai. But if you want to learn more about the automaker’s rationale in building the unique luxury sedan, you can check out its Q&A regarding the Equus Hermes Edition after the jump.
Hyundai Equus Hermes Q&A
1. What is the main purpose of the ‘Equus by Hermes’ project?
Hyundai has been making diverse attempts to realize ‘Modern Premium’ values
This project is also part of Hyundai’s efforts to better showcase ‘Modern Premium’ values
In particular, the project was designed to show the value of combining craftsmanship and innovation.
2. Do you have any plan to apply the interior design of the concept to the regular Equus Limousine?
No, it is only limited to the Equus by Hermes concept.
3. What do you intend to deliver through the project?
When craftsmanship and innovation are combined, the result is not simply limited to perfection in terms of function or product itself.
The Equus by Hermes is the perfect combination of the best-quality leather, user-friendly design and traditional craftsmanship, and we hope that our customers can experience Hyundai’s New Thinking on automobile in an emotional way.
4. Why did you work with Hermes?
We knew that Hermes was clearly capable of designing the cabin interior in its own special way, with its proprietary know-how.
5. How did you develop the car?
Discussion on the development of the concept car began in September 2010. The project took around two years for completion.
Hyundai’s R&D Center and Design Center were in charge of technical development and production, and Hermes suggested the design and handcrafted it, aligning with Hyundai’s technical suggestions.
6. To what extent is Hermes related to the concept car?
Hermes was responsible for the interior design and leather covering.
Except for the interior, Hyundai produced the rest.
7. Do you have plan to do another project with Hermes?
No, we don’t have any plan with Hermes.
8. Why do you not sell the car?
We made only three cars. Since the purpose of this project is to showcase the values that Hyundai aims to embody, we ruled out any sales plan from the initial stage of development.
9. How does it differ from the ‘Genesis Prada’ project?
The purpose of the ‘Genesis Prada’ project was to allow our customers to experience ‘Modern Premium’ values in their daily lives, so we took production and sales into consideration while developing the car.
Whereas, the Equus by Hermes project began more like an experiment to realize Hyundai’s brand values through the best works without any limitations.
Hence, we cannot compare the two projects, as the original purposes and production processes are different.
10. What does Hyundai gain from the project?
We learned that in order to provide values and experiences that exceed customers’ expectations, neglecting or compromising any single component is not allowed in the process of planning, designing, choosing materials and in production itself.
11. If you don’t sell the cars, what do you plan to do with them?
We are planning to exhibit the cars at various events in the Korean market.
After the Seoul Motor Show, we plan to display the car at Hyundai dealerships nationwide, and also at Hyundai flagship stores and other landmark spots to offer our customers opportunities to experience ‘Modern Premium’.
12. Do you have any plans to work with other luxury fashion brands?
Hyundai will continue to search for creative ways to realize “New Thinking” on automobile in the future.
Regardless of which industry they are in, if brands align with Hyundai’s Modern Premium direction, we can collaborate with them.
We will embark on any project that appeals to customers’ emotions, and which make them see cars as part of their lives, not just a means of transportation.
13. How much will it be?
As the concept was not developed for mass production, we cannot price it.