Korean automaker Hyundai continues its journey to become a premium a car manufacturer. For Automotive News, Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said the Korean brand may have room for a premium model to join its Equus and Genesis sedans.
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“That’s one of the conversations,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say that within a couple of years there may be another premium” nameplate. “That’s a space where we think there’s some opportunity.”
Zuchowski was referring to a compact crossover to take on the successful X line-up from BMW. “We’re always looking at segments that we’re not in right now that maybe we should be based on where the market’s going,” he said. “We’re very intrigued by this B-segment CUV.” In other words, the Hyundai crossover would compete against the new X1 and X2 models, or even the 2 Series Active Tourer.
Hyundai also aims to launch a smaller rear-wheel-drive sedan in 2015. Dubbed “RK” internally, the new Hyundai will use a version of the rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Genesis Coupe.
Zuchowski acknowledges that entering too many niche segments can cannibalize sales of existing models but it is far more lucrative than to enter existing mature segments.
“You’ve got to grow your volume by growing in segments where you aren’t right now,” he said. “That’s what our focus is down the road.”