Should Hyundai Start a Separate Luxury Brand?

The Koreans are considering a premium 3-Series fighter. Should it rebadge its luxury cars and launch a new image?

Korea’s premiere automaker, Hyundai, was met with quite afew raised eyebrows when it first introduced its luxury models - the Equusand Genesis - in America. The company known for reliable econoboxes was suddenlytaking on the likes of the Lexus, Infinity and even German automakers such as BMWand Audi. Now, Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski says the company mayintroduce a third premium nameplate to the market “within a couple of years”.

Speaking to Automotive News, Zuchowski declined to answer whether this would be the rumored "RK" 3-series fighter. Acar like that would be sized and priced below the Genesis, an area morefamiliar to the company from its past Sonata experience. But even with improvedquality and rave reviews for some of its new models, is Hyundai really ready totake on the compact premium competition from German and Japanese automakers? Or perhaps, should it re-brand its luxury division to differentiate it from the carmaker's economy car image?

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