Motor America says additional models based on the platform of its new BH rear-wheel-drive large sedan are likely.
“We’re not ready to talk about what those might be, but it’s a great bet we’ll have additional platform variants,” John Krafcik, senior vice president-product development and strategic planning, tells Ward’s in an interview.
The concept version of’s future RWD car, the Genesis, will be shown at next week’s New York auto show.
It hasn’t been decided if Genesis will be the moniker used on the production model, Krafcik says. The same size car has been sold overseas as the Hyundai Dynasty.
While the concept car is powered by a 4.6L V-8, the production model, due in the U.S. sometime early next year according to parent Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., will have a V-6 engine as standard, Krafcik says.
The car will begin under $30,000, he says, declining to give an annual sales estimate.
Strong sales of the most expensive versions of Hyundai’s current flagship car, the Azera sedan, have given HMA confidence it can successfully retail an even more luxurious and powerful car, Krafcik says.
“The car is selling so very, very well at the high-end,” he says. “Our dealers are asking for more Limiteds.”
For the ’07 model year, the Azera’s Limited trim begins at $27,995. Krafcik says Limiteds with the $3,100 Ultimate Package, which includes an upgraded audio system among other creature comforts, account for more than half of total Azera sales.
He says the auto maker has found a niche with the “quietly confident” wealthy car buyer, those who don’t flaunt their wealth and who are “smart with their money, making good decisions and doing a lot of research,” Krafcik says.
However, U.S. Hyundai dealers recently told Ward’s they’re seeing many luxury makes, such as Lexus and Jaguar, being traded in for the Azera.
“Those (customers) tried those brands on and didn’t feel like they were getting good value,” Krafcik speculates of why this phenomenon is occurring.
Krafcik won’t say if the larger Equus sedan, sold in South Korea, is being readied for a U.S. debut as part of a further push into the luxury-car segment. “It’s too early to say,” he says. An HMA spokesman adds, “the architecture could allow you to do some things.”