South Korea’s largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, has been heavily reliant on a sedan-heavy model line-up, which has resulted in rather disastrous results in regions where SUVs are in high demand, such as the United States.
The US auto market, the second largest in the world, is currently geared almost entirely towards pickup trucks, crossovers and sport utility vehicles – so Hyundai is now mulling the development of a large SUV that would use the architecture of the Genesis premium sedan, said four people that have knowledge of the automaker’s strategy. But the South Korean automaker would remain challenged in securing a place in the high-margin market for utility vehicles – which is dominated in the US by the Japanese and American rivals. The issues – it has no pickup truck, it has a bad record with larger SUVs and delivering the rumored larger model would still need at least two or three years, and by that time the SUV craze might blow off.
“We are timid when it comes to bigger SUVs,” told Reuters one of the sources. The person said there’s no actual decision yet taken on whether to bring that new vehicle on the market, as Hyundai lacks the brand power in the high-priced SUV segment. They are also concerned that gasoline prices might go up once more and thus put a cap on the purchases in the segment. The sources, which opted not to reveal their identities because they are discussing sensible internal matters, said the automaker was now reviewing an internal idea made last year to use the Genesis as the basis of the new SUV. The reasoning – use the appeal of the luxury sedan and create brand awareness in the SUV segment.