20090906

A Masterstroke from Hyundai

Since early 2008, people across the world owe a lot  to a company called "Hyundai" for making them totally shock-proof. As a matter of fact, every news  or new launch from this company gave some kind of shock to the general public and automotive critics alike which some people still find hard to believe or digest. The launch of the Genesis is a prime example of the above statement.

When Hyundai showed off the Genesis Concept in 2007 and announced its intentions to enter the luxury segment, people mocked at the company officials. It was brushed off as just a show-piece and one that will never make it to production. Traditional naysayers have been telling "How come a perennial budget car-maker, known for its shoddy quality in the 80's and 90's can pull this off"? A year later, when the production-ready Genesis Sedan was unveiled, there was a loud uproar that Hyundai is digging the death knell for itself by venturing into the high price luxury segment. An obvious example of Phaeton (the luxury car from VW that failed miserably) was quoted every time a news about Genesis came out.

Now almost an year after the launch of the Sedan and later its Coupe variant, the Genesis model have not only met with a commercial sales success but have won an entire galaxy of awards which makes even the top Hyundai honchos a little surprised. Though they knew that Genesis was developed to challenge the top luxury cars, they were just not prepared for this onslaught of awards on Hyundai's flagship.Taken from an article in Hyundai USA's website, the following are some of the significant awards won by the car this year:
  1. 2009 North American Car Of The Year
  2. 2009 Canadian Car Of The Year (AJAC)
  3. Best New Luxury Car under $50,000 (AJAC)
  4. MotorTrend - America's Top New Cars
  5. J.D.Power APEAL Study - Most Appealing Mid-Size Premium Car
  6. J.D.Power Vehicle Launch Index(VLI) - Best New Vehicle
  7. The Car Book - 2009 Best Bet (Intermediate Category)
  8. Car Of The Year (From Autotropolis, Cars.com, On Wheels and Autobytel)
  9. AutoPacific - Best Buy (Aspirational Luxury Category)
  10. Consumer Digest - Best Bet (Luxury Segment)
  11. Wards.com - 10 Best Engines (4.6 Liter Tau V8)
The most important thing to note is that the contenders for all the above awards included models from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, etc. To put it simply, the Genesis platform has been a true masterstroke from the company and Hyundai has backed it up quite well with some brilliant marketing too. Check out one of my favourite print ads released for the Sedan.

At this rate, its just going to be a matter of time before Hyundai spins off the Genesis into a standalone luxury brand (just like Toyota's Lexus, Honda's Acura and Nissan's Infiniti). And not to forget the same critics who slammed Hyundai before the launch of the Genesis, those guys will be back soon telling that it was sheer luck which made the Genesis succeed. Keep them coming, guys. The folks at Hyundai (and Kia) thrive on them!

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