Hyundai Steps Up Equus Evaluation Program for U.S.
By KBB.com Editors on May 8, 2009 12:10 PMBouyed by positive response from its surprise appearance at the recent New York Auto Show, Hyundai now plans to bring over 100 of its Korean-only Equus luxury sedans as part of a new marketing research effort to determine whether this flagship four door might have a future here, as well. The program, due to start this summer, will involve both dealers and potential buyers in hands-on demonstrations and opinion studies. Like the recently introduced Genesis Sedan and Coupe, the Equus was designed to help Hyundai accelerate its quest to raise its global profile and prestige. However, the opulently appointed Equus rises well beyond even Genesis levels and draws a bead directly on vehicles like the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Although public statements in New York by Hyundai's U.S. boss John Krafcik indicated that the Equus was "currently not in our official product plan," it's obvious that this primo sedan clearly has support from people in high places on both sides of the Pacific. Should the Equus ultimately join the lineup here, expect it to serve as a de facto sub-brand and carry a pricetag -- rumored to be in the mid-$70K range -- that while markedly exceeding any other Hyundai vehicle would significantly undercut all of its perceived rivals.