Hyundai Looking at Genesis-Based Luxury SUV
Lack of SUVs in Lineup Hampering Sales
At one time, it seemed like Hyundai and by extension, its sister brand, Kia, were unstoppable sales juggernauts, chomping away at established market segments long dominated by Toyota and Honda. However, the one segment that the Koreans have long struggled with has been SUVs. That also happens to be the fastest-growing market segment at the moment when you include compact crossovers, on up to luxury models.
To supplement its current Tucson and Santa Fe models, the company just showed its Creta subcompact concept, designed to compete with the recently introduced Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. In addition to adding to the lower end of its SUV lineup, the company is reportedly looking at the possibility of launching a premium SUV based on its Genesis sedan model, Reuters reports.
The main issue giving pause to product developers is the uncertainty about future fuel prices. For much of the last year, the rapid growth of domestic oil sources made for cheap gasoline and favorable conditions for SUV and pickup sales in the U.S. Another sudden spike in gas prices could impact the sales of a premium SUV model. It has been rumored that the Genesis’ top 5.0L V-8 may be replaced by a twin-turbo V-6 offering the same level of horsepower with greater torque and improved fuel economy.