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Hyundai smashes $50K buyer barrier

New limits: The Genesis sedan is expected to cost between $50,000 and $60,000 when it arrives in November with the company saying people will happily pay that amount for a Hyundai.

Genesis future bright as sales show more consumers will pay $50K for a Hyundai

Hyundai logo16 Oct 2014

THE “natural barrier” of $50,000 no longer exists for people buying a Hyundai, according to the company's Australian boss, who said shaking off its cheap and cheerful image bodes well for its luxury Genesis sedan’s arrival next month.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Santa Fe, Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) chief operating officer John Elsworth said the fact that 49 per cent of the large SUV's buyers chose the range-topping $53,240 Highlander shows that people are now comfortable paying more money for Hyundais.

“The natural barrier of $50,000 doesn’t seem to be an impediment anymore... to buy a Hyundai and that sends us a really good signal for where we’ve got to head with Genesis,” he said.

The new four-door flagship sedan’s price is expected to come in under the Luxury Car Tax Threshold of $60,316, with Hyundai presenting the car as a more affordable alternative to a BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Mercedes E-Class.

Mr Elsworth said that while convincing people to leave their premium German cars for a Hyundai will be difficult, there’s another target group he has in mind.

“Genesis is a true luxury car and it genuinely takes on the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi,” he said.

“Getting people out of Mercedes-Benzs and BMWs is very challenging. Will there be some people who do it? Sure. It won’t be a mass exodus.

“But there’s a whole bunch of people who one day aspire to get into a Mercedes or BMW. What Genesis does is say there’s a new player in town. Have a look and we guarantee the quality, the value offering and the technology in the car stacks up absolutely for a fraction of the price.”

The sub-$60K figure will make it the most expensive Hyundai on the market but Mr Elsworth said that as Santa Fe sales are proving, buyers are prepared to pay this amount.

Mr Elsworth added that since the Korean brand’s arrival in Australia in 1986 vehicle quality has improved and recognition through car industry awards has built consumer trust in the brand.

“I think selling so many cars above $50,000 is a significant milestone for the company and it shows just how far the brand has come.” “It’s the quality of the product. These next generation cars – the i30, Santa Fe - are absolutely world-class. I think motoring media, the industry bodies and consumers all see that. I also think there’s a lot of credibility gained because of the amount of awards that are handed out for Hyundais.” The second-generation Genesis will go on sale in Australia in November, powered by a 232kW/397Nm 3.8-litre V6 engine matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A V8-power Genesis coupe may also be destined for Australia in 2016. A concept of the car, known as HND-9, was shown at last year’s Seoul motor show.

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