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Jon Krafcik Stretches Hyundai's Portfolio

  • Forbes, Monday, March 26, 2012 10:26 AM

Columnist Dave Buss offers a look at Hyundai Motor America next challenge and how Jon Krafcik, CEO, is likely to deal with it. The automaker has clambered up rungs to be one of the tier one champions in the U.S. market. But can it do in luxury what it has done in the mass market? Should Hyundai have created a new brand to house the Equus and perhaps Genesis cars, or can it stretch the brand to range from the $15,000 Elantra to the $60,000 Equus?

Buss points out that the (ostensibly) smart money bets against mass and luxury under a single brand. Thus you have the Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, and Audi luxury brands besideToyota, Honda, Nissan and VW (though the Audi and VW pairing is a slightly different animal), respectively. Krafcik isn't going for conventional wisdom. 

“Lexus and Acura and Infiniti have [established] isolated islands of retail excellence. They have raised customer-service processes in their stores. Unfortunately, those wonderful processes haven’t really cascaded down to their mass-market brands from a sales-satisfaction point of view,” he told Buss.



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