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Hyundai Considering BMW 3 Series, Lexus RX Rivals Under Genesis Brand

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With Hyundai's recent sales success, the Korean automaker is considering expanding its product offerings to include new models in the luxury segment that would rival the most popular and high-volume vehicles currently offered by Japanese and German competitors. While Hyundai already offers the Genesis Sedan and the new Equus flagship model, the two vehicles being studied include a direct rival to the BMW 3 Series and as well as a crossover that would target the Lexus RX350.

To do this Hyundai is likely to officially spin-off the Genesis name into its own brand says Hyundai Motor America President John Krafcik. Three plans are being considered, with the most likely being to sell the luxury models in the same dealership as the current Hyundai lineup, using the dealer-within-a-dealer strategy. The two other options include keeping the cars branded as Hyundais, or building all new dealers to support the new models, just as Toyota did with Lexus and Honda with Acura.

Krafcik is eager to expand, but says the decision won't be made any time soon with the key factor being the success of the Equus – a full-sized luxury sedan aimed at vehicles like the Mercedes S-Class but costing 30 percent less at $58,000.

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