Hyundai announces pricing for 2014 Equus

2014 Hyundai Equus

Hyundai Motor America announced pricing today for the refreshed 2014 Hyundai Equus during a media event at its Ann Arbor, Michigan facility. The Equus comes in two model options – the Signature and the Ultimate. The Equus Signature has an MSRP with freight of $61,920, and the Equus Ultimate has an MSRP with freight of $68,920. Hyundai expects a sales breakdown of 70/30 between the Signature and the Ultimate.

Hyundai has positioned Equus as a competitor in the high end luxury segment, with vehicles like the Lexus LS460 and Mercedes S550 seen as the primary competitors, and the BMW 750i, Audi A8 and Cadillac XTS seen as secondary competitors. Hyundai’s strategy has emphasized packing the Equus with safety and technology features buyers are looking for in luxury vehicles and then making them standard in the Equus, while offering a price point that is roughly $30,000 less than comparably equipped target competitors. The emphasis on buyer experience has also helped Equus, with features like a dedicated Equus premium ownership champion at each dealership, at-home vehicle demonstrations branded under “Your Time, Your Place,” a valet service program with pickup and delivery on a flat bed truck with service loaner vehicle dropoff and a 3-year/36,000 mile no-cost maintenance.

John Krafcik, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, said he’s been very pleased with Equus sales since the launch of the vehicle, noting that many auto analysts were skeptical that Hyundai could even compete in this space. Krafcik pointed to the 2013 year-to-date market segment numbers for Equus of 5.5%, which is greater than Hyundai’s overall brand share. He also pointed out that Equus scored highest among the luxury brands in the 2013 J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study.

Like other Hyundai brands, Equus sales are being held back by Hyundai’s capacity issues. When asked whether Hyundai would be adding production capacity, Krafcik declined to comment, though it should be noted that in the past he was quick to squelch any notion of new production facilities. With the American car market rapidly bouncing back near pre-recession levels, Hyundai is likely reconsidering its ultra-cautious approach to production capacity in order to take advantage of increased demand. Krafcik noted that Hyundai’s overall market share in the US has contracted a bit to 4.7% in 2013 due to those production constraints. Demand is not the problem, as Hyundai has among the lowest inventory and days supply levels in the industry. Hyundai’s incentive spend remains among the lowest in the industry second only to Subaru. With these statistics, it appears that Hyundai can easily absorb more capacity, though auto executives have to look years ahead, and the volatility of the past seven years has to be taken into account.

  

GM CEO takes off the gloves in swipe at Lincoln’s viability

Things are heating up again between the General and the Blue Oval as GM CEO Akerson takes a hard swipe at the slumping Lincoln brand. GM must be very confident in the new Cadillac models coming very soon and flat out unimpressed on the new Lincoln’s coming to showroom floors. It’s time both brands look at targeting the real sales leaders in the luxury market and at this point I have to say the new Cadillac XTS and ATS are good starts.

From Auto Blog:

“They are trying like hell to resurrect Lincoln. Well, I might as well tell you, you might as well sprinkle holy water. It’s over.”

So says General Motors CEO Dan Akerson, speaking to reporters from The Detroit News. Fightin’ words to be sure, though it seems the suits at Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand that competes with Cadillac here in the United States, have declined to comment on Akerson’s statement.

The dismissal of the Lincoln brand seems especially interesting given Akerson’s reported take on the current state of Cadillac. Akerson is said to believe that Cadillac isn’t yet where it needs to be, saying the brand needs another 12 to 24 months of gestation. By that time, there ought to be bookends to the current CTS in place in the form of the ATS (smaller) and XTS (larger, replacing the STS and DTS).

Still, Akerson doesn’t expect to “blow the doors off” Cadillac’s competition, saying instead that “they will be very competitive.” We’d think Caddy would be aiming squarely at something more like “class leading,” but what do we know?

Read the full article.

  

The Cadillacs are Coming

Cadillac is poised to start 2012 with a bang. Two all new models are slated to bring the fight to their German competition on all fronts. First, is the XTS, the DTS and STS replacement. The largest Caddy will be built off of the Buick Lacrosse platform and be front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The second one, however, is much more exciting. Bench-marking the BMW 3-series, the ATS is the smallest Cadillac and is poised bring more driving excitement to the lineup. Previous 3-series competitors have fallen a tad flat, such as the Catera, but Cadillac really did their homework on this one.

One model pleases traditional Cadillac customers while the other sets to make an impression on lifelong BMW customers. For the first time in a long time, Cadillac has a fully loaded arsenal of models to compete with. And both are made in the U.S.A.

  

Cadillac XTS Concept Shown at Beijing Auto Show

Cadillac has one sleek and elegant ride in the upcoming XTS if it’s to be real close to the concept. The Beijing auto show was fortunate to have this beauty in it’s presence and when it hits the road my guess is that sales will be strong. The interior is off the charts and hopefully an engine that resonates with buyers is part of the package.

From AutoGuide.com:

Ever since a report a few weeks back that Cadillac had signed off on production of the XTS Concept, execs at GM’s luxury arm have tried to deny any such thing. But last week GM decided to showcase the car at the Beijing Auto Show, and have released a gallery of new photos – indicating the XTS is moving ahead.

Read the full article here.

  

XTS concept previews Cadillac’s next flagship

Cadillac will launch the all new XTS in 2012 as a single replacement for both the STS and DTS. From what we can see this is going to be a sweet ride!

From the Detroit News:

nullCadillac has been tamed — in a green sort of way.

The days of a plush Cadillac powered by a massive gasoline-fired engine with 16 cylinders appear to be over.

Instead, General Motors Co.’s luxury division today displayed its idea of what a hybrid should be with the introduction of the XTS Platinum plug-in hybrid concept.

Packed full of conveniences, the sedan is expected to hit the market in 2012 as a single replacement for both the STS and DTS.

Read the full article here.

  

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