Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2014

Hyundai Genesis Coupe Entering Identity Crisis

Hyundai is dealing with growing pains, as it faces an identity crisis for its flagship sports car Genesis Coupe.

Recently Hyundai sent the internet world a buzz with the announcement that they would no longer be offering the Genesis Coupe in the 2.0 liter platform. Sales have been on the decline for the Genesis Coupe, and Hyundai wants to take the vehicle to the next level to compete with other luxury sports cars, a la Lexus, Infinity, Audi, BMW, etc.

This could be a potentially damaging move for the automaker, as it runs the risk of alienating the segment that made the car as popular as it has, since its introduction. After all the car was originally designed to be an entry level sports car, that mid-20's and above could have fun modding. It would virtually put an end to an already niche aftermarket community. Currently, almost all of the Genesis Coupe's aftermarket support is geared towards the 2.0 liter motor, and tuners continue to push the limits of 2.0 liter's capabilities.

Speculation is that Hyundai is gearing up to introduce a 3.3 liter twin turbo motor, that will be the new entry level platform, and even some that have speculated (probably more hope than anything else) that Hyundai will put their 5.0 liter V8, currently featured in the Genesis Sedan, in the next model. This will surely push the base price into the upper $30's, and could even approach $50k. This is a bold move considering the price of the current Hyundai Genesis Coupe starts in the mid $20's, and the market for luxury sports cars is already pretty heavily saturated as it is. If the price tag of Genesis Coupe approaches $50k, then they could be walking into a buzz saw, as Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Infinity will be waiting to properly greet them.

Advertisement

Yes, you will have the group that wants the unique vehicle, but they are the minority. Most will want the status symbol for that type of price tag.

If this is the direction Hyundai wants to go, then the automaker needs to have a backup strategy to maintain its presence in the entry level sports car market. No, I would not consider the Veloster Turbo to be that presence. Ultimately, Hyundai needs to tread softly with this decision to make sure it is not alienating the group that helped bring the brand along from its introduction just 6 short years ago.

Comments

I tend to agree with the author. Don't price us out who helped you gain the share you deserve. With the economic destruction done to us these past 5 years, it's still price price price with many of us. I love what Hyundai has done so far and hope they don't lose site of their past looking forward. Maybe upgrade a bit like the Infinity with Brelm-Struts or better waffle bevels in the air intakes for extra "boost" and still keep affordability within range. Nothing wrong with "upgrades" in the platform but don't forget us on this end of the spectrum.
A fellow group member from Automotive Managers in LinkedIn, named Peter, shared the following with me. "BMW did similar when they moved from Z3 to Z4 basically removing their entry level sports roadster from the line up. Key question is will it work for Hyundai some 12 years later?" I think Peter has a very unique and interesting point.
This has to do with the fact that Hyundai's biggest competitors in Korea is BMW and Audi. Essentially, the new generation of Hyundais starting with the Genesis are designed to compete with BMW and Audi in the same market segment; ie the Genesis competes with the 5 series, the Sonata with the Audi A3, the Genesis Coupe with the 4 series, etc.
On one hand, I can see the way that adding a big turbo V6 would both help compete with the big boys and also price it well above the current models. On the other hand, i cannot imagine that Hyundai would just abandon the current segment in which the gen coupe competes.