While Hyundai commands considerable success in India and Europe, it is not able to establish similar stamp of authority in the People’s Republic of China. This is mainly due to increased negative sentiments against the South Korean automaker.
Hyundai’s Head Office in Korea is clearly not happy with this and is planning to expand the brand dramatically and reboot it in China. Sources close to Reuters had indicated that Hyundai is planning to establish its own store there shortly and launch its slew of SUV models and more importantly its pinnacle of models, the high-end Genesis.
Car buyers in China are a bit reluctant towards to the Korean brand mainly due to its home country’s involvement in the deployment of US anti-missile defense systems. There is also an opinion prevalent among the Chinese car buyers that the brand is a manufacturer of cheap taxis.
The Asia Pacific head of KHS Market Automotive Mr. James Chao further opines that the brand is not competitive in China and hence suffers from poor brand recognition. “Hyundai has an in-between brand that doesn’t have a clear identity in China, and there’s the backdrop of poor China-Korea relations. Newly introduced SUVs should help, but they are late to the game,” he said.
Currently, none of the models sold by Hyundai in the Chinese market are appealing and does not incite the buyers towards its cars. Hence, as reported, the brand is very keen on bringing its range of flashy new SUVs into China and grab the market’s intention. In fact, the decision made by the Korean auto maker to assemble its top of the line Genesis in China is seen as a very big move. In fact, Hyundai plans to bring in kits of Genesis into China and get the same assembled. This move will also reduce the import tariffs by more than half and help Hyundai make it much more appealing to the Chinese market.
“While the Genesis brand is reviewing a variety of strategies for the China market, no specific decisions have been made yet,” the company said.