46-A Price Leader Enters the Performance Leader Market

Hyundai has announced that it will offer a luxury sedan in the U.S. market this Fall. The new model, the Genesis, purports to offer Lexus and BMW quality for a price 35% less than those competitors.

This is quite a leap for Hyundai. Its reputation in the domestic market is that of a Price Leader competitor selling primarily smaller cars. Its larger, Standard Leader, products, such as the Sonata, sell slowly in the U.S. (See the Perspective, “Why do Leaders Lead?” on StrategyStreet.com for more insight.)

The company is making a classic low-end competitor attack on this Performance Leader market. It does not claim to be as good as its competition, such as the BMW. It claims only that it is good enough to be compared to BMW and Lexus. In return, it offers a substantial discount. The company hopes to attract what it calls “non-conformist” consumers who appreciate luxury but are not concerned about the brand of luxury car they drive.

The Genesis offers all the bells and whistles of the luxury sedan category. The company is putting its warranty money where its quality mouth is. Its warranty, at five years or 60,000 miles, is far better than the four years or 50,000 miles more typical of the luxury market.

Hyundai expects that the new automobile will increase its market share and boost its brand image. If the new car is as good as its early reviews, it is likely to do both.

Posted 9/8/08


The two major Korean automobile manufacturers have now become Standard Leaders in the US automobile market. They offer a wide range of products from Price Leaders to Performance Leaders in the US market. The broad product line and growing reputation for quality are yielding market share gains for these Korean manufacturers.

Genesis is the luxury vehicle division of the South Korean vehicle manufacturer, Hyundai.  The brand was introduced in 2015 and entered the US market in late 2016, with the G80 and G90 models.  The G70 model entered the market in 2017.  All 3 Genesis models garner impressive reviews and offer outstanding value for money.  The warranty coverage on Genesis automobiles parallels that of Hyundai and Kia.  They are clearly the best in the American automobile market.  Beginning in 2017, the company’s Genesis US market share has grown slowly from .12% to .33% in 2021.

Hyundai’s US market share has grown from 3% in 2008 to about 5% at the end of 2021. During the same period, Kia’s share has grown from 2% to 4.5% of the US market.  Both of these brands have struggled to get over their earlier reputation for being low end competitors. Their market shares in the Standard Leader market have grown, but slowly. In 2022 they do seem to be having success in the EV market in the US and worldwide.

Careful consideration of the Price Point products to offer in a market is an important aspect of retaining and growing core customer relationships. HERE, HERE, and HERE are three analyses that frame the issue.


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