Hyundai Must Go Luxe to Reach Wide Audience: Exec

As Hyundai looks to gain share in the auto market, it will need to offer a full range of vehicles, said John Krafcik, acting president and CEO of Hyundai Motors America.

"We're going to have to have a full line-up," he told CNBC, in an interview. "Really every automaker is going to have to be strong from entry level cars all the way and up to premium cars."

JD Power & Associates named Hyundai's Genesis the highest-ranked non-premium brand in its 2009 initial quality study.

Krafcik said Hyundai is making the most out of the recession by offering a luxury car without the luxury price.

The Genesis was ranked the highest in quality new car launch this year, and fourth in the overall industry rankings; it tailed Lexus, Porsche and Cadillac. The cost for a Genesis can range from $33,000 up to $42,000.

"If the Genesis was its own brand it would have tied the Lexus in the rankings," said Krafcik.

Hyundai began selling cars in the U.S. 23 years ago, and it is trying to grow and surpass many of their competitors by building up their product line as quickly as possible.

In terms of gas mileage and fuel efficiency, Hyundai is aiming for a 35 mile-per-gallon average by 2015 in their V6 model; and with the government "Cash-for-Clunkers" program a person would be able to receive up to a $3,500 government voucher for the Genesis.


Hyundai plans to develop more upscale models like the Genesis; they have other plans for manufacturing higher quality and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

At the same time, the company will reinvest in its existing brands, Krafcik said.

"We have to continue to reinvest, I think, in cars like Accent, which was No. 2 in its segment in JD Powers, and the Elantra, which won its segment as the No. 1 compact car."