Hyundai Motor Co. is raising prices on the refreshed 2014 Equus by 3 percent, or $1,750, to reflect additional standard equipment on the luxury sedan.
The 2014 Equus, with a revised grille, bumper, instrument panel and LED fog lights, went on sale this week at about 400 of Hyundai’s 826 U.S. dealerships, Hyundai said.
Base prices on the Signature trim line start at $61,920, including $920 for shipping. Prices on the Ultimate model start at $68,920, including shipping.
Hyundai expects the Signature line to account for 70 percent of 2014 Equus sales.
The Equus was launched in late 2010 to compete with the Lexus LS, Mercedes Benz S- class and other large luxury sedans, but at price points $10,000 or more below those models.
It is sold in a separate showroom within Hyundai’s U.S. dealerships. Perks include at-home vehicle demonstrations and free loaner vehicles for oil changes and vehicle repairs.
“Our premium competitors can’t do these things because their volume is too high,” John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said during a briefing for journalists on the 2014 model at the company’s Michigan technical center.
For 2014, the Ultimate model features new standard equipment that includes a larger 12.3-inch instrument cluster and display screen, head-up display, rear-seat entertainment system with dual, 9.2-inch monitors, a multi-view camera system, power door closures and power rear lumbar support. Hyundai has eliminated the 50-50 split rear seats with reclining function, rear console refrigerator and first-class seat with massage system and leg support.
The flagship 2014 Signature model also now includes a rear cross-traffic alert, snow driving mode, blind spot detection, smart cruise control with stop-start, a larger 9.2-inch front LCD screen, LED fog lights and three-zone climate control. The driver’s seat massage feature has been discontinued for 2014, Hyundai said.
U.S. sales of the Equus rose 24 percent last year to 3,972, but demand has slipped 23 percent to 1,527 units this year through June.
Ricky Lao, manager of product planning for Hyundai, said the sedan has benefited from traditional luxury buyers seeking more value after the 2007-09 recession.
The Equus has drawn buyers who previously had owned a Hyundai Genesis, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac and Infiniti, Hyundai officials said.
The large, premium sedan segment declined last year by 6 percent, but has expanded 41 percent this year through June, largely reflecting the introduction of the Cadillac XTS.
The Equus’ share of the segment has dropped from 4.8 percent in 2012 to 3.3 percent this year through June, according to Automotive News Data Center figures.