Hyundai Looks Toward Limousine Market – Car Pro News

The Academy Awards set the streets of Hollywood into a sea of limousines, and there’s one automotive newcomer to the black-car fleets that could upstage even the Oscar-winning stars themselves in a couple of years: Hyundai.
Just five years ago it would have been unthinkable: Ordering a limousine and getting picked up in a Hyundai.
Not today. With two luxury cars in its stable, Hyundai is making a serious pitch to limousine operators looking for sedans that can replace the Lincoln Town Car, which went out of production last year.
Writes LCT (limousine, charter, tour) Magazine, one of the voices of the limo industry, on its website:
Hyundai displayed the Genesis sedan at the 2012 International LCT Show last week, along with the Hyundai Equus premium luxury sedan. “We’re glad to show our vehicles at the show and that the industry is interested in what we have to offer,” said Hyundai Motor America corporate sales manager Richard Pipenhagen. “The Genesis is in a sweet spot regarding price.”
Hyundai has done pretty well with the Genesis and set such low sales expectations for the Equus, about 2,000 when it was introduced a year ago, that the target would be hard to miss. Tapping the limo industry is a natural extension of its consumer business:
Hyundai is offering discounts of $3,500 to fleet operators on the Genesis, which starts at $34,200, and $4,500 on the larger, plusher Equus. To prove that the cars can take the wear and tear of limo work, Hyundai is offering the same 100,000 or 10- year warranty on the cars that regular consumers get.
Genesis helped establish Hyundai as a serious, quality player after years of being seen as quality-challenged. At the same time, Ford’s decision to leave the rear-wheel-drive, full-size car segment after the Town Car sedan leaves the field open to other competitors. It is trying to get limo operators to buy a version of its front-wheel-drive Lincoln MKT crossover in place of the Town Car.
Equus and Genesis have advanced engines and rear-wheel drive, which could make them tougher and require less maintenance. Ford’s new offerings for the limo industry do not.


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