Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hyundai Equus | Wired.com Product Reviews

This is the back seat of a Korean car:  Yes, that car was made in Korea, not in Germany. And it costs less than many domestic SUVs. And it costs less than many German luxury cars that come nowhere in size or features. The only question is if it can deliver the same level of quality. 
Do you remember back when Honda was launching Acura and people couldn't believe that there was a market for high end Japanese cars? Honda was right, people were willing to pay more as long as the product was better. Suddenly the Germans, used only to compete against themselves, had now to worry about people buying Acura, Lexus and Infinity cars instead of Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
And it gets worse! Ask anyone my age (39) or older and we have very strongly defined brand perceptions that still put Cadillac, and the German brands, above anything else in terms of luxury and performance. Ask people under 30 or so, and that perception is gone because their exposure to cars started after the Japanese started launching their luxury brands. To them Acura, Infinity and Lexus are at least equal, or superior, to Cadillac and the German brands.
As for Korean cars: the Hyundai cars that we were exposed to were cheap boxes with wheels, but look at what Hyundai is selling right now and it is at least as good as any Japanese car sold a couple of years ago. In another decade or so, people won't hesitate to pay a premium for a luxury car built in Korea.