2011 Hyundai Equus – First Drive Review September 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm by Justin Berkowitz

Encouraged by the success of the Genesis, Hyundai drives further up-market. When Hyundai announced the Genesis luxury sedan in 2008, some were skeptical. A $40,000 Hyundai? But the Genesis has been a hit with buyers, outselling the Audi A6 and Lexus GS combined. After two years on the market, sales of the Genesis are still increasing. Hyundai says this is a sign that American consumers are seeing the brand differently, and are ready for Hyundai to head even further up-market. And so, with the 2011 Equus, the company has its sights set on the top of the luxury heap: cars like the Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-class.

I’ve been thinking that it would not be at all a surprise if Hyundai’s plans were to spin off Genesis as a luxury brand, like Toyota did with Lexus.  They’ve been deliberately moving upmarket and differentiating models from Kia, improving fit-and-finish as well as styling and quality.  Could the Genesis and Equus models become their own brand? (via Instapaper)