Hyundai aims Veracruz at Lexus RX: Underestimates US demand

It seems like Hyundai continues to act like they are playing in the big league. In an interview yesterday, product chief development John Krafcik said, “We underestimated demand for the premium trim level on the Veracruz.” The Hyundai Veracruz is the Korean auto makers most expensive vehicle ever starting at $26,306.

According to Krafcik, the Veracruz is aimed at Lexus and their RX model. Hyundai plans to roll out an ad campaign later this summer making a head-to-head comparison with the Lexus RX 350.

The seven-passenger SUV is part of Hyundai’s plan to be seen by American consumers as more than a discount car maker. Krafcik said Hyundai had only planned to sell between 1,400 and 1,500 of the new Veracruz crossovers in June. Since its launch in April, Hyundai has sold over 1,900 units of the SUV.

“It’s that one that has been the hardest to get,” said Krafcik, adding that the shortage at dealers was “a good sign” for Hyundai’s strategy of changing the perception of its brand.

Hyundai hopes to capture more of the US market in 2008 with the launch of the Hyundai Genesis and a five-door wagon version of the Elantra. Currently Hyundai has roughly 3 percent of the US market and reported almost flat US sales in 2006 at just over 455,000 vehicles.

Krafcik said Hyundai was holding to a 2007 full-year sales target of 500,000 vehicles.

Related: Hyundai to offer diesel engine in the US


2007 Hyundai Veracruz Gallery:



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