Car buying is a notoriously difficult process. Often associated with anxiety and hours of negotiating, for most people buying a car usually falls somewhere between bumping into an ex on a bad hair day and going to the dentist. But with Hyundai's new Equus flagship sedan, the goal is simple: make car-buying as easy and painless as possible.
When Equus hits Hyundai dealerships by the end of this summer, it will not have a "no haggle" price tag. Instead, the Korean automaker's goal is to change the process of buying a car, aiming at customers who don't have the time or desire to spend an entire day at a Hyundai dealership.
Don't want to go to the dealership to test drive the Equus? No problem. Make an appointment, and a salesperson will bring it to your house or office so you can take it for a spin. Don't want to sort through complex trim levels and option packages to find the ones you want? Also not a problem with the Equus, which comes in just two trims – Signature and Ultimate. Signature comes standard with everything you'd want – a rearview camera, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, and a big V8 – while Ultimate adds specialty items, like cooled and reclining rear seats featuring a rear entertainment system. Perhaps the best part is Hyundai's commitment to provide Equus or Genesis loaner cars to all Equus owners who come in for service.
By courting the buyer who doesn't enjoy the car-buying process, Hyundai dealers will undoubtedly waste time chasing down loose ends and false leads. But that's OK to Hyundai, who hopes to sell just 2,000 to 3,000 units of the $60,000 sedan in the States in its first year. Lexus sells that many units of its flagship LS sedan in less than three months, so it's easy to see how Hyundai can provide such personalized customer service.
Despite its somewhat steep base price, the Equus offers a list of standard equipment unrivaled by competitors costing nearly twice as much. Adding personalized service like out-of-dealership test drives is just another mark in its favor – and an iPad for an owners' manual is a pretty neat touch, too. But will a big, V8 Hyundai find a market in the U.S.? That's the $60,000 question.