2015 Azera To Be Launched In The USA This Fall
Mike O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president of corporate and product planning, says the dealers in the Hyundai network are now referring to the Azera premium sedan as the “nicest car nobody knows about.”
There is definitely a lot to like about the Azera, yet sales are slow at best.
The arrival of the 2015 Sonata means that floor space will be needed in showrooms across the country, outing the future of the Azera in real peril.
The new Sonata has a brand new design that is sure to please those who didn’t care for the previous effort. It’s a more conservative take on the midsize sedan, giving it an almost upscale appearance.
The interior has more space than ever, as well as safety and comfort features that almost make the Azera obsolete. Even more so when you consider the new Sonata starts at just $21,150.
The Azera got its inaugural U.S. debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
It has never really been able to deliver strong numbers, and had been regularly beaten by its competitors.
The Azera has consistently lost out to the likes of the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, and Buick LaCrosse, even after a pretty significant price drop was announced for the 2014 model.
Does Sonata Have An Eedge over the 2015 Hyundai Azera?
Hyundai’s manager of product planning for 2015 Azera and Sonata, John Shon, believes that there are still some definite differences between the Azera and Sonata, as well as the upscale Genesis.
He believes that the Azera is a near-luxury model that fills the gap nicely between the Sonata and Genesis.
He explained that Hyundai customers often view the Azera as an upgrade vehicle, as those who buy are usually the ones that previously owned a Sonata.
The reality, though, is that the size of the step between the Sonata and the Azera is getting smaller, as the midsize sedan now has passenger and cargo space that is very close to what is delivered in the Azera.
The same rules apply when it comes to performance, except for the fuel economy, which is where the Sonata truly has a distinct edge over the Azera.
The materials used on the interior of the Sonata are leaning more towards upscale, which is another sign that the gap is closing.
It’s also worth noting that the marketing budget set aside for the Azera is small, with the largest chunk of money going towards marketing the Sonata and Elantra.
The 2015 version of the Azera will arrive on the scene in late fall, but what happens after that is very much up in the air.
Speaking to Autoblog, Shon said that no real decision had been made on the Hyundai Azera yet, stating that the decision could well rest on how well the Sonata and Genesis perform.
What is clear is that a third generation Azera near-luxury sedan will be made and sold in the domestic market, where it is a very big seller, but whether or not it will make it to the US is something that only time will tell.