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Hyundai's Genesis Brand Is A Legitimate Challenger To German Luxury Automakers

Few people who can afford a $65,000 to $75,000 luxury car will consider spending that kind of scratch on a Hyundai. It’s a transaction that doesn’t compute for anyone not born in the carmaker's home country of South Korea.

Pretty good reason then that Hyundai – eager to tap into the luxury profit margins enjoyed by BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus – is calling its luxury brand “Genesis,” the name it gave its first upscale sedan modeled after the BMW 5-Series, and a coupe it pitted against, among other two-seaters, The Ford Mustang. Then came the Hyundai Equus, a shot at the heart of the luxury sedan market, but that sold roughly as well as parkas in Hawaii.

As names go, Genesis is a pretty good one. And the toothy wide mouth grille topped by the spread-wing ornament of the 2017 Genesis G90 makes for a pretty nice arrival. Still new enough to be largely unknown, each time the valet brought my 90 out for me at my Los Angeles hotel, the car caught comments and curiosity, and not one offered a “pffffffft.” It was more like “what is that?” “How Much?” “Pretty nice.” “Wow!”

None of Hyundai’s previous attempts at luxury–the Genesis and Equus– was really a legitimate threat to Lexus and Mercedes. But let me just say to the German brands writing off the new Genesis G90…Achtung! Yes, pay attention. The South Koreans have the drive, the resources and the commitment to make a dent in your market. And the 90, as well as its less expensive showroom mate, the 80, have made quite an impression.

Perfect? No. But Hyundai and its Genesis division have a machine that is only going to get better with each refreshed design and new model.

And the G90 is a lot of car already. To get the equipment, features and technology that are in the $72,000 top of the line G90, you’d easily encroach on or surpass $100,000 with an Audi A8, BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class.

LED daytime running and tail lamps; 12.3-inch navigation screen; cut and stitched multi-layered dash; surround sound stereo; 22-way power seats with both heating and cooling features; climate and audio controls in the rear-seat console, giving a limousine feel to the car; adaptive cruise control; three years of free scheduled maintenance; valet services, Genesis Connected Services, SiriusXM Travel Link and Map care for the navigation system. The only thing wanting perhaps is some of the state-of-the-art accident avoidance tech.

The Koreans got the exterior very much right, though the C-pillar (behind the rear windows) feels a bit chunkily carved. But this is a small thing, and does not overshadow the overall substantial feel of the car.

Hyundai Veloster changing the rules

THE 2017 Hyundai Veloster is a mix of sportiness and practicality. But yet, somehow, it manages to be its own thing.

On the outside, the Veloster is able to pull off the unusual paradox of being non-descript and eye-catching. At first, its sloping roofline says coupe; however, the rapid transition to the trunk screams hatchback, which it is. Then comes the next step that would have everyone doing a double take.

Hatchbacks are traditionally classified as either three door (passenger, driver side and trunk) or 5 door — passenger, driver side, two matching rears, and trunk. Yet, the Hyundai bucks the standard vehicular symmetrical design trend for what is ultimately the Veloster’s ‘killer app’. It’s a four-door hatchback.

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Magna Motors hailed for most improved market for service in Latin America

Hyundai Motor Company, Miami, has hailed Magna Motors Dealership Limited as the most improved market for service in the Latin America region for 2016.

The recognition is based on Magna Motors’ After Sales performance in the categories of customer satisfaction, parts performance, training certification and collaboration; and puts Magna Motors on the leader board among 41 countries of the region in just its first full year of operations.

Elis Jimenez, After Sales Manager, Magna Motors Dealership Limited, said he is delighted that the team’s work has been recognized. "We are happy with the recognition as our team of Hyundai-certified technicians work meticulously to uphold the standards of the global Hyundai brand. Our job is to satisfy our customers and this award has proved just that,” he said. Jimenez added, “Our mission is to have devoted customers and that means delivering first class service every time. We will continue to embrace that philosophy for 2017 and the coming years.”

You can now control your Hyundai through Google Home

Hyundai’s Blue Link service, in addition to offering automatic emergency support, lets owners control various aspects of their cars remotely through a connected smartphone, Apple Watch, or Android Wear device. At CES 2017, the car company announced a new partnership with Google to add voice control for your car through the Google Home.

That means that various Blue Link remote access functions like starting your car or unlocking the doors can be controlled simply by talking to your Google Home. Additionally, Blue Link supports Google Maps, so Home can look up addresses using Google’s mapping data, deliver the results, and send directions straight to your car all through voice control.

None of this is exactly new, per say — Hyundai’s offered similar support through smartphones and smartwatches for a while, and we’ve even seen an Alexa-controlled Tesla hack. That said, Hyundai’s implementation is one of the first official integrations for controlling a car with a digital home assistant. Additionally, Hyundai claims that it’ll be adding more features before it launches the Action for Google Home, but currently isn’t offering an estimate as to when it will be available.

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