Earlier in the month, April 3 to be precise, Hyundai filed a trademark for “Leonis” for a future product in the US. While filing of names for trademarks is not new in the industry to a casual observer but what has caught our attention is the proposed manner in which Leonis is to be used. In the application filed Hyundai has requested the nameplate to be used for a variety of vehicles including sports cars, RVs, buses, vans, trucks, and SUVs.
Hyundai currently practices its naming of cars on an individual model basis using alphanumeric or derived names like the Tucson, Santa Fe, Sonata, i10/20/30/40, etc. In some markets the Tucson is sold as the ix35. Likewise, Hyundai i45 is the Sonata sedan in some markets like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Colombia. In fact, the alphanumeric i-series nomenclature established by Hyundai has been used on some markets for a while.
Therefore, the natural assumption is that since Genesis is Hyundai’s premium luxury ticket and as Hyundai steadily moves upmarket with volume in mind, it may seem the appropriate time to prepare the ground for a new sub brand very much on the lines of Nissan which has Infiniti as premium luxury and Datsun as budget entry level. Or it could be used by marketing for better clarity within the expanding line-up. Watch this space as we keep track of the future moves by Hyundai.