Hyundai is hoping their new performance sub-brand will help reverse a downward trend in sales.
The N high-performance brand made its official debut this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show with three concepts and the announcement that production N models would begin rolling out in 2017. At first glance, Hyundai's N division has the credentials with former chief engineer of BMW's M division Albert Biermann heading the division. Biermann has said N models will be completely different from standard Hyundai models and that a development of a new engine for N is being considered.
“The next step is to increase the performance and to give our cars, when you drive the car, a little bit more of a driving character. We are really going for the established high-performance brands and want to compete with them,” said Biermann.
How could a performance brand help Hyundai out? The hope is the high-performance models will act as a draw for buyers to enter into a Hyundai showroom. The Korean automaker has seen sales slump due to them not being able to take advantage of the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles and crossovers.
The technology that the N division is working on will also go into future Hyundai models, providing another selling point for the brand.