Almost every major car company has a premium brand. For example, Nissan has Infiniti, Honda has Acura, and Toyota has Lexus. Until recently, Hyundai had nothing. While they introduced the Equus brand more than a decade ago, we have yet to see a car from the new brand. However, this is soon to change. Hyundai is bringing back Equus and revamping their brand with a luxury option.
How will this new luxury car brand work out for the established car maker? Equus has the right general sound for a luxury car brand, vaguely Latin and yet strong. In addition, the root of the word means horse, a symbol of strength, speed, and grace that is often used in automobiles and related fields. In addition, the car brand has the support of the South Korean government. The leaders of the government have been seen using the car in conspicuous, official ways, which makes the car seem more official somehow.
Like many car brands, the Equus will actually have two official emblems: the logo design, and a hood ornament. The car company logo features the modified square that we have come to associate with autos, but with a winged shape inside instead of a stylized H or other emblem. The winged shape has a solid, strong trunk that adds a feeling of power and prominence. This winged shape is the basis of the hood ornament as well, although here the wings bend back from the trunk to give a feeling of movement and flow.
One of the obvious drawbacks of this brand is that the winged shape has no relation whatsoever to any horse we know, and the name of the brand rather demands a horse-related logo design. However, this is forgivable.
Another drawback is that both logos are too similar to others. The modified square is most commonly seen in Hondas, so people will wonder at first if they are seeing a Honda. Then again, the hood ornament strongly resembles that of a Rolls-Royce, so perhaps that is what you are seeing.
Then again, the cars themselves have a Hyundai logo design on the back, like a faded tattoo reminding people of a suburban housewife’s more common past. When was the last time you saw the word ‘Toyota’ on a Lexus? Never? That’s what we thought. This Hyundai logo design is in addition to the two different Equus logos as well, making for one logo-heavy vehicle with no real brand.
People buy a Lexus or Infiniti because of the styling and the brand—otherwise you are dealing with a Toyota or Nissan at heart. In order to be successful, the Equus needs to promote as strong of a brand and offer the same increase in styling. We can’t comment on the styling because we aren’t auto experts, but we can say confidently that the brand is simply not up to par. Hopefully, the car’s brand is refined over the next few months so it can find success in the recession-tightened American market.