There’s no doubt Hyundai has what it takes to build cars that can compete with top brands in the luxury segment, with current high-end models like the Genesis and Equus sedans proving that the South Korean automaker can build truly world class luxury cars.

Unfortunately, Hyundai has one major shortcoming, its name is synonymous with budget cars (though that reputation is starting to change a little). That means if Hyundai really wants to compete with the likes of Lexus and Infiniti, it’s going to need to separate its luxury models from its regular fleet, something the automaker is considering doing by launching a new brand.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Hyundai’s U.S. chief, John Krafcik, revealed there could be a new brand launched along with several new models.

2010 Hyundai Genesis

2010 Hyundai Genesis

There are currently three branding scenarios under consideration. The most likely is to create a separate brand called "Genesis" that will include several high-end models, all of which will be sold through Hyundai’s existing dealer network but in a separate section of the showroom.

In addition to the current Genesis and Equus sedans Krafcik revealed that a new sports sedan similar to the Lexus IS and BMW 3-Series could be launched, as well as a luxurious crossover built along the lines of the Lexus RX.

The other scenarios involve simply badging the new models as Hyundais or establishing a completely separate dealer and sales network exclusively for the new brand, a strategy that could easily end up costing millions.

However, before you start thinking we’re about to get yet another new brand in this already crowded automotive market, Krafcik cautioned that there’s no rush on any decision.

"One of the keys to this plan is how well the Equus does," he explained. "We don't need to make a decision for some time" on the branding question.

[The Wall Street Journal]