By on July 11, 2017

2016 Hyundai Genesis Right Hand Drive - Image: Hyundai UK“The Genesis was never built for the European market,” Hyundai UK director Tony Whitehorn says. “It was conceived for the Korean and American markets.”

And now, with the second-generation Hyundai Genesis sedan languishing in the United Kingdom while Hyundai launches the Genesis brand in North America, the Hyundai Genesis Americans now know as the Genesis G80 has been discontinued as in the UK.

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Autocar reports that the Genesis brand, meanwhile, doesn’t have a concrete launch date in the UK, though there were earlier intentions for Hyundai to debut Genesis in 2018.

Only 50 — not 5,000, not 500, just 50 — copies of the Hyundai Genesis have been sold across the UK since 2015. Hyundai sells more than 8,300 vehicles per month in the UK.

Limiting the launch of the Genesis brand in the UK is the absence of right-hand-drive models in the current Genesis fleet. Moreover, Hyundai UK recognizes one key limiting factor that continues to hamper the brand’s chances of near-term success in the United States: Genesis launched without an SUV.

The ungainly GV80 Concept from 2017’s New York International Auto Show isn’t in the immediate offing. Whitehorn told Autocar late last year, “When we bring out the SUV, there will be more interest.”

Hyundai UK believes annual sales would need to rise above 5,000 units to justify a unique dealer network. If Genesis launched in the UK by selling the vehicles through Hyundai dealers, the instant loss of status would be disastrous.

“The challenge for us,” says Whitehorn, “is that this market is dominated by German manufacturers.” Indeed, Genesis must steal sales from the German luxury trio of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. They’re the UK’s fourth, fifth, and sixth-best-selling auto brands outright.

Genesis, meanwhile, has largely proven capable of stealing U.S. sales from its spiritual predecessor, Lexus. Unfortunately, in the UK, there just aren’t many Lexus sales to steal. For every Lexus sold in the UK in the first-half of 2017, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi have sold 44 vehicles.

“The Genesis of today is more of an American car,” Whitehorn says. While the current car was installed in Hyundai UK’s lineup as a trial, the trial did not go particularly well.

In the United States, the new Genesis brand has sold 9,919 sedans so far this year: 7,666 G80s and 2,253 G90s.

[Image: Hyundai UK]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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14 Comments on “With No Immediate Plans For Genesis, Hyundai UK Drops Genesis, Awaits Genesis Of Genesis...”

  • avatar

    Paging Phil Collins….

  • avatar

    I thought the Genesis sales in the US were kinda low but I had no idea how low volume most luxury cars are. The G90 is outselling the LS and the G80 is outselling 80% of its competition too. That’s pretty impressive for a brand most people don’t know exists. If they launch their first CUV without any hiccups, they could make quite a mark in the states. Especially with all the missteps Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus have had lately.

    • 0 avatar

      Dude what fairy tale land are you coming from? The G80 is getting destroyed by the Lexus ES, E-Class, 5Series, A6. Shoot the Nissan Maxima laps the Hyundai…
      Infiniti is the fastest selling luxury brand at the moment so no missteps there

    • 0 avatar

      Crazy isnt it?

      I almost bought a G80, because I wanted a luxury car but I hated the crappy reliability and high repair costs of BMW, and Mercedes. I thought about lexus, but then settled on the G80.

      The only reason I didn’t buy it is it drove like crap, so I bought a Hyundai Sonata (yes, after owning a BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, and porsche- I happily bought a Hyundai Sonata 2.0t limited and love every second of it)

      But the allure was there on the G80, of a quality, reliable, maintainable luxury car without all the brand baggage of the other OEMs.

      I know on paper the G80 is great, but I didn’t find it nearly as precise in practice. The Sonata has the greatest torque converter I’ve ever seen on an automatic

    • 0 avatar

      The brand new G90 is just barely outselling the Lexus LS, except the LS is a very long in the tooth model where everyone is waiting for the 2018 model to arrive at the dealership. The new LC based on the new LS platform is already outselling the G90 despite being a six figure priced car, and when the new LS arrives it’ll completely crush the G90 in sales despite being a much pricier car. The story is the same with the GS-sales are down over 50% yoy just because it’s such an old model at this point, so you’re comparing the sales of a brand new Genesis model to vehicles on their last legs to eek out a favorable comparison.
      Either way, all people buy these days are SUVs so the real competition won’t even begin until Genesis has an answer to the RX and NX.

  • avatar

    Lexus is a bit player in Europe, in part because they don’t do diesels. Infiniti and Acura don’t exist in Europe. Cadillac has made several failed attempts to crack Europe. Genesis and Hyundai don’t even have the brand credentials of any of those failures, so they have no chance against the Germans on their home turf.

    • 0 avatar
      Marcin Laszuk

      Infiniti does, in fact, exist in Europe, although it’s hard to fault you for not knowing that: with the exception of Russia and Poland (IIRC) where it’s moderately successful for its price range, Infiniti barely registers on the sales charts; nobody’s buying their stuff.
      As for the rest of your comment, you’re spot on.

    • 0 avatar

      Not surprising at all.

      The market in Europe for large sedans is limited, esp. taking out fleet sales (where having diesel and a small petrol/T4 powertrain are a must).

      In order to have any chance of succeeding across the Pond, the Genesis brand will need the G70 and its equivalent crossover (if not an even smaller sedan and CUV which aren’t in the works), not to mention having PHEV versions.

      In contrast, Hyundai is going ahead with the launch of the Genesis brand in Australia – which will be getting the G80 Sport followed by the G70.

      The major difference is that there is a private market in Australia for larger, more powerful sedans.

  • avatar

    Even here in italy is no longer imported, due poor sales. I’ve never seen a Genesis on the italian roads.

  • avatar

    I’m guessing the UK is the only RHD market in which the Genesis is sold? Do they sell these things in Japan? If not, then pouring money into the RHD conversion seems like a huge waste of money – especially since they only sold 50 of them!

    • 0 avatar

      It appears they sell RHD models in Australia. But they’re probably not building enough of them to service two RHD markets that are so far apart.

      • 0 avatar

        Thank you for the response. How could I forget Australia? They do love Hyundais Down Under!

        I’m guessing the car is slightly more successful in Australia. Badge aside, I can imagine that for Europeans the big Hyundai is simply, well, too large given their small parking spaces and garages. Australia is pretty much like the US (big cars are not really a deterrent to buyers) except with the steering wheel on the “wrong side!”

        • 0 avatar

          Not that it’s a big seller down under, but the Genesis outsells the GS and Q70 and should do so even more when the Sport model with the 3.3TT arrives.

          The Kia Stinger already has more pre-orders in Australia than what Infiniti sold all of last year.

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