Wisely, Hyundai's Genesis Brand Will Not Move Any Further Downmarket
First, Hyundai wanted American consumers to accept the XG300 as a luxury car alternative. If two decades ago such an idea seemed ludicrous, the XG300 — later the XG350 and then the Azera — set the stage for 2018, a year in which a Hyundai luxury spinoff, Genesis, would complete its luxury sedan lineup.
Genesis Motors launched in the United States one year ago with the full-size G90 sedan (the Hyundai Equus in a prior generation) and midsize G80 sedan (renamed from the Hyundai Genesis). In September 2017, we saw the production version of the BMW 3 Series-rivalling Genesis G70, set to arrive in showrooms this winter.
Yet while there will be more vehicles from Genesis, including SUVs and quite likely a coupe, Genesis senior vice president Manfred Fitzgerald says the sedan lineup is complete. The fledgling brand will not be moving downmarket into the CLA250/A3/CT200h arena.
For the sake of Genesis Motors’ luxury aspirations, that’s a good thing. Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the G70 in Seoul, Manfred Fitzgerald told the Aussie publication, “We have a pretty clear strategy planned out with what we want to do. Therefore the sedan line-up is pretty complete with the G90, G80 and G70.”
Fitzgerald told Car And Driver that, rather than looking four or five years down the road, he looks five or ten years into the future and hopes to get to a place where “Made in Korea” is established with a premium orientation. To do so, the brand would be poorly served by the kind of downmarket push that can reflect poorly even on storied brands.
“Going lower than that [G70], like the others are — I don’t think that is in our playbook,” Fitzgerald says. “Other brands, due to their history and where they’re going from where they are, they might think otherwise.”
In other words, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class, AMG GT, SL-Class, GLS-Class, and numerous other models have secured the brand’s premium image, affording them the opportunity to stretch the brand’s parameters. As for Genesis’ operations in the U.S., Fitzgerald says, “We’re nowhere in terms of awareness.”
The brand boss is still happy to see the sales results achieved by the G80 and G90, particularly in the context of that awareness gap. 20,314 Genesis G80/G90 sedans have been sold in America since August 2016, a tiny number compared with the 27,000 cars and SUVs sold by Mercedes-Benz USA every month, but a number that lacks a measure of relevance until Genesis has its own network.
Already, you’ll recall, those plans are in flux. Only months after the first Genesis sales, the brand’s U.S. boss, Erwin Raphael, revealed his feelings about the dealer network.
It was too large.
More recently, Raphael revealed plans to adjust the brand’s dealer plans sooner and more thoroughly than previously expected. This whole G80-beside-an-Accent methodology ain’t ideal. A $29,999 Genesis G60 posing as a luxury car wouldn’t the brand any favors, either.
[Images: Genesis Motors]
JerseyRon on Sep 22, 2017
The Hyundai dealership in my county is housed in a small building that fits only two vehicles. The time I was there, they had an Elantra and an Accent inside. They don't have an on-site service department. Hyundai buyers take their vehicles to the Mazda dealership (with same ownership) a couple of miles down the highway. Such a setting cannot compare to the experience provided at a Lexus dealership.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
- Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
- ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
- ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
- ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.