By on September 12, 2018


Despite producing comprehensively equipped and comfortable sedans with a nearly unbeatable price and warranty, Genesis Motors is in trouble. Sedans aren’t selling like they used to and the company doesn’t have anything else to offer customers right now. Its first utility model, the GV80, won’t appear on dealer lots until 2020. But, upon its arrival, the mid-sized crossover will still have to contend with brand snobbery.

The GV80 will be going toe-to-toe with everything from the Infiniti QX60 and Lincoln MKX to the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. Genesis will need to do everything in its power to ensure the model stands out and brings everything to the table it can without going over budget. It will also need some company, which is why the brand is also planning on introducing the smaller GV70, some refreshed sedans, and at least one sports coupe.

Those units won’t be here until 2021 at the earliest. Genesis is planning a whole stable of crossover vehicles over the next five years. The first, as previously stated, will be the GV80 that debuted as a fuel-cell concept in 2017. Slated to launch alongside the revamped G80 sedan, the pair will share an all-new platform offering rear and all-wheel drive applications.

Erwin Raphael, executive director of Genesis Motor America, recently wrapped about Genesis’ product strategy with Car and Driver and confirmed that the brand’s first SUV will go on sale in early 2020. The outlet’s takeaway was that the model would utilize powertrains akin (or identical) to what’s currently offered on the G80 sedan. That means V6s, both with and without forced induction, and a reasonably sized V8.

Meanwhile, the GV70 will be based on the highly enjoyable G70 sedan. Raphael said that the debut of an entry-level SUV “could be a great time to introduce other powertrains.” While the small crossover may play host to a series of brand-new motors, there’s also a chance it’ll be forced to make do with updated versions of the existing turbo four-pot and twin-turbo V6 installed in the revamped G70. Raphael hinted that those new units could be hybrid and pure-electric systems.

The flagship G90 sedan is also slated to get a refresh for 2019, meaning the debut is probably right around the corner. If Genesis has one shortcoming it’s in the styling of its current lineup. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, it’s just slightly derivative. The Korean-born cars are plenty handsome but they also look like the bastard child of Audi and Mercedes-Benz attempting to go incognito at a family function.

Raphael also said Genesis was in midst of developing a sports coupe. However, that model will still be several years in the making. The automaker hasn’t even decided on the market segment, engine options, or pricing for the model.

While that vehicle won’t be the super-sexy Genesis Essentia grand tourer, Raphael said it may still enter into production eventually. Debuting as a concept model at the New York International Auto Show in the spring, the Essentia was a sleek, critically acclaimed EV that the company has been careful not to ignore. Numerous representatives have noted that it’s currently under consideration for production and could serve as the brand’s incubator for new ideas and cutting-edge technology. Think Mercedes-Benz S-Class if it were a limited run, performance-oriented coupe.

From Car and Driver:

While nothing has been approved for production yet, Raphael said that “we are very committed to the Essentia,” adding that, if produced, it would be “a statement car,” one built in limited quantities and priced higher than anything in the current lineup. Reception for the Essentia was overwhelmingly positive, and it’s clear that the brand really wants to make it happen. (There is a possibility that the Essentia would take the place of the planned sports coupe instead of supplementing it, but nothing has been set in stone.)

We’d love to see it but it’s a trivial concern compared to the upcoming crossovers. Genesis’ annual deliveries in the United States were 20,612 last year and 2018 is not on course to meet that figure. The brand desperately needs a couple of high-volume models and a pair of crossovers could help keep it afloat while consumers realize that there’s nothing wrong with sedans because Genesis builds some fine ones.

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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17 Comments on “Genesis Still Two Years Away From Adding Much-needed Utility Vehicles to Lineup, Essentia Under Consideration...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Those concepts are pretty concept-y, but I like them.

    “Meanwhile, the GV70 will be based on the highly enjoyable G70 sedan.” Great, but where in the heck is the G70 sedan? I see it’s for sale in Canada, but not yet in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Yeah, the G70 is ready to go. They just can’t get their brand/dealer strategy in order. I think they’re waiting to sort out which dealerships will be allowed to sell the thing. They’re really missing the boat on that car. There were a lot of reviews of the G70 last week because Genesis was hosting auto journalists, but anyone in the US reading those articles has nowhere to go buy a car.

      At least the Stinger is a looker.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    2021 is a good ~10-15 years too late.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Hyundai is getting a lot like Ford and FCA with their slow timetables of concept to sales floor introductions. I’m still waiting on the Santa Cruz to show up

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      There are concepts and there are almost ready for production “concepts.”

      The Santa Cruz was never going to show up earlier as it is dependent on a new platform that will underpin the next gen Tucson.

      Same deal with the GV80 – underpinned by a new platform that will be shared w/ the next gen G80.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Looks like Alfa Romeo will continue to outsell Genesis in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      My gut tells me Alfa has peaked. I expect a sales decline to start in the next year or two.

      • 0 avatar
        Acd

        Plan B: More subsidized leases and biiiiig rebates.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          You need money to subsidize leases. Alfa ain’t got it

          They are on Jaguar’s trajectory. There are too many compact luxury sedans/crossovers… next downturn is going to cull the herd

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Rolled through an Alfa dealer by accident a few months ago (I was looking for a Fiat 124, but the Fiat end of the dealership vanished long ago). I hadn’t gotten out of the car before I realized my mistake, but I thought the salesman was going to throw himself in front of my car to stop me from leaving.

        There are probably some deals to be had on Alfas, at least in Annapolis. To this point, I’ve still only seen two of them on the road. One in DC, one in LA.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Doubt that.

      The Giulia has been doing about 1k in sales the past few months.

      Kia, otoh, has been selling 1,500 Stingers/month.

      Genesis should be able to sell a similar # of G70’s to Stingers, but what will hold them back initially is the dealership situation.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “and a reasonably sized V8”

    I have extreme doubts that any V8 will find its way into the GV80 or next G80. There might be a big-power turbo V8 for the G90/GV90, but the naturally-aspirated Tau is toast.

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      I agree that the NA Tau is probably on its way out the door, but I could see a twin-turbo or supercharger (like the 4.6 they showed years ago) making its way into a G80 Sport more deserving of its name.

      From what I’ve read, the 3.3TT is going to be replaced by a 3.5TT of ~400hp–simultaneously replacing the NA 5.0, and a new, 2.5T I4, making about 300hp, will be the new G80 base engine. That would definitely leave space for a ~500hp V8 of some sort on top, to be shared with the next G90 and maybe their non-Essentia sports coupe.

      What I think the company really needs to focus on–in addition to hurrying these CUV’s–is integrating some kind of electrification into their lineup. China represents a big opportunity for everyone, and it’s only a matter of time before they starting instituting stricter emissions control laws in the big cities of China proper. Hyundai’ve spent money on the 48V mild hybrid system for their and Kia’s cheaper models; spread that around and make it standard on every Genesis. That, and a new, less anonymous badge.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Surveying the used listings for Genesis I’m not seeing all that many being equipped with V8 to begin with.

        I understand the appeal of the V8, but unless you’re buying brand new they are devilishly hard to find.

        Living “at altitude” as I do I’m having some very positive experiences with turbo engines, even with carrying a bias into the situation that I was predisposed not to like them.

  • avatar
    bd2

    If TTAC is going to keep posting articles on Genesis, they need to get the story right.

    Sales of the G80 and G90 have fallen as much as they have b/c shipments of the 2018 G80’s and G90’s were halted in March – as production of the 2018MY ended and production of the 2019 models had begun to coincide w/ the launch of the 2019 G70, which was originally slated for April/May.

    But due to various issues w/ the establishment of the Genesis dealer network, the launch of the G70 and the other 2019 models have been delayed; the 2019 models have been on sale in Canada for months as they have a direct from manufacturer distribution model.

    So, not only has inventory been scarce, Genesis has stopped supporting sales (whether it be advertisement or incentives).

    Genesis has at least 3 CUVs in the pipeline – the GV80, GV70 and GV60.

    They are also developing 2 dedicated BEV platforms, so in all likelihood, will see at least 1 (maybe 2) BEV CUVs down the road.

    The GV70 CUV won’t look much like the G70 sedan as it, like the GV80 and the next generation G80 are getting the Essentia design language.

    The facelifted G90 is getting some Essentia cues as well (mostly the light and grille treatment); so in due time, the G70 will undergo a similar change when it’s time for ite refresh.

    As for powertrains – there will be a slew of new components, starting w/ a new 2.5T 4 cyl engine that will serve as the new base engine for the G80 (and filter on to other models).

    The 3.3T will get bumped up to a 3.5T and there has been talk of adding a 3.0T to the engine lineup as well (not yet confirmed).

    There has also been talk of implementing a 48V system as standard for the lineup.

    In addition, there will be a new 10 spd AT.

    W/ a 3.5T (400+ HP), likely won’t see the NA Tau in the GV80; would not be surprised, however, if Genesis is working on a smaller displacement FI V8.

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      Seems like we’re following the same news sites. I just hope that Genesis adopts some of the Korean ppalli ppalli to get these things to market; the window of opportunity is small.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Will there be trim variants of the Essentia, labeled “Essentia L”
    and Essentia LS”?


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