QOTD: Missing in Action?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

A tweet inspired me to write this. Hey, stop running away! This has nothing to do with Elon Musk or Tesla or Well, mobility in the nerdy, Jim-Hackett-on-a-Bird-scooter sense, anyway.

Yesterday, Corey Lewis took to social media to drip saliva all over a large, dignified, rear-drive, V8-powered sedan (or at least one that can be configured as such). This vehicle brought together enough pleasing elements, enough ingrained appeal, to cause our picky resident perfectionist to cast a sultry online gaze at this seldom-seen contemporary sedan.

No doubt about it, I shared Corey’s feelings towards this car. It looks good, it’s a comparative bargain in its class, and it will make a great used vehicle one day thanks to depreciation that’s surely greater than that of its German and Japanese competitors. And yet it’s one of those available vehicles that never turns up in real life. To me, it may as well be a ghost that exists on the internet and in the pages of magazines. It is a vehicle I only laid eyes on once, 26 months ago, at a first (and perhaps last) drive event.

That vehicle is the Genesis G90, a rear- or all-wheel drive luxury sedan available with a 5.0-liter V8 or a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6, each mated to the smoothest eight-speed I’ve ever driven. The proportions are correct, as is the styling and content. A long, elegant hood and large (but not obscene) grille, a formal roofline, and abbreviated trunk. Wheels like high-bypass turbofan blades.

Upper-crust traditionalists nod appreciatively, drink in hand.

After that Vancouver first drive event back in the summer of 2016, the media testers were bundled back to where they came from, the journalists flew home, and the model itself soon went on sale. Somewhere. Genesis sales data tells me that the issue here might be one of regional demand. In the U.S., total G90 sales since the start of sales amounts to 7,164 vehicles. Not exactly vanishingly rare. Just rare. In Canada, however, the country that has no time for sedans but all the money in the world for trucks and SUVs purchased just 178 G90s over the same time frame.

178 vs. 7,164. Clearly, a good G90 sales month in Canada breaks into double-digit volume. I may as well have been on the lookout for Amelia Earhart, the Loch Ness Monster, or civility in political discourse.

A far more endangered beast is the rare albino eleph— er, Kia K900, which makes the G90 look as popular as free Taylor Swift tickets at a teen protest march. Genesis’ Korean cousin unloaded just 26 Canadian K900s in 2016, then watched the spectral sedan’s volume plunge the following year. Volume stands at seven vehicles for 2017. So far this year? Four. Americans seem to be in agreement that the K900 is a rumor and not a car that can actually be purchased — year to date, just 260 found buyers south of the border.

I have never laid eyes on a K900 and I suspect you haven’t, either. Maybe it’s the same story for the G90, or perhaps another vehicle that only appears on milk cartons. Tell us, which vehicle did you have ample reason to believe you’d see in the wild, but haven’t?

[Images: Genesis Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • EX35 EX35 on Oct 18, 2018

    The equus/k900 looks great on paper. And then you drive one. Extremely disappointing. Terrible directional stability. Weak steering. Floppy suspension with zero of the bank vault feeling you get with the Germans. Save your money.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Oct 19, 2018

    What this article overlooks is the limitations of the new distribution/sales model Genesis undertook for Canada (Genesis USA has its own issues in that dept.) which has impacted sales. For Canada, Genesis took a one price/direct-from-manufacturer approach. While such a distribution/sales model may be the wave of the future for auto sales, it still is atypical for prospective buyers. Adding to the problem is that there are presently only 3 or 4 Genesis boutiques located at high end malls (prospective buyers still want to see and touch vehicles) in Canada. This change in distribution/sales has really impacted sales volume. For instance, when the Genesis sedan was sold at Hyundai dealerships, it regularly sold over 3k/yr (best year being nearly 4k) which dwarfed Lexus GS, much less Infiniti Q70, sales. Under the direct-from-Genesis approach, the G80 is on pace to sell around 400, which is a far cry from the 3k+ the Genesis sedan did. The G90 has yet to best the Equus in yearly sales and the unlike the Equus, the G90 is available w/ AWD. There are plans for more Genesis boutiques and for Genesis dealerships, but until they are built-out, sales will be limited.

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