By on August 6, 2019

A mainstream brand in 2019 without a crossover? It’s almost unthinkable, though not in the context of a fledgling marque and a rapidly changing automotive landscape.

Genesis Motors, the luxury ying to Hyundai’s everyman yang, is still recovering from a tumultuous 2018 in which its confused dealer strategy gradually became clearer. And it’s still taking shape, with some 318 U.S. dealers at last count amid rising, albeit modest, sales volumes. With more standalone stores on the way and a trio of models now in the stable, Genesis’ work has only just begun. It next needs to break into the all-too-important crossover market.

It looks like the first CUV salvo is almost ready to fire.

Spy photos sourced from Europe and published by Motor1 shows the brand’s first entry in the absolutely essential crossover field: the midsized GV80, cargo-conscious partner to the G80 sedan. Bearing a profile and grille pattern that strongly echoes the concept vehicle of two years ago, the three-row GV80’s unveiling should come later this year, with sales beginning either close to New Year’s or shortly thereafter.

Following on its heels by nearly a year will be a GV70 compact CUV, compatriot of the G70 sedan that makes up most of Genesis’ sales volume these days. A third, even smaller CUV may follow the GV70, and earlier this year the brand’s global executive VP spoke of an electric sedan and utility vehicle poised to land in 2021. With luxury automakers quickly going green, Genesis can’t be without a salve for environmental concerns.

So, you could definitely say Genesis is poised for growth, though exactly how much growth remains to be seen. Certainly, the brand boasted last month of a 38 percent sales gain over the first half of 2019 — a figure that would normally have champagne corks popping at any automaker. For Genesis, the growth reveals the marque’s fledgling status. The end of the first half of 2018 marked the beginning of a lengthy selldown of 2018 models in preparation for the new dealer strategy. The company wanted its crop of new, carefully chosen stores to open with only 2019 models on hand. Sales reached an all-time low in October of last year.

As well, the appearance of the G70 sedan in the fall of 2018 meant the model was coming into its own at the dawn of this year, boosting overall volume significantly — to the detriment of the preexisting G80 and G90 midsize and full-size sedans. Through the end of June, G80 and G90 sales fell 40.6 percent and 41.9 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the G70 accounted for 5,715 sales to the G80 and G90’s combined 4,292.

Stable volume in July (May represents the brand’s high-water mark, thus far), when combined with last year’s dwindling sales, made for an even loftier 47.2 percent year-to-date gain. Compared to 2017, however, that equates to a 1,251-unit loss.

Regardless, it’s small numbers when compared to other mainstream premium brands, to be sure. It will be interesting to see whether the brand’s upcoming crossovers can make themselves noticed in such a crowded and competitive field. Remember the all-new Infiniti QX50 crossover flopping onto the market not too long ago?

One thing that will help is good PR, and lately Genesis has plenty of it. Accolades from the motoring press and assurances of vehicle quality and brand appeal from consumer ratings publications are just the thing an upstart company needs to wave in front of buyers.

[Images: Genesis Motors]

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40 Comments on “Genesis Draws Ever Closer to Desperately Needed Crossover...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Appears it’s based on a RWD platform from the proportioning…thank God. The last thing we need is another bland fake-lux CUV out there…cough…Cadillac…cough…

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      FreedMike

      V = that’s Cadillac giving you 2 middle fingers. While keeping 1 hand on the steering wheel.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Cadillac actually flipped me off when it decided to try and sell me a glorified Chevy Traverse for seventy grand, or an Equinox for fifty. Matter of fact, I’d say that flips everyone off.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          V = that’s Cadillac giving you 2 middle fingers. While keeping 1 hand on the steering wheel.

          Cadillac has “SuperCruise” – they don’t need to keep one hand on the wheel.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I struggled to see value in the XT-6 as much as anyone, but last weekend a new white GLE350 showed up in the assigned parking space opposite my own. I thought it was a Nissan until I got close enough to read the chrome license plate trim ring that the dealer installed. I was curious what constitutes a GLE350, so I checked my phone only to discover that it is a pretty standard CUV powered by a 2.0T compliance engine that the local dealer lists for between $57K and $68K. Mercedes-Benz isn’t even one of the better 2.0T heat pump makers. She could have had a V6!

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            A V6 in the GLE 43 AMG yes, but the GLE450 is an inline 6.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You’re right, but Mercedes can get away with this kind of nonsense…because, Mercedes, I guess. Cadillac isn’t Mercedes.

            If nothing else, yes, the GL-whatever-they-call-it 2.0T is stupidly overpriced, but at least it shares showroom space with some highly aspiration-worthy stuff. Can Cadillac say the same thing? Unless you’re talking about the (discontinued) CTS-V or the (nowhere-to-be-found) CT6-V, the answer is “no.”

            At this point, I think Caddy’s better off doing a value play, ala Genesis. Rebuild from the bottom.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            @SC5door,

            “A V6 in the GLE 43 AMG yes, but the GLE450 is an inline 6.”

            I meant by going with Cadillac in this case in the name of being absurd. An RX350 or MDX would absolutely kill a GLE350 for anyone who isn’t hanging on to a Mercedes-Benz dream that died when there stopped being two Germanies.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          FreedMike

          1st The Cadillac XT4 & XT6 start around $35k & $52k. Only a butt hurt internet troll would use the fully loaded price in this context.

          2nd Hyundai doesn’t have any large powerful engines, and the G80 this vehicle is based on is not known for performance. What’s the point of RWD

          3rd If you don’t know the difference between a Chevy and a Cadillac, you should probably stick to the Asian Vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Hey, “Peter”, thanks for setting me straight. I should have looked closer. Here’s the actual figures:

            The XT4 starts at $36,690, not $35,000, and that’s for a FWD version. With no sunroof. With no navigation. With pleather seats. With the same 2.0T you’ll find in a Malibu. S**t, bruh, where do I sign up?

            The XT6 starts at $54,315, not $52,000, and that’s also for FWD only. With no navigation. With the same engine Chevy puts in a Blazer. But at least they toss leather and sunroof, which is darned sporting of them. I’m in!

            Meanwhile, why would I want a fully loaded AWD Equinox for $34,000 or a fully loaded Traverse for $53,000? Give me Cadillac!

            Glad we could get the value equation straight between us. And, yeah, there’s clearly a whole darn world of difference between Caddies and Chevys. I’m on my way to a Caddy dealer right now.

            Good talk…good talk.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            “2nd Hyundai doesn’t have any large powerful engines, and the G80 this vehicle is based on is not known for performance. What’s the point of RWD”

            They don’t have a 365 HP 3.3T or the 420 HP 5.0 Tau V8?

            Also–the current G80 is being replaced. The GV80 is based on the next generation G80 which is in development. GV80 is released first, then the G80. Try to get it right sometime.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            FreedMike

            Someone had a bad day. A sunroof isn’t standard equipment. The Malibu Premier comes with the 2.0T. MSRP is in the mid-30s. It’s like you never bought a new vehicle before.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Peter,

            A Camaro LT1 comes with a 6.2L; it’s MSRP starts in the mid-30s. Defending GM incompetence is an uphill battle that Barra will make impossible. You truly want to defend a supposed “luxury” car with an engine displacing 2L? Can you give me a reason for this that doesn’t include “muh euros”?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “With the same 2.0T you’ll find in a Malibu.”

            This is incorrect. The 2.0T in the Malibu makes more power and torque than what is being offered on the new 2.0T going into Cadillacs.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            Hummer

            C’mon you got to give the brand some entry level volume models. The CT4 & CT5 will have V and Blackwing model variants, and the next generation Escalades will come out around this time next year. Plus one of Cadillac’s cars will have a manual transmission as an option.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            As noted, Genesis has the 3.3TTV6 and the Tau V8, but neither engine will likely find its way to the NA GV80 (as well as the new G80) as the top engine will be the new 3.5TT which in “normal” tune will push out around 400 HP and can crest towards 500 HP w/ a performance tune.

            Compare that w/ what the RX/RX-L brings to the table, even in F-Sport guise (295 HP).

            Heck, if Genesis offers the 2.5TT as the base engine in the GV80 (as they will for the G80), that has more HP and torque than the V6 in the RX.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      No need to speculate.

      The GV80 is underpinned by a new (lighter) RWD platform that also underpins the new G80 and future Genesis models (will also get new powertrains among other things – like a Genesis exclusive UI).

      The smaller GV70 will also be RWD.

      What remains up in the air if the GV60 (X1, GLA competitor) will be RWD or FWD like the competition.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “Genesis can’t be without a salve for environmental concerns.”

    -That’s really what the whole hybrid/BEV CUV thing is….an out for coastal buyers who know they are purchasing an energy scarfing truck….but need to be able to boast their “green” hybrid cred. Bleh…I truly dislike this element of American car culture.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      And by the same token, Ram aims its’ Mucho Macho Power Rebel Wagon Hombre Edition at non-coastal folks who are looking to do their own kind of virtue signaling. The only difference is what virtue is being signaled.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    According to the “Motor1” link it looks like Hyundai was looking over Lincoln’s shoulder with this new GV80

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    The car pictured looks like a very attractive specimen, and if Hyundai’s reputation for high quality follows through in it, this could be a very successful car. One thing though- the slit-like headlights remind me of the old hidden-headlight look, which is an acquired taste for some.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    If Acura and Infiniti are limping, is there really room for Genesis?

    My neighbor has one, it’s been troublesome but the dealer is exceptional at hand-holding, so he’s fairly happy with it.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      If they undercut the other brands prices while increasing value… then maybe. Creating RWD vehicles will give them a small advantage but in the sort-of-luxury CUV / SUV market I would think its AWD or burst. Infiniti didn’t do themselves any favors with that rebranded Benz CUV, what a mess. Overall their lineup is ugly except the lovely Q60 coupe. Acura’s offerings are just fancy Hondas and I think every day more people are catching onto this fact.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Genesis isn’t going after the cheaper FWD Japanese crossovers.

      Like the Aviator, the GV80 will be a more affordable alternative to the X5 and GLE.

      Remains to be seen if that’s a viable business strategy, but w/ what the Germans are charging these days, don’t see why it wouldn’t.

      The GV80 won’t be cheaper than the Japanese.

      Going to have more power, space, luxury, amenities and tech than something like the RX-L.

      Likely will be priced around $50k at the start (undercutting the Aviator).

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Good gawd, it’s like they’ve been talking about this since the Pony first arrived in Canada. I guess this is what happens when you take the better part of a decade deciding whether or not to sh*t or get off the luxury marque pot.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Looks like it will be replacing the Lincoln MKT, as the official vehicle of Funeral homes everywhere.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Hmm, it’s the Genesis take on the Bentley Bentayga. The … Gentley?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Hyundai showing Guangzhou Motors (GM) how to PROPERLY aim to be a respectable standard!

    FreedMike nailed it:

    “Appears it’s based on a RWD platform from the proportioning…thank God. The last thing we need is another bland fake-lux CUV out there…cough…Cadillac…cough…”

    Not only is it a true rwd architecture, but it appears to be bespoke in almost all ways from other Hyundai platforms, has what appears to be impeccable fit/finish, truly premium interior materials, paint quality, other such things…

    Cadillac, now operating under Mary Barra’s ‘Roger Smith v2.0’ re-brand all the Chevys as Cadillacs playbook, keeps sinking lower and lower….and lower…and when you think they can’t sink lower…

    …you get a Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia with a Cadillac emblem for a MSRP of 70 grand.

    Guangzhou Motors is so lost that words fail…Hyundai embarrasses them with this and RAM humiliates them on their pickup truck front, just to name but two of MANY Guangzhou Motors (GM) disasters.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      Oh good lord. This old ridiculous song and dance of Cadillacs being expensive Chevy’s and Lincolns being fancy Fords is just so old and stupid. Every luxury brand uses the same platforms as their mainstream counterpart. It’s not just the domestics. You people aren’t very informed as auto readers if you don’t realize that.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        OK, so which Hyundai uses this platform?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Make that every luxury brand that doesn’t want to compete head-to-head (albeit at a lower price-point) than BMW and Mercedes.

        Yeah, the Aviator shares its platform w/ the new Explorer, but it was designed w/ the Lincoln in mind, so really the Explorer borrowing the Lincoln chassis.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Hyundai is about 10 years late to a party that’s almost over. What a shame.

    In any case, genuinely curious about the GV70. Truthfully though, I would have been happy with a Genesis “RX”. The majority of people buying 4500lb luxury crossovers aren’t getting them for their RWD driving dynamics.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Majority of RWD luxury CUV buyers are willing to pay the premium for said driving dynamics, more power and the more elegant shape/profile of a RWD layout.

      The FWD buyers are oriented towards VALUE.

      The problem w/ that is an increasing # of mainstream crossovers are nearing the premium line (Telluride, CX-9, Palisade, etc.) and they are taking sales from the likes of the MDX, RX and QX60.

      In fact, w/ discounts being offered, one can get a well-equipped MDX for less than the top SXP trim of the Telluride.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Paging Captain Ahab.

  • avatar
    bd2

    “The company wanted its crop of new, carefully chosen stores to open with only 2019 models on hand. Sales reached an all-time low in October of last year.”

    – While it’s true the 2019MY were to only be available at Genesis stores (hence, the drop in sales as shipments of the 2018 models were last made in March), they weren’t “carefully chosen.”

    The initial plan of 200 Genesis stores had the carefully chosen approach, but due to varying state franchise laws, Genesis had to open the ability to obtain a franchise to all Hyundai dealerships (things were further delayed when Genesis USA botched things when it came to state licensing – which took months to work out on a state-by-state basis).

    While the addition of CUVs should improve sales, sales should also improve when the new G80 and facelifted G90 hit the lots (Canada is getting the refreshed G90 now, but the US launch is delayed as everything has been moved back w/ regards to the timetable).


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