By on November 4, 2019

Have we mentioned that Genesis needs a crossover? Surely we have, again and again. It’s still true, and the fledgling brand is well aware of it.

While parent Hyundai has managed to climb back from a recent sales slump with the addition of new product, its three-model premium brand faces a harder task: growing sales while simultaneously adopting a new dealer strategy and selling just passenger cars. With this burden on its shoulders, getting back to where it was two years ago — a year after its inception — is a victory… for now.

Genesis has made the somewhat unusual choice to tout “record” October sales, which indeed they were. The brand hadn’t sold 1,935 cars in a month starting with “Oct” before, so the statement stands. Fact check done. Fake news not detected.

You’ll recall that last year saw the sell-down of remaining stock in preparation for a dealer network launch tied to the introduction of 2019 model-year vehicles. As a result, October 2018 was the brand’s worst sales month in its brief history, with just 372 Genesis vehicles sold. So yes, Genesis can brag about its 420-percent year-over-year sales increase, but to do so without an asterisk seems a little misleading.

Along the way, Genesis picked up a third model to join the two offered since 2016: the compact, rear-drive G70. Well-regarded in the motoring press, the attractive G70 brought a gust of wind to the brand’s sails (sales?), but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

2019 Genesis G70 rear quarter

Since appearing in September 2018 (Genesis sold 1 G70 that month), the smallest of the brand’s lineup has become the best-seller, to the detriment of the midsize G80. The G70 is now selling like the G80 sold in 2017, while the G80 is selling like its G90 stablemate did that same year. The last time the G80 broke the thousand-unit-per-month mark was March of 2018; October’s volume of 625 units was its third-best showing this year. Meanwhile, the G70’s 1,021 sales was also that model’s third-best showing in 2019.

As one model rises, another sinks, and the G90 soldiers on in the background, value-packed but seldom seen on U.S. roads (not that it’s an upstart full-size sedan’s fault in a market like this). The end result of this? Genesis sales are, at the end of October, almost exactly where they were at the end of October 2017, one year after the brand’s, um, genesis.

Forty-four units ahead, to be specific.

“The positive sales momentum of the G70, G80 and G90 is a reflection of our efforts to bring attention to the Genesis brand,” said Mark Del Rosso, Genesis Motor North America CEO, in a (over)statement.

Momentum, but only really if you focus on the previous year. Again, it’s a temporary situation, as there’s a GV80 crossover arriving early next year that’s sure to boost volume, plus a refreshed G90 whose ability to draw extra buyers comes with a big question mark. The smaller GV70 follows a year later. Only when Genesis grows a full lineup of vehicles can we truly pit the brand against its long-established premium rivals, so for now the brand exists as something of a curiosity.

One thing’s for sure — in launching a brace of premium crossovers, Genesis has its work cut out for it. Getting noticed in a field that’s already bursting at the seams will be no small challenge.

[Images: Genesis, Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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24 Comments on “Genesis – Where Equilibrium Is Progress...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    I don’t understand the point of the G90. The G80 is big enough and is a far better executed product.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      It’s the same reason the K900 is still here. The cars are designed and engineered for Korea, sell well there, and it’s relatively cheap to bring them here.

      Plus whatever nebulous value you place on having a true “flagship” for your luxury brand.

      Admittedly I’ve only driven the older Genesis sedan (precursor to the G80), but the G90 does have a lot to offer in terms of comfort and rear seat space by comparison. If I had a $70k budget for a sedan the G90 V8 would probably be it.

    • 0 avatar
      carmaverick

      The G90 is a full-size executive limo, and meant to compete with the likes of the S-Class, 7-series, A8, and LS500. It’s already beating most of its competition sales-wise short of the Beemer, Merc, and Lexus (which it’s already beating in Canada with the new facelift). So yeah, it’s here to stay. The G80 will remain a midsize sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      mankyman

      Yeah, I kind of agree. I sat in the Equus and own a 2015 Genesis 5.0, and the Equus seems over the top to me. The Equus was massive, and with a couple of little tweaks to the G80 (Executive Package?), it would be almost the same as the G90.

      It’s a shame Genesis isn’t selling like hotcakes because the actual car is fantastic. It’s like an A6 with a NA V8. Sort of like a Europeanized Lincoln Continental. It’s not a sports car, it’s an extremely powerful cruiser.

      I know they didn’t roll out the brand properly and a lot of folks need people to see them driving that Mercedes or BMW logo, but I’m surprised people are so beholden to the brand identity.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    with such dreadful sales I’m not sure why they’re continuing with the Genesis experiment. Maybe they’re hoping Khan will come by and steal it.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Luxury car brands aren’t “experiments.” Name one that’s failed in the past few decades. This brand is establishing themselves, then they’re gonna launch a bunch of SUVs because that’s all anyone wants. Considering how few luxury SUVs are actually quiet and luxurious, these aren’t just going to be competitive, there’s room in the market.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Fisker, also Saab.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Amati never got off the ground, Lincoln was nearly put down, Infiniti is- if not failed- really teetering on the brink, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Good one, I thought Amati too but I remembered the marque had never been officially launched.

          “it is believed that Amati is an “open wound” that the company is ashamed of.”

          “Los Angeles Times reporter Gary O’Dell says Amati continues to be a major embarrassment to Mazda today, telling Jalopnik, “Face is big in the Japanese culture. It was a loss of face. To decide to do that, to make announcements, to tell the world you’d do it, and then not be able to… I think it would be an open wound to an American company.””

          and

          “running prototypes of the Amati 1000 were being tested, the Hofu plant was tooled up and ready to build the Amati V12 engine”

          A Mazda V12?

          “As the Hofu plant was already tooled to build the Amati V12 engine, Mazda looked for another way to use it. Mazda’s American design studio drew up a V12 powered 2 + 2 that got to the stage of a full-size mock up before Ford cancelled it shortly after acquiring a controlling stake in Mazda in 1995.[2] The V12 was then shelved, never to be seen by the public”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amati_Cars

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Hyundai is very persistent. Besides, the reason sales suck is because they’ve botched the rollout entirely. Management is to blame for the lack of crossovers at launch, and the poor sales so far. Surely someone got fired for this mess.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Hyundai is very persistent.”

        at some point “persistent” becomes “stubborn.” They’re still trying to keep Sonata going even though it looks like it’ll struggle to move 100k units this year. I can’t see how they’re making a dime on it at that volume.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Easy enough:
    – Work the bugs out of the new Palisade model;
    – Shoehorn in the 3.3L twin turbo V6 from the Kia Stinger;
    – Change up the interior a bit, add some real wood accents and a higher grade leather. But keep the digital dash;
    – Add more sound deadening, take out the 3rd row seat and make the second row captains chairs with massage/heat/cool
    – Call it the Genesis GV90.

    It will sell like hotcakes, especially if it can be priced below $60k.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The Palisade is FWD. Genesis is RWD. Hyundai/Genesis has already said that the Genesis brand will only have RWD/AWD cars and CUV’s.

      They’re already moving forward with a RWD based GV80 and it’s already in testing with a 2.5T and 3.5T.

      https://thekoreancarblog.com/2019/11/04/genesis-gv80-suv-latest-spy-shots/

      3.3T becomes the 3.5T and they’re introducing a 2.5T:

      https://thekoreancarblog.com/2019/10/25/hyundai-upgrading-engines-3-3l-to-3-5l-turbo-and-3-0-v6-to-inline-6-diesel/

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    While Hyundai has been focused on Genesis, Ford jumped ahead to “Exodus”.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Nice looking vehicles. These offer a lot of luxury for a decent price for what a true luxury vehicle is suppose to be.

  • avatar
    carmaverick

    Speaking of asterisks, this article certainly could use one. Genesis sold better in 2017, because back then they didn’t have the dealer fiasco that effectively put a halt to almost everything they were selling in 2018 before they could get their stuff sorted out. The G80 isn’t selling like hotcakes anymore because it’s an old car with a replacement coming out next year. And despite being the new kid on the full-size limo block, the G90 has already beaten the A8 (brand new!) and Jag XJ (though to be fair Genesis demolishes Jaguar in every sales category in their class) as far as sales are concerned, and not far off from the current LS500. Certainly, Genesis could have benefited from selling a crossover and differentiating themselves from the Hyundai badge much earlier on, but as far as I can see there’s nothing to stop them from continuing to advance forward. Which is more than you can say for any other non-European luxury brand short of Lexus.

  • avatar

    All well and good but they don’t sell. Customers want cheap Huydais, no one will buy expensive Hyundai when you can buy prestigious brand for the same money. So lets forget about Genesis and go back to “Why Cadillac sucks” theme – it is far more entertaining.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Not to beat the same drum, some said the same thing about Lexus …
    I’m taking a break from sports sedans but the G70 would be the one I buy.While Cadillac is pricing themselves out of their realistic market and Lincoln/Ford have build issues, the Genesis SUV could be outsell them, if they actually had dealers. Speak to anyone who actually owns one. I have, they’re pleased.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “ Not to beat the same drum, some said the same thing about Lexus …”

      Not that I recall, Toyota had developed a lot of brand equity by the time Lexus came around, the original LS series was everything Americans wanted in a luxury car – but with much higher quality than they were used to, but also priced well below its contemporary competition.

      Hyundai still has huge issues with engines, quality issues that shouldn’t be there, and the lingering stench of 20 years of utter crap product.

      I would still like a Lexus LS430 to drive around in, I can’t think of a single H/K product that catches my eye.

      • 0 avatar

        Genesys does not beat Lexus or even Germans quality wise so why someone may prefer it to established leaders. So let’em first beat Lincoln, Acura, Infiniti and Cadillac and then we will see…

        • 0 avatar
          carmaverick

          You’re right, Genesis doesn’t beat Germans when it comes to quality, it outright obliterates them. The Germans can’t design a single car that doesn’t fall apart after the first 3-year lease. As for Lexus, their “reliability” is a result of still using ancient, utterly outdated tech like their infotainment system. Their Lexus GS AWD still uses a 6-speed automatic- in 2019!

          Acura, Lincoln, and Infiniti are absolute non-entities that Genesis has surpassed in quality ages ago, even back when it was still called the Hyundai Genesis.

        • 0 avatar
          fourthreezee

          “Genesys does not beat Lexus or even Germans quality wise”
          Lexus has everyone beat on quality… but the Germans? Sheesh, German cars are known for notoriously poor quality. They are worse than everybody ‘cept the British/French/Italians, and have been for decades.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    We’ll see what happens but I don’t see explosive growth from the brand no matter the product mix. There are simply too many marques and they all offer essentially the same thing, why Genesis? Cadillac tried breaking into the E46 lover market and made some new sales but this market wasn’t big enough to justify the eleventy billion dollar cost of Alpha. The truly rich play in another pool and I see the nouveau riche being infatuated with Tesla, as great as the product sounds I think its falling on deaf ears. So Hyundai, who exactly are the customers for this? Leasers? They go German. Zoom zoom drivers who want a normal size sedan? Eh maybe but small market. Value conscious buyers? Maybe but again small market.

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