Genesis Targets European Motorsports Community With New ‘Taxi’ Service

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Genesis has launched the “Genesis Track Taxi Nordschleife” program in Germany, offering rides around the Nürburgring. Members of the public who partake will ride shotgun while a professional driver takes a lap around the “The Green Hell” in a G70 3.3T.

At first blush, the South Korean automaker appears to be making some odd marketing decisions. But then you remember the company is overtly targeting German luxury brands.

Being whisked around the 20-km track by a pro driver piloting a BMW, Mercedes-AMG or Porsche product is something that’s already available to people who have a few hundred euros to burn. Genesis is effectively doing the same here, just with more manufacturer involvement.

From Genesis:

The program was officially launched on June 18 at an opening event at the Nürburgring, hosted by Luc Donckerwolke, Genesis Chief Creative Officer; Tyrone Johnson, Head of the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre (HMETC); and Jacky Ickx, Genesis Brand Partner and racing icon.
The Nürburgring is Germany's famous racetrack and one of the most legendary auto-racing circuits in the world. With over a length of 20.832 kilometers, 73 corners, constantly changing road surfaces and 300 meters of altitude, the Nürburgring rightfully covets the title of being one of the most technical racetracks.

While the G70 3.3T has some decent performance chops for a luxury sedan, Genesis wants to ensure the model can make repeated trips around the Nürburgring without incident. Therefore, HMETC has helped equip the vehicles with suspensions and dampers, and additional brake ducting to help prevent overheating. Since heat management is incredibly important on the track, shielding has also been added to the oil and cooling lines. They’ll also be getting Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires after having partnered with the tire manufacturer.

“The launch of the Genesis Track Taxi Nordschleife program marks an important milestone in our journey to delivering bold high-performance cars, showcasing the power, handling and performance that the brand can offer,” stated Donckerwolke. “It emphasizes the brand’s commitment to integrate the experiences gained into further vehicle product development. The Genesis Track Taxi Nordschleife program will provide Genesis customers and fans a tangible touchpoint to experience Genesis like never before.”

As publicity stunts go, this one sounds decent. Genesis gets to raise its profile a bit with the motorsports community and nobody can say boo because it’s actually out there slinging G70s around Germany’s most famous track.

Speaking to CarBuzz, Donckerwolke supplied more insight into the brand’s current marketing strategy. The company is presently targeting sales in the United States, Australia, China and its home market of Korea. Europe is relatively new territory for the Genesis brand, even though Hyundai and Kia are commonplace on the market.

While it wants to expand, it confessed that it has a pretty hard limit on what’s possible. Its Korean facilities are at capacity and there’s only so much output Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama is capable of without stepping on the Hyundai products that are also built there. That leaves the new factory in Georgia, which was originally supposed to be an EV plant.

Genesis has admitted to wanting to increase production volumes. But it likewise wants to create a sense of exclusivity as it becomes more established as a luxury brand. The most obvious example of this is the bespoke “Genesis One of One Program” it launched in the Middle East.

"The One of One cars that we build, the customers come to us. We don't even advertise the program. People come to us and say they would like to have a personalized Genesis, and we do it," Donckerwolke explained to the outlet. So far, only a handful of cars have gone through the program, but there is considerable variety: "At the moment, we are doing our fifth G90 long wheelbase for Middle Eastern customers. We also have cars [G90] being done for an American customer, a European customer, and we have two GV80 Coupes for another customer. So, now the program is being extended to all the model lineups. So if somebody wants a GV60, we will do that."

Meanwhile, bookings for the Genesis Track Taxi Nordschleife are already open and the program starts in earnest on July 6th with a limit of three passengers per ride. Interested parties are welcome to check out the website. Less interested parties can continue watching Nürburgring track-day clips and keep an eye out for the bright-orange sedans — as they’ll be pretty hard to miss.

[Images: Hyundai Motor Group]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 12 comments
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.
  • EBFlex No. I buy as little Chinese products as possible.
  • John "...often in a state of complete disarray on the roads" What does that mean? Many examples in poor repair? Talk about awful writing.
  • Varezhka Saving sedans in US or globally? Right now around half of the global sedan sales is in China, just under a quarter in North America, and the remaining quarter distributed around the rest of the world. So for a sedan to stay around they must sell well in both China and North America (BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda) or just extremely well in China (VW/Audi and Nissan). For everyone else, the writing is on the wall. There’s also a niche of subcompact sedans in SE Asia and India but I believe those are being replaced by SUVs too.
  • Kcflyer it's not a ford, it's not a mustang. just like the ford gt is not a ford but multimatic gt or mustang wouldn't roll off the tongue