A glance at the specs and the body style of this vehicle should be enough to give driving enthusiasts a solid first impression of what it is and what it can do. It’s electric, and it’s a crossover. Double yawn. These are not ingredients from which one makes driving excitement.
But then you look at the badge. Genesis has been building some incredible luxury vehicles, in both sedan and SUV flavors, for a few years now. And upon entry, the BOOST button on the steering wheel gives you hope. Indeed, the 2023 Genesis GV70 Electrified brings genuine driving enjoyment to emissions-displaced motoring.
Genesis has updated the G70 for South Korea by swapping the current 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the 2.5-liter unit that’s found in the Kia Stinger. The motor produces 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque in the Kia — suggesting that the 2024 model year will be extra spicy for the G70.
While the manufacturer has not yet confirmed the change for North America, it seems unlikely that they’d leave us with the 252-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.5-liter turbo will likely supplant it as standard equipment or perhaps be offered as an option, with the 365-hp V6 presumably sticking around for decked out versions of the G70.
People love to buy SUVs, and some automakers have responded by tilting their vehicle offerings in favor of larger vehicles, though many remain committed to cars. Genesis isn’t giving up on its gorgeous luxury sedans anytime soon, as the company’s chief creative officer recently told Australian media that “it’s a mistake to basically write off a typology of a vehicle.”
Genesis has been widely praised for its recent vehicle releases, including the new GV60 EV and earlier models like the GV70 SUV. Though they’re fantastic vehicles, they aren’t immune to recalls, as the automaker recently recalled 65,517 units for potentially exploding seatbelt pretensioners.
Despite being chided for reliability issues of late, Hyundai Motor Group has been launching some of the most interesting designs the industry has had to offer – with the Genesis brand unveiling some of the most tasteful and novel concepts we’ve seen in years. Chalk up another one with the X Convertible Concept that was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.
Hello from sunny Southern California. You may notice a later-than-usual posting schedule today and tomorrow as we work our way through the LA Auto Show -- we're sorta working on West Coast time.
Which brings me to the QOTD -- what debut from this show has you perking up?
The Genesis brand has been running full throttle in an attempt to take a seat at the table generally occupied by the likes of BMW and Mercedes, rapidly introducing new models in important segments and setting tongues wagging about the quality of its cabin materials. Those in the B&B of a certain age will recall this is the playbook used (to much success) by Lexus back in 1990.
Its latest? An all-electric version of the generally excellent GV70 crossover, set to make its debut at the LA Auto Show later this month. But we’ve got a few specs – notably horsepower and torque – ahead of the big reveal.
Thanks to a consumer base that would rather spend their shillings on an SUV instead of a sedan, the new Hyundai Grandeur won’t be making its way to North America. Still, with styling like this, it is difficult not to imagine an alternate universe in which this is the brand’s foil against all-electric cars like the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Lucid Air.
Genesis made a name for itself with value-forward vehicles that bring enough tech, luxury, and performance to beat rivals from Europe and North America. Once part of Hyundai, the automaker has begun electrifying its lineup, so we’re starting to see that brand-building power with a wave of new cars and SUVs. Genesis just announced pricing for its latest EV, the 2023 Electrified G80, which will start at $80,290 after a $1,095 freight and destination charge.
Genesis is an interesting brand. Decades after Japanese automakers launched premium nameplates of their own, South Korea’s Hyundai decided to spin off one of its sedans into an entire luxury sub-brand in 2015. The resulting vehicles have been solid performers, representing excellent value for individuals in the market for something fancier. Genesis is building real luxury cars and working to differentiate those models from Hyundai Motor Groups’ mainstream products.
But it’s had to overcome plenty of obstacles. While Genesis’ product might be dunking on some of the other Asian luxury brands, achieving the same notoriety has been difficult for the fresh nameplate. The company also isn’t targeting Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus. Its sights are set on the Germans, with many vehicles already comparing favorably. But if Genesis is to become a serious rival, it needs to distance itself from the Hyundai and Kia models it traditionally shares a lot with — resulting in its very first standalone retail store in the United States.
We love categorization, don’t we? We must always define exactly who or what something or someone is before we can be satisfied. Whether by gender, race, political persuasion, religion, society has always done great things when we reduce to base characteristics and put everyone into their neat little boxes.
Cars are like this too. We have definitions for compact, subcompact, full-size, and midsize cars – but the definitions are always in flux. Crossovers and SUVs are their own Linnaean nightmare – and don’t get me started on how to define luxury. It used to be 10 steers worth of leather and enough road isolation to allow for delicate medical procedures in the backseat, but times have changed. The 2022 Genesis GV70 is a different look at tall car luxury.
The North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit Auto Show, isn’t taking place in January anymore. It’s set for a move to September.
But that didn’t stop the traditional North American Car and Truck of the Year award ceremony from taking place at
Cobo Center Huntington Place this morning.
As I’m sure many of you who’ve read my work here know, I’m not a full-time automotive journalist. I work in a sales career – my nights and weekends, when not occupied with my kids and their activities, are spent in my dungeon of a basement office, mashing out car reviews and other stuff. I literally take vacation from my day gig to go on the occasional new car launch for TTAC and other places. So, I don’t get to write about every car I drive – and occasionally, it takes me a while to publish on a car I’d driven months ago. Witness reviews publishing in June that have snow in the background (Ed. note: You’re not the only one. Ahem).
I’m mentioning this as it’s been about three months since I drove the 2021 Genesis GV80. It’s been a busy summer, to be certain, but I’ve had time. But every time I open a new Word doc and title it “2021 Genesis GV80 Review.docx,” I sit staring at a blinking cursor for what seems like hours before I pack it in and resolve to write another day.
My struggle comes from my complete lack of complaint about the GV80 – and my total concern that I come off to you, the Best & Brightest, as a Genesis shill. If a midsized premium SUV/wagon/crossover thing is what you need, I can think of no other vehicle that is better. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
Having distinguished itself from the rest of the Hyundai Motor Group, Genesis has been furnishing desirable luxury vehicles that are a little easier on your pocketbook than what’s on offer from Germany. But it’s still inextricably linked to its corporate family, which recently introduced the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 to make sure everyone knows they’re not snubbing electrification. Not wanting to be left out, Genesis has revealed something riding on the E-GMP platform as well.
Unfortunately, it’s kind of hideous.
Golf legend Tiger Woods was involved in a nasty one-car accident yesterday. He survived, but he suffered serious injuries, and his golf career might be in jeopardy.
Not long after my social feeds lit up with the news, I came across a tweet in which it was clear that he was driving a Genesis GV80. One that bore the logo of a recent golf tourney on its door. Woods had apparently been loaned the car by Genesis.
Genesis has been planning a mid-cycle update for the G70 sedan for a while and has been obliging us with previews showing off how good its designers are at their jobs for months. But Hyundai Motor Group recently previewed the model in South Korea to prove that the improvements made went beyond mere aesthetics.
While the split headlamps and updated grille bring the model more in line with other Genesis products, sacrificing a bit of visual menace for a more upscale appearance, technological changes ensure it’s no less capable from a performance standpoint. Next year, the Genesis G70 will receive a new sports+ driving mode that tightens engine and transmission programming to squeeze out every ounce of performance available, a new dynamic AWD system featuring a built-in drift mode, and an exhaust with active valves to make the V6 sound as sweet as possible on demand.
Genesis has predictably brought the G70 onboard with the rest of its lineup’s familial styling. Fortunately, the look the company has gone for has successfully merged disparate concepts by being both spectacular and incredibly tasteful. While your author would have argued that prior Genesis models had aped German exteriors so effectively that they might actually be beating Deutschland at its own game, the new designs only serve extend its advantage. It seems as though everything Hyundai Motor Group touches these days can’t help but have a stunning exterior and it’s true from the sub-$25,000 Kia K5 right on up to the $72,000 Genesis G90.
Quad lamps (front and rear) are now the hallmark of Genesis Motor and have finally been affixed to the G70, giving it a more refined and luxury-focused appearance. It’s also quite unique across the industry and helps distinguish the Korean brand from other nameplates at a distance. While many (including your author) enjoyed the sporting musculature on the current model, 2022 will be a more opulent affair better suited to the frugal fanciness the Genesis has become synonymous with.
Genesis sure is getting a lot of headlines lately. That wasn’t always the case.
Yesterday, we told you of spy photos showing a compact hatchback/crossover vehicle that’s destined to become the fledgling premium brand’s new electric vehicle. What name it will bear, and what type of performance and range it can offer, is unknown, but Genesis will most definitely benefit from Hyundai’s new e-GMP dedicated EV architecture and its fast-charging 800-volt electrical system.
Then another electric Genesis appeared, this one looking quite familiar.
Already in the unenviable position of having gone its entire life without the presence of a utility vehicle, the now-adolescent Genesis brand has one last hurdle to clear before it can join the rest of its peers.
That hurdle is a delay caused by the spring coronavirus shutdown — meaning that the long-awaited GV80 SUV and its revamped sedan platform mate, the G80, won’t make it to market this summer, as initially planned.
Korea’s answer to the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class earned accolades upon its launch, with some kudos reserved for the availability of a six-speed manual transmission paired with the base 2.0-liter turbo four.
You know what’s coming next. Due for a refresh for the 2022 model year, the G70 is in line for an automatic-only future.
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.
Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand is set to launch a new global electric vehicle architecture in 2021. Both a sedan and SUV are said to be in the works, positioning the Korean models to go head-to-head with Tesla Motors. These would be the first electric vehicles created under the Genesis moniker and are just a part of their growing commitment to developing alternative-propulsion vehicles.
Take a good look at the state of the sports sedan. Once defined as four doors, compact dimensions, rear-wheel drive, and a manual transmission, there are precious few new cars sold today that fit that narrow criteria. The German manufacturers who made their names in this segment have abandoned the third pedal.
The only choice left is this 2019 Genesis G70 Sport – fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a six-speed manual transmission, and rear wheel drive. Does it win by default as the last car standing in a shrinking market, or is it worthy of accolades on its own merits?
As we explained earlier this year, the fledgling Genesis brand is going through puberty. The brand’s constantly evolving dealer strategy is now set in stone, or what passes for it in the world of Genesis, but the process of separating the brand from its Hyundai parent won’t take place overnight. There’s dealers to whittle down, licenses to gain, standalone stores to build, and inventory to stock.
It’s a work in progress, but the 2019 models — which now total three — are beginning to find their way to more buyers, Genesis claims. Be patient.
Driving my family can be a harried experience. The pair of tween girls in my brood constantly chatter about whatever both to each other and to nobody in particular. Or they’ll be silent save the bleeps and boops of their cell phones or Nintendo 3DS, playing silly games and texting nobody in particular.
Thus, when the kids hopped in the back of this 2018 Genesis G90, I expected more of the same, turning up the stereo in reflexive compensation. But, to my astonishment, the girls became immediately calm — the youngest dozed off quickly en route to Grandma’s house, located just across town. Quieting a hyper 10-year-old — that alone can sell a car to moms and dads everywhere.
Representing a good value among the premium full-size sedan set, the Genesis G90 remains thin on the ground — and not just because of America’s fondness for crossovers and SUVs. As it begins its roll-out of standalone Genesis stores, the fledgling brand planned to kick off the new dealer strategy by fielding only 2019 model-year vehicles. That meant a sell-down of existing stock throughout the summer and fall.
For the 2020 model year, the second model launched by Hyundai’s luxury division, the G90, undergoes a significant refresh, though the marque’s future hinges on a trio of yet-to-be-seen crossovers.
Everyone who spends the majority of their time obsessing about cars seems to low-key adore the Genesis G70. It’s handsome, comfortable, and apparently handles like a sports sedan should. The dealership will even sell it to you with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive if you can live without the 365-horsepower twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6. It also undercuts the starting price of its self-selected rival, the BMW 3 Series, by a full ten grand — softening the blow of any shortcomings it may possess.
However, there is one aspect that puts it a step behind its more-expensive competition. The G70 still uses analog instrumentation in conjunction with its digital interfaces. While this is a non-issue for many enthusiasts, as most electronic gauges simply mimic traditional clusters (and sometimes rather poorly), the general public expects premium autos to have the most-flashy tech available.
Genesis is remedying the situation in South Korea as read this. But, rather than than simply bringing the G70’s display up to the bar, it has decided to do a front flip over the status quo by offering what it claims is the world’s first 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster.
Genesis Still Two Years Away From Adding Much-needed Utility Vehicles to Lineup, Essentia Under Consideration
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.
If you noticed your neighbor adding a glistening new Genesis model (the midsized one or the bigger one) to their driveway in the past month, you’re a member of a very small group.
Genesis, the luxury marque born of Hyundai, didn’t sell many vehicles in August, but that’s all part of the plan. The brand’s executive director claims there’s less than a month’s worth of vehicles currently in the U.S., but once those ships arrive, look out. Actually, a better way of phrasing that is: “prepare yourself for things to occur in a gradual and measured fashion.”
For those of you keeping score at home, this is indeed the second Genesis G80 I’ve driven in the last few months. While my February drive of the 3.8-liter V6-powered G80 revealed a budget competitor to underpowered four-cylinder models from Germany, note a few extra letters on the trunklid of this car.
This 2018 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport is, well, a mouthful — but those extra badges reveal a car with a bit more character than the solid but appliance-like car I drove previously.
Does the Sport trim make this big sedan a lion to the standard lamb?
We told you yesterday of the hurdles facing the fledgling Genesis brand, a standalone luxury marque launched two years ago under the umbrella of Hyundai Motor Group. Currently, just two models reside in the Genesis stable — the midsize G80 and full-size G90, with the 3 Series-fighting G70 bowing later this year.
It’s been a slow, measured start for the brand, but a shifting strategy for its U.S. dealer network means these early days haven’t been easy ones. A Genesis spokesman tells us that the brand’s inventory is being whittled down ahead of the launch of the revamped network alongside fresh, 2019 model year vehicles. Just how many Genesis dealers will exist at that time is unknown.
This wouldn’t have happened in the late ’80s, that’s for sure. J.D. Power’s 2018 Initial Quality rankings, amassed from problems reported by owners over the first 90 days of vehicle ownership, shows the area south of the 38th parallel as the Land of Least Annoyance.
The fresh-faced, fledgling Genesis brand took the top spot in this year’s rankings with 68 problems reported per 100 vehicles, followed by Kia in second place (72 problems) and Hyundai in third (74 problems). You might say Hyundai (Motor Group) excelled.
Considering how the popularity of crossover vehicles resulted in the industry-wide genocide of passenger cars, it is both strange and exciting to discuss a new sedan. While we haven’t reached the point where one could describe the situation as a blending of Children of Men and Disney’s Cars franchise, new models with a low center of gravity are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.
That’s why we’re glad Hyundai’s luxury Genesis division built the G70 and saw fit to allow the ability to option it with a manual transmission. You read that correctly; there is an automaker that builds a competitively priced luxury sedan that can be had with a manual transmission. However, buyers need to actually purchase these vehicles for the brand to rationalize that decision in the years to come.
Ever since Hyundai launched Genesis as a separate luxury brand, there’s been plenty of confusion as to how to distribute its vehicles. The company initially said Genesis would have an entirely separate U.S. dealer network within three years. Then it said existing Hyundai retailers could continue to sell luxury models if they met a certain criteria, but noted many would become ineligible as standalone stores became the norm.
Now Genesis is saying all Hyundai dealers are in the running, but they’ll need to have separate facilities for the luxury brand if they want to sell them. While the change isn’t drastic, it’s the third time the brand’s parent company has revised its dealer strategy, leaving us confused as to what the automaker’s plan was all along.
Yesterday, TTAC covered news of the launch of a second-generation K900 model in the United States at the upcoming New York International Auto Show and Mobility Conference. Upon considering the K900 and its potential for success, some questions arose about the three different badges on offer from the Hyundai-Kia conglomerate, and what we might do with them.
Where does Hyundai go from here?
The two models share a platform and a pair of engines, but the upcoming Genesis G70 sport sedan gains something its Kia Stinger cousin lacks: a manual transmission.
Given that we’re talking about a rear-drive Korean sedan sold under a fledgling marque in a market that couldn’t love SUVs more if the damn things dispensed free cash from the dash vents, we’re expecting big, big demand for the stick-shift variant.
Numerous proverbs and quotes, variously attributed to Colton, Wilde, Marcus Aurelius, and others, can be distilled into the familiar “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” The line has been cited by college plagiarists for ages.
Industry uses a better euphemism – benchmarking. Evaluating the competition to offer an alternative that’s remarkably similar to existing products, but with enough differentiation to compel converts, is the essence of product development, no matter what the widget might be.
It’s only natural that when Hyundai decided to build a midsize luxury sedan for its Genesis luxury sub-brand, it looked closely at the two German models that have consistently led this market. Whether buyers see the 2018 Genesis G80 as a legitimate contender is up for debate, as the biggest divergence from the standard – at least on the surface – is the price.
Late last month, Hyundai Motor America sent messages to dealers that announced the formation of an independent Genesis dealer network. The plan was to further separate the luxury brand from the rest of the company’s automotive fare by creating standalone dealerships.
While great for the brand’s image, the automaker’s strategy only calls for 100 initial locations. That’s a problem, because there are roughly 350 dealers that are currently eligible to sell both.
This hasn’t gone over well with Hyundai stores currently selling Genesis models right next to their more pedestrian inventory. Dealers have been offered compensation if they don’t make the cut, but plenty of them aren’t interested. They don’t want the money, they want the cars.
Hyundai Motor America and its U.S. Genesis division sent messages to Hyundai dealers this week, alerting them to the formation of an independent Genesis dealer network. Hyundai’s recently created luxury marque wants space between it and its value-focused sister division, and that means the need for standalone stores.
Shared showrooms simply won’t cut it anymore.
Right now, Genesis customers in the United States can purchase models at roughly 350 Hyundai dealers, but not for long. The plan calls for just 100 standalone stores as a starting point. If you’re a Hyundai dealer with dreams of selling a higher class of vehicles, this is your opportunity — but your chances of being selected might not be as high as those dealers already selling the brand.
While there’s a new, smaller G70 sedan waiting in the New Year, and crossovers and a coupe after that, the news surrounding the fledgling Genesis brand lately seems to revolve around its dealers. Parent company Hyundai wants separate stores for its luxury marque in the interest of exclusivity, but it can’t have too many of them (in the interest of profitability).
The automaker’s decision to pare down the number of locations where consumers can buy a Genesis-badged vehicle hasn’t gone over well with some Hyundai dealers, but the new division’s long-term growth is Hyundai’s top priority, not dealer acrimony.
As Genesis finds its feet, Hyundai feels it now knows just how many stores the brand can sustain.
You would think you’d be happy when a peer succeeds and goes on to greater things, but the reality is often a little grimier and less magnanimous. Genesis has been a sore subject around Hyundai Motor Company ever since the automaker spun it off into its own brand. However, this has less to do with its role as an elite nameplate and more about how to manage it as part of the greater whole.
Earlier this month, dealers expressed their dismay by walking out of a meeting with Hyundai Motor America’s executives — which included CEO Kenny Lee and COO Brian Smith. The incident didn’t last particularly long and the conference eventually got back on track, but it proves there’s unresolved issues as to how the Genesis brand should be handled.
Hyundai has snagged itself another high-profile BMW veteran. Last time it was Albert Biermann, dynamics wizard and former head of BMW’s M line. This time it’s Fayez Abdul Rahman, BMW’s former head of M Equipment, M sport packages, and M performance vehicles.
Whereas Biermann is currently serving as Hyundai Group’s vice president in charge of performance and high-performance vehicle development for the group, Rahman will focus specifically on Genesis vehicles. He previously led concept and platform development for numerous model lines at BMW — including the X Series, 7 Series sedan, and various M brand vehicles.
At Hyundai, he’ll be responsible for doubling the size of Genesis’ fleet by 2020, via the gradual inclusion of crossovers.
Hyundai’s Genesis Motors offshoot intends to finalize its transition into an entirely separate U.S. dealer network within the next three years.
The process of building an undetermined number of distinct Genesis outlets has not yet begun, but it’s clear the brand is well aware of the limitations with which it’s currently operating.
“The reality is, many, many luxury customers tell us they love our products, they’re amazing, but I’m not going into a Hyundai store to buy it,” U.S. Genesis boss Erwin Raphael tells Automotive News.
The 2018 Kia Stinger and 2018 Genesis G70 are platform partners, two new sporty and luxurious four-doors from the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group.
The timing of their release is synchronized. They utilize the same engine portfolio. They’ll compete in a similar price bracket. But there are differences. For starters, the styling is markedly different, the kind of difference one expects to find when one car, the Kia, is a hatchback and the other is a sedan. The Kia Stinger works harder to get noticed; the Genesis G70 is more subdued.
But while Hyundai’s Genesis spinoff will need to further differentiate the G70 from a marketing standpoint in order to provide a true luxury brand glow, it’s already been made clear by Albert Biermann, the former BMW chassis guru who’s now head of vehicle testing for Hyundai and Kia, that the cars are very similar. In terms of driving experience, “It’s not so easy maybe as with the styling, but I think we can find good tuning and calibration that set them a little bit apart,” Biermann said earlier this year.
A little bit.
Yet in a conversation with Manfred Fitzgerald, the senior vice president at the Genesis brand, Wards Auto received a strikingly different answer. Asked how the Genesis G70 differs from the Kia Stinger, Fitzgerald says, “You tell me. I don’t look at the Stinger. We’re focusing on something totally different.”
Your teenager calls this #shade.
First, Hyundai wanted American consumers to accept the XG300 as a luxury car alternative. If two decades ago such an idea seemed ludicrous, the XG300 — later the XG350 and then the Azera — set the stage for 2018, a year in which a Hyundai luxury spinoff, Genesis, would complete its luxury sedan lineup.
Genesis Motors launched in the United States one year ago with the full-size G90 sedan (the Hyundai Equus in a prior generation) and midsize G80 sedan (renamed from the Hyundai Genesis). In September 2017, we saw the production version of the BMW 3 Series-rivalling Genesis G70, set to arrive in showrooms this winter.
Yet while there will be more vehicles from Genesis, including SUVs and quite likely a coupe, Genesis senior vice president Manfred Fitzgerald says the sedan lineup is complete. The fledgling brand will not be moving downmarket into the CLA250/A3/CT200h arena.
You must wait a little while longer, but we’ll soon have a much better idea of what the Genesis G70 will look like. The entry-level sports sedan from Hyundai’s upmarket Genesis division debuts in its South Korea home market next Friday, September 15, 2017, at an event at Seoul’s Olympic Park.
In fact, in advance of the unveiling in Korea, we already have a clearer view of the Genesis G70, thanks to the timely response of one Michael Giele, who spotted the new Genesis sedan and posted images to Twitter.
Destined to provide the next major shakeup in the small luxury sports sedan sector after the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Jaguar XE, and Cadillac ATS arrived with great expectations, the Genesis G70 will be tasked with challenging the Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS, more likely than not with more equipment and lower MSRPs. It won’t be easy for Hyundai’s Genesis brand, so the car had better look good.
“We do in fact have to expedite our process of separating our brands.”
– Genesis Motors General Manager Erwin Raphael
From the start, Hyundai Motor America’s plans to launch its upmarket Genesis brand inside Hyundai showrooms was easy to question. Do consumers want the link between a $68,100 Genesis G90 and a $14,745 Hyundai Accent to be so obvious?
Of course not. But affording Genesis a mere corner of certain Hyundai showrooms wasn’t the only problem — Genesis general manager Erwin Raphael also had issues early on with the number of Hyundai dealers signed up to sell the Genesis brand.
“We may see that (350) figure go down,” Raphael said in November 2016, only a few months after the brand began selling cars in America. “I think it is too high.”
Fast forward to August 2017 and Hyundai’s plan to eventually separate the Genesis brand with standalone showrooms, perhaps in 2020, is about to be pulled way forward. “For this brand to really survive and thrive,” Raphael tells Automotive News, “and for us to develop the culture within ourselves and within our dealer network to support and take care of these customers, we do in fact have to expedite our process of separating our brands.”
So what happens to all of those Hyundai dealers who recently spent thousands renovating showrooms to include Genesis studios?
“The Genesis was never built for the European market,” Hyundai UK director Tony Whitehorn says. “It was conceived for the Korean and American markets.”
And now, with the second-generation Hyundai Genesis sedan languishing in the United Kingdom while Hyundai launches the Genesis brand in North America, the Hyundai Genesis Americans now know as the Genesis G80 has been discontinued as in the UK.
Genesis Motors is soon to complete its first year on the U.S. market.
Through the first ten months of its run as Hyundai’s luxury spin-off, 15,254 copies of the Genesis G80 and Genesis G90 have been sold. That’s 15,254 buyers who all moved over from other auto brands. There was no other way — no repeat business, no C-Class to E-Class to S-Class-style chain reaction.
More of those buyers moved over from the Hyundai brand than anywhere else. That makes sense. The Genesis G80 is essentially a second-generation Hyundai Genesis sedan. The Genesis G90 is a second-generation replacement for the Hyundai Equus. Hyundai buyers are trading in and trading up.
But when it comes to earning conquests from luxury rivals, Genesis Motors does so most often at the expense of Genesis’ forerunner, the last brand to do what Genesis wants to do.
Genesis Motors doesn’t exactly have the most diverse lineup in the industry. Hyundai may have only cut it loose as a standalone brand a couple of years ago, but its current showroom offerings amount to a full-sized luxury sedan and its little (midsized) brother. Genesis is working on fleshing itself out, though. The brand has plans to bring six new models to market before 2021 — including two all-important sport utility vehicles.
Providing us with a “subtle glimpses into the bold future,” Genesis has brought its GV80 Concept SUV to the New York International Auto Show. But if this is supposed to be a taste of what’s to come from Hyundai Motor Group’s premium luxury brand, there is reason to worry about its future. It isn’t because the concept is a plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric — although a case could be made — but because the path its styling has taken is more than a little perplexing.
There are 350 Hyundai dealers in the United States currently offering vehicles from the automaker’s new Genesis Motors brand inside Hyundai showrooms. It’s a model Genesis wants to change — simply too many stores for a fledgling auto brand; too much affiliation with proletarian Hyundai.
It’s also entirely unlike the non-dealer model Genesis Motors began employing in Canada on Monday, November 21, 2016. Genesis began business operations 48 hours ago with no physical locations whatsoever.
Dealers? Pfft. Someday.
There’s no denying the strategy behind Hyundai’s Genesis Motors luxury brand is unusual. By its very nature, the contrived launch of a new Korean luxury marque — more than a century after the dawn of America’s favourite luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz — is going to differ in a multitude of ways.
Genesis intends to maximize the possibility for consumers to shop for their cars online, for instance. And Genesis owners won’t need to take cars to dealers for servicing — valets will provide pickup and delivery.
Yet one aspect of a new brand’s U.S. launch is nevertheless set in stone: dealers.
Genesis Motors has 350 dealers inside Hyundai’s U.S. showrooms, Wards Auto reports. Genesis Motors’ general manager Erwin Raphael wants a different number.
A smaller number.
The newest premium automaker on the block could cozy up to its downmarket parent company in Alabama.
As it tries to carve out a foothold in the premium field, Genesis has priced its full-size G90 luxury sedan in an intermediate zone between its established German competition and new American range-toppers.
The G90 comes laden with standard features, so the price range of the four available configurations isn’t wide. With a starting price of $69,050 (including freight) for a rear-wheel-drive twin-turbo V6 model, the son-of-Hyundai hopes its flag bearer has enough value to get noticed.
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- MrIcky Haven't these been out for a while? Is the news just that Japan gets them now too?
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