Genesis 2.0: Hyundai’s Genesis to Become Separate Luxury Brand
Steve’s breakdown: Repositioning Genesis as a separate luxury brand is going to take a lot of work and a lot of new thinking. Look for Genesis to hire a separate luxury agency!
MOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA: As much as Hyundai’s brand reputation has improved tremendously from its early days of peddling disposable cars like the Excel at rock-bottom prices, it’s still tough to compete in the luxury arena with a mainstream-brand name. That’s exactly what Hyundai has been trying to do with its Genesis and Equus sedans, but now the company has announced that it will instead launch Genesis as a separate luxury brand, under which those sedans will fall.
With Genesis becoming the brand name, the models will migrate to—you guessed it—alphanumerics. The Equus—or, more accurately, its replacement that is due to arrive early next year—becomes the G90, today’s Genesis sedan becomes the G80, and so on. Six models, all of them on rear-wheel-drive architecture, are supposed to be onstream by 2020, although it’s not clear whether the current Genesis coupe is one of them.
Luc Donckerwolke, who joined the company in June after leaving Bentley and the Volkswagen Group, will lead the newly created Prestige Design Division, while continuing as head of the Hyundai Motor Design Center. The design group’s first effort, evidently, was reworking the Genesis badge, seen above.
For the U.S. market, the changeover starts in 2016. The Genesis cars will not be sold in separate dealerships, but in a “showroom within a showroom” at all Hyundai stores, via a dedicated sales staff. Hyundai also will be emphasizing customer service, much as it currently does for Equus customers, who can have a car brought to their home or workplace for a test-drive, and for whom Hyundai will pick up and drop off their car for service.