Europe is set to gain a new player in the luxury car segment, and the UK is its main European target. If you’re bored with BMWs, ambivalent about Audis and just not that bothered about Jaguars, luxury brand Genesis aims to steal your attention.
Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota. In-house developed cars are fitted with vastly more refinements like extra (and better) technology, more soundproofing and more performance. Currently selling loads of cars in the US and Asia, Europe is next on the agenda to receive the brand’s full range of saloons and planned SUVs.
It will start with the G90, a Mercedes S-Class alternative that focuses on smooth comfort and advanced features. Beneath that is the smaller G80, an A6-sized repmobile with a hint of sporting intent, and the third saloon is the G70. Its sportier, more angular face serves as a tempting entry point into the brand and will go toe-to-toe with the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE.
Genesis will, at first, probably only appeal to those people who are bored with the big German three, but as Jaguar, Lexus and Infiniti have found out, it’s not so easy to wrench European sales away from the Munich, Stuttgart and Ingolstadt giants.
Hyundai once sold a car called the Genesis in the UK. Designed to be a rival to the 5 Series, it sold a shocking 50 cars over two years and was quietly shuffled out of the UK line-up. The G80, upon which it was based, will be making a return along with the whole range. Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald told Autocar that:
“To launch the brand, you come with your entire product portfolio. It’s not about volume. If it were, then you would go for a specific body type. Instead, it’s a brand- building exercise.”
SUVs are in the pipeline, though. The GV80, previewed by this concept (above), is a big ol’ beast that has the Audi Q7 in its sights. As with all new models, the SUVs will be built for petrol, diesel and hybrid options – although Fitzgerald says that pure electric options look likelier than halfway-house hybrids at this stage.
Whether the brand has the staying power to last through a few inevitably lean sales years and begin to grow in Europe, like Jaguar is beginning to, remains to be seen. The German brands will have their say, and their voices are loud.