New South Korean luxury brand, Genesis, says its current aim is to establish itself as a true competitor to the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, with volume and sales expectations not a priority for the foreseeable future.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the New York motor show this week, Manfred Fitzgerald, the former head of brand and design at Lamborghini and now the boss of Hyundai’s offshoot Genesis brand, says that building brand credibility is the first focus for the Hyundai-owned brand.
“It’s about establishing a brand, establishing a credible brand,” Fitzgerald said.
As far as Fitzgerald is concerned, volume expectations are currently not the focus for Genesis, even though he admits profitability is a requirement for the brand’s future success.
“We are in here definitely not to lose money, but I couldn’t tell you [about volume expectations] because it’s not our priority, because if I was thinking about that it would be something distracting and what might have caused the wrong answers to some of the questions here,” he said.
“So we are focused on showing our competence in design and also what we can deliver to the customer in terms of service and experience.”
Genesis will go head-to-head with the trio of German luxury brands as well as Japanese offerings from Infiniti and Lexus with an initial launch of six models, including two SUVs – one of which it showcased in the form of the Genesis GV80 concept in New York – a large GT, plus sedans in various sizes.
Nonetheless, while it goes through its establishment phase, Fitzgerald says it won’t look to downsize its range for now.
“All the other competitors are looking to enlarge their portfolio and having more volume. We are not there yet, we are only 15 months old and that should give you an idea of what our goals are for the mid-term and long-term.
“And, just right now to be recognised as a true competitor, as a credible competitor, and that is what we are trying to do right now.”
Part of establishing that credibility, however, won’t see Genesis create a supercar or a high-end performance car.
“I might not be your typical marketing guy, I don’t believe in target groups, I believe in doing great models and creating great products – and hopefully there will be many people that love them and fall in love with them and that’s it.
“If you need a halo vehicle? That’s not our spiel.”