Speaking to the Australian media at a tour of the company’s design centre in Irvine, California, Christopher Chapman said Hyundai is not keen on spending the resources required to launch an entirely different brand.
“I don’t think Hyundai is necessarily interested in the billions that it takes to invest in creating a whole separate brand.” Chapman said.
The idea for the Hyundai Genesis, which is confirmed for Australia in coupe form (late 2014, early 2015), is to become an icon rather than a separate brand.
Chapman gave examples of similar cars that have become their own icons. He noted that although a Mustang is technically a Ford Mustang, it’s simply referred to as a Mustang and that there’s no Ford badges to be found on the sportscar.
“People really like the Genesis brand, in this country you almost cant stop them from taking the Genesis badge and putting it in place of the Hyundai badge. So they’ve adopted that, no only the brand but the belief of the brand [and] also down to the logo, they like the name Genesis. It works.”
Chapman spent 18-years as a designer with BMW and was part of the team that designed the original X5, first generation 1 Series and led the team that produced the current Rolls Royce Phantom.
He is a strong believer that Hyundai can lead with its products without having to create separate brands.
“If you create an object it becomes its own icon. Does the icon come first or does the brand come first? People don’t say Toyota Prius anymore, just Prius. I think that times have changed and its not necessary to [create a separate brand] you lead with the product.”
The Hyundai Genesis nameplate is destined for more attention in Australia when the next-generation model goes on sale in the next 18-24 months.
The Korean company has so far only confirmed the coupe shape, with the sedan rumoured for our market but still officially unconfirmed.