At the world premier of the new Hyundai Genesis sedan, which is heading to Australia later this year, the CEO of Hyundai Motors America, Dave Zuchowski, confirmed to CarAdvice that the Genesis has been far more important as a brand building exercise than for volume in North America. A formula that Hyundai Australia no doubt wishes to follow.
“[The Genesis] has been very important for us.” Zuchowski told CarAdvice.
“The volume is nice but the halo affect is even nicer, we see a lot of people in Hyundai showrooms now that we wouldn't have ever seen before. I think in a global market place to be able to compete with the best cars in the world, it says an awful lot about Hyundai that many consumers don’t realise.”
The Hyundai Genesis sedan and coupe have both been on sale in North America and South Korean since the first-generation launched in 2008. Since then the model range has won numerous awards and currently sells around 30,000 units per year in North America.
Nonetheless, the real affect of the Genesis brand has been positive across the Hyundai range as a whole, with Genesis improving everything from brand perception to the ownership experience.
“[The Genesis] also makes the Hyundai ownership experience better, our dealers have really stepped up. They found out that all the special process we’ve put in place to take care of the premium customers apply equally as well to somebody coming in buying an Accent for the first time. They don’t want to differentiate between customers so they provide an elevated service level in stores [to all].”
Zuchowski said that Hyundai’s North American marketshare is actually larger (as a percentage) in the premium segment than in the non-premium segments. But despite the car’s success, Hyundai is still focused on remaining a core model brand.
“Premium is very important to us but if premium gets to ten percent of our total volume, that would be a big thing. We are still primarily a major market brand, a core model brand and we use premium products to elevate that and will continue to follow that strategy.”
The Hyundai Genesis sedan and coupe have both been confirmed for launch in the Australian market, with the sedan set to go on sale in the third quarter of this year.
Do you think the introduction of the Genesis brand will have a positive impact on the rest of the Hyundai range in Australia?