Speaking to CarAdvice in Canberra this week, Hyundai Australia’s chief operating officer, Scott Grant, said he is not underestimating the challenge of breaking into the luxury segment.
“We are under no illusions about the difficulty of trying to join that [luxury automotive] club.” Grant said.
“[We are] not going to be the number-one luxury brand, we're enjoying the journey. It’s great to be in the game, it’s a demonstration of what we are capable of. The company is very proud of being able to say this is what we are able to produce, ‘what do you think?’ And not expecting a whole lot out of it.”
Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, is set to be sold from the 30 best Hyundai dealers across Australia, with the current plans expected to see a shop-in-shop arrangement.
The latest luxury automotive brand to join the market will make its official debut when the existing Hyundai Genesis is renamed to Genesis G80 in March next year, alongside a mid-life update.
This will then see the car pulled from 135 existing Hyundai dealers with the remaining 30 dealers set to invest heavily in new infrastructure and facilities.
“At the moments it’s more like a shop-in-shop arrangement, but that could well change as things develop.” Grant added. “When we first launched Genesis under the Hyundai badge we made it available under all 165 Hyundai dealers. About 18 months into the process and consistent with the global change, we have now decided to sell Genesis through 30 dealers nationwide where it makes sense," he said.
"The volume is there, the opportunity is there and the market is generally closer to the dealership and so forth, and they can invest with some volume and scale in their facility with their people and process to be able to provide the luxury services needed.”
Following the G80 will be the new G70 later in 2017, before additional products become available for right-hand drive markets in the future. That gives Hyundai Australia time to set up the Genesis project locally.
“What we will be developing between now and next year is dealer standards. That would include things like buildings and fixtures and fittings but, also, and more importantly, the customer experience.
"We will be spending a lot of money on our end on a training program to make sure we can provide an appropriate experience with that sort of customer for that sort of product.”
From its launch in 2014 to the end of July 2016, Hyundai has sold 960 Genesis. The brand has not made its sales expectations for the Genesis brand public.