Hyundai Australia has announced the appointment of Peter Evans to the role of General Manager for Genesis, where he will oversee sales, after sales, dealer development and - perhaps most important - marketing.
First confirmed in September, the move marks the latest step in a 36-year career for Evans, who began with Ford in 1980 before moving on to roles with Toyota and its luxury arm Lexus. He also served a brief stint as marketing chief for Hyundai in the early 2000s.
Stepping back to Hyundai could offer a sense of déjà vu for Evans. Not only as he worked with the company before, but the story of volume-focused Toyota's campaign to launch a luxury offshoot has some parallels with the debut of the Genesis brand.
“Peter Evans is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the automotive industry,” said Hyundai Australia chief operating officer, Scott Grant.
“His enormous energy, skill and enthusiasm will help drive the team forward as we work toward the launch of Genesis as a stand-alone brand in 2017.”
Evans will be up against it in his new role, with Hyundai having already confirmed that while it will position the upmarket Genesis brand as a premium offering, it will not attempt to ignore the marque's heritage.
And, according to Evans' boss, Grant, the company has no illusions about climbing the luxury sales ladder.
“[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," Grant told CarAdvice in August.
"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.”
Above: the mid-sized Genesis G70 sedan, spied testing recently, will launch in 2017
To that end, buyers will not see standalone Genesis showrooms popping up around the country. Instead, the brand will be sold through just 30 upgraded dealerships from within Hyundai Australia's 135-strong dealer network.
“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," Grant said.
“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.”
The big Genesis sedan - soon to be known as the Genesis G80 - will be joined next year by the upcoming G70 sedan. The recently revealed G90 is not on the cards for Australia, but the brand's upcoming SUVs are known to be of interest locally.