The latest luxury vehicle manufacturer to enter the Australian market will be Hyundai-owned Genesis, which will have its full brand launch alongside two models around April or May this year.
Speaking to the media at the Detroit motor show, the company’s head of public relations, Bill Thomas, confirmed the brand’s launch plans.
“In theory it’s better to launch the brand when you have more than one product. So when we do launch, it will be a full Genesis brand launch, not just a launch of two cars. The G70 could go quite well but we are not making any volume predictions - we will make the customer experience exceptional and let the car's features and performance do the talking. We are quietly confident about that car.”
When it arrives, the Genesis G70 will go up against big names in the medium luxury sedan segment like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series, along with the the Audi A4, Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50.
The updated Genesis G80 (above) will also play a role in establishing the brand as it seeks to appeal to a wide range of buyers that appreciate a larger rear-wheel drive luxury sedan.
For now, Hyundai is reluctant to discuss pricing, but we suspect the company will follow its current strategy of trying to offer the best value for money vehicle in the luxury segment, to help it establish the brand before setting its goals higher.
The launch of the Genesis brand has not been deterred by the struggles suffered by Infiniti in Australia, which last year managed just 776 sales (down from 807 in 2016). That compares poorly with segment leader Mercedes-Benz - who had a record year in 2017 (37,068 units).
It remains to be seen whether Hyundai will open up stand-alone dealerships for Genesis or house it as part of the group showroom. Perhaps, the brand may even try a more retail-centre approach in shopping centres.
“Currently we are looking at a dealer within dealer model, but there could be a number of different ways of doing it.”
The Genesis brand is expecting to bring additional models in the future, with a range of SUVs currently in development. It’s likely that with the might of Hyundai’s engineering and financial arm behind the brand, Genesis is here to stay and establish itself for the long haul.
MORE: Genesis coverage