The upcoming launch of the Genesis luxury brand will bring some new and innovative ideas to the segment to help entice buyers away from the traditional European manufacturers and Lexus in favour of the South Korean brand, with best-in-class customer experience.
Ahead of its launch in April, the chief operating officer of parent company Hyundai's local division, Scott Grant, said that a great deal of the business fundamentals are still not finalised, however it is evident that the brand will need to lure buyers not just by its products, which consist of the G70 and G80 sedans - the latter currently on sale as the Hyundai Genesis - but also by the quality of its customer service and other initiatives.
“[The] final position on Genesis is not 100 per cent clear as far as Australia is concerned,” Grant said.
“Whilst there are commitments to right-hand drive, the exact business for Australia is in the final stages of approval. The final agreement with launching what you would know as G80 and G70, but at the moment we are not in the market selling those.”
It still remains unclear whether Genesis will have separate dealerships from Hyundai or if the brand will launch its cars inside the parent brand's existing showrooms to start with.
“We haven’t made that final decision, it’s a Hyundai Motor Company global initiative and it’s a global sub-brand as you know, with development in North America and other places and there is some high aspirations in how to position that brand and Australia needs to comply with that in terms of customer service levels and the proposition that we provide to customers in the market, and whether that’s done in the dealer channel [or elsewhere].”
Grant mentioned warranty may be one of the points of difference, hinting that an unlimited warranty may even be on the cards, beating not just the Germans and their three-year period, but also Infiniti and Lexus with their four-year/100,000km warranties. As for the price, that is still to be determined, and there are two schools of thoughts being debated internally.
“One of the arguments we are wrestling with internally is whether we come to market with a value proposition that is a traditionally Hyundai-like, or do we try and position this product to comparable [models] in terms of spec and quality [then] pricing is a bit more of a match for the opposition, and we control the volume in that sense… maybe Genesis is only built to order.”
Above: Hyundai Genesis (Genesis G80)
Infiniti’s woes in the market have not dampened enthusiasm for the Genesis launch in Australia, however, Grant was keen to point out that Genesis product needs to compete against its European rivals on merit alone, without the aid of any additional incentives or price differentiation.
“The product needs to stack up on its own, but we intend to provide a customer experience and service model that is equal to if not better than in our industry.”
Genesis will follow its launch in April with additional models, including SUVs, in the near future.
MORE: Everything Genesis