The launch of the Genesis brand in Australia has experienced another setback, losing its general manager Peter Evans just months before introducing Hyundai’s luxury division locally.
Genesis was supposed to launch in Australia as a standalone marque at the start of the year but has been postponed until June due to delays in the construction of its flagship store in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.
A statement from a Genesis Australia spokesman said: “Peter Evans is no longer working for Genesis Motors Australia and is now pursuing other career opportunities. We thank Peter for his contribution to Genesis and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
The statement continued: “An announcement regarding the revised Genesis business structure will be made in due course”.
This means Hyundai Australia is currently operating without two senior executives across the two key divisions.
Former chief operating officer Scott Grant left the business to head Cricket Australia in January and is yet to be replaced.
Peter Evans had been general manager of Genesis Australia for the past three years, leading up to this year’s launch.
At the New York motor show overnight the global boss of Genesis, Manfred Fitzgerald, said the company is committed to making Genesis work in Australia and has not set a deadline for success or sales targets.
“You cannot go after volume and believe that will equate to success,” said Mr Fitzgerald. “If you do that, that’s a short game.”
He added: “What we are in is a marathon and not a sprint. This is something you have to invest in, and you have to have the patience, and you have to have also the vision to see what is going to happen with this brand in 10 to 15 years time. We still want to be around.”
Mr Fitzgerald said the success of Genesis in Australia will “only be measured by ‘are we really perceived as a true competitor in that space?’.”
“This is the most competitive space that you can be in the automotive industry, so you really have to bring your A-game. And that will not only be connected with or determined by sales volume. If you have created a brand which resonates with a lot of people, sales volume will follow.”
He said the biggest challenge for Genesis in new markets such as Australia will be “creating awareness,” which is why its flagship stores will be located in precincts with a high volume of foot traffic.
Stores in Brisbane and Melbourne are due to follow next year but exact timing and their locations are yet to be confirmed.
In the meantime, Genesis will launch in Australia with the G70 sports sedan, a BMW 3 Series rival, and a facelift version of the G80 limousine. A pair of SUVs – yet to be unveiled – are due to follow in the next few years.
CarAdvice has contacted Peter Evans for a comment and will update this story.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling