Meet Genesis Motors, the new Korean luxury vehicle brand
The wind blows hard on Hyundai’s sails. In the last fifteen years, the Korean manufacturer has transformed its image as a producer of anonymous low-cost vehicles with a dubious reputation into a true contender in the automotive market. Today Hyundai manufactures quality vehicles that no one is embarrassed to drive anymore.
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Naturally, the next step is manufacturing luxury vehicles, with its tempting profit margins and the prestige that its success would imply.
In 2008 Hyundai introduced Genesis, a line of vehicles made up of an elegant sedan and a sports coupe, both with rear-wheel drive. The Genesis was equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine initially with 258 horsepower. But what raised the eyebrows of more than one critic was the availability of a smooth and powerful 4.6-liter V8 that generated 361 horsepower in its first appearance.
The Hyundai Genesis sedan quickly gained public favor by offering a reasonable price of luxury, comfort, space, maneuverability, and power. The Hyundai Genesis had succeeded in replicating and updating the American formula for success just on the eve of one of the direst crises ever suffered by the domestic auto industry, thus becoming one of the few success stories of those days.
Say hello to Genesis Motors.
As the second-generation Genesis sedan enjoys strong sales, Hyundai is preparing to birth Genesis Motors as a separate luxury car division. It is in the United States that the Genesis of the experiment will take place. The current Hyundai Genesis sedan will be renamed the Genesis G80. At the same time, the replacement for the Hyundai Equus, the bulky Korean luxury executive car that never managed to capture the American public’s attention, will take the form of the Genesis G90, a striking luxury executive sedan. With little to envy the Germans and Japanese, at least in the aesthetic department.
If Genesis Motors turns out to be a successful operation, much of the credit will go to Chung Eui Sun, Chung Mong Koo’s son, and Hyundai vice president, who was appointed to lead the operation. The young Chung enlisted Bentley’s designers Luc Donckerwolke and Lee Sang Yup and Lamborghini marketing executive Manfred Fitzgerald, making it clear that Hyundai is playing when it comes to his new luxury channel the game. If all goes according to Chung’s plans, the G80 and G90 will be joined by two crossover trucks, another sedan, and a sports coupe by 2020.
After the United States and South Korea, where the Genesis G80 will begin to be sold officially next July, Genesis Motors will be presented in China and the Middle East, followed by Europe and the rest of the Asian continent.
The industrial conglomerate made up of Hyundai Motor Company, and Kia Motors Corporation is today the fifth largest automaker in the world in the volume of vehicles sold. The two companies, whose partnership dates back to 1998 when Hyundai bailed out Kia in bankruptcy, have sold a combined 30.03 million units since their founding (Hyundai in 1944 and Kia in 1954). The last 10 million units were sold in the previous decade, with Hyundai as the undisputed leader of the operation. Today Hyundai owns 33.88% of Kia’s share capital.