Gen­e­sis is a goer

Hyundai’s lat­est re­in­forces the qual­ity line

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­

THE sec­ond part of the Gen­e­sis jig­saw has fallen into place in South Korea— and the Aus­tralian arm is in­tent on get­ting both parts.

The HND-9 con­cept coupe is a thinly dis­guised ver­sion of the pro­duc­tion Gen­e­sis two-door. Ditch the show car’s more out­ra­geous de­sign cues— such as the butterfly doors, high­mounted cam­era ‘‘ mir­rors’’ and Tron-like steer­ing wheel— and it’s a goer.

Hyundai Aus­tralia spokesman Bill Thomas says the coupe will need to start at about $40,000 to win buy­ers but warns that he’s yet to see the stan­dard spec or po­ten­tial driv­e­trains.

‘‘ I think it would work at about $40,000 with a high spec­i­fi­ca­tion level and the turbo 2.0-litre en­gine,’’ Thomas says. ‘‘ It’s prob­a­bly a year off.’’

The con­cept coupe was shown with a 272kW 3.3-litre turbo V6 and an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, open­ing up the pos­si­bil­ity of the coupe line-up stretch­ing fur­ther up the food chain to the pres­tige seg­ment.

There’s no tim­ing on the sedan ver­sion of the Gen­e­sis, which was shown ear­lier this year in Detroit as the HCD14 con­cept.

Thomas says the sedan will be a tougher sell, given it could cost $60,000 when it lands here with a full load of shockand-awe elec­tronic toys.

‘‘ It’s not a good time to be sell­ing large, rear-drive pas­sen­ger cars in Aus­tralia,’’ he says. ‘‘ That said, we’ve got a mar­ket­ing man­ager with a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence in just that area. The equip­ment lev­els will be telling for both cars.

‘‘ If we can load them up I think they’ll sell.’’

They will also help sell the mes­sage that Hyundai is de­servedly rid of its cheap and cheer­ful tag.

The com­pany may have launched in Aus­tralia in 1986 with bar­gain-priced small cars packed with gear but Hyundai’s global PR boss Frank Ahrens says there is a ma­jor point of dif­fer­ence.

‘‘ Qual­ity is now para­mount,’’ he says, ‘‘ and by that I mean build qual­ity, pric­ing qual­ity and the qual­ity of ser­vice be­fore and af­ter the car’s been bought.

‘‘ We’re not try­ing to be­come BMW and ex­ist as a pres­tige car com­pany but . . . at the top of the range we’re now look­ing to run shoul­der-to-shoul­der with the Euro­peans.’’

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