Hyundai to launch Ge­n­e­sis in U.S.

The Maui News - - NEWS -

HWASEONG, South Korea — Hyundai Mo­tor will launch its first mid­size sports sedan un­der the Ge­n­e­sis brand in South Korea next week and in the U.S. early next year, the lat­est at­tempt by the emerg­ing Korean lux­ury brand to chal­lenge BMW’s 3 se­ries and other Euro­pean pre­mium cars.

The emerg­ing Korean lux­ury brand how­ever has no im­me­di­ate plan to launch the Ge­n­e­sis brand in Europe or China. China has been a par­tic­u­larly tough mar­ket for Hyundai Mo­tor this year with nose­div­ing sales and sup­ply dis­rup­tions amid diplo­matic ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries.

“We will def­i­nitely go to China but we can­not give you ex­act date yet,” Man­fred Fitzger­ald, head of Ge­n­e­sis Di­vi­sion, said to­day.

In late 2015, Hyundai Mo­tor launched Ge­n­e­sis as a sep­a­rate pre­mium brand in a bid to im­prove the rep­u­ta­tion of a brand long as­so­ci­ated with ve­hi­cles that are cheap but durable enough to be a good value for the money. With Ge­n­e­sis, Hyundai fol­lowed Ja­panese car brands’ foot­steps, such as Toy­ota’s Lexus and Nis­san’s In­finiti.

Hyundai’s prof­itabil­ity has de­te­ri­o­rated for sev­eral years be­cause of its fo­cus on pas­sen­ger sedans and its be­lated re­sponse to the grow­ing global de­mand for sports util­ity ve­hi­cles.

The com­pany, South Korea’s largest and the world’s fifth-largest, has dealt with a se­ries of other headaches in re­cent years in ad­di­tion to lower de­mand for its cars.

The diplo­matic ten­sions be­tween Bei­jing and Seoul over South Korea’s de­ploy­ment of the U.S. anti-mis­sile sys­tem against North Korean ag­gres­sions, which an­gered China, hurt Hyundai’s China sales.

The G70 is the third model by Ge­n­e­sis, which aims to add three more by 2021, in­clud­ing a sports util­ity ve­hi­cle. Hyundai said it sold 150,000 Ge­n­e­sis cars in the last two years.

With the G70, it aims to sell 15,000 units per year in South Korea. The G70 of­fers three pow­er­trains — a 3.3-liter V6 ga­so­line turbo or G70 Sport, 2.0-liter I4 ga­so­line turbo and a 1.1-liter I4 diesel. The G70 sport can ac­cel­er­ate from zero to 62.5 mph in 4.7 sec­onds.

The G70 is equipped with safety fea­tures and new tech­nol­ogy that Hyundai is in­tro­duc­ing in the mar­ket for the first time. Its sen­sors and sys­tem can de­tect cy­clists on the road and can au­to­mat­i­cally ac­ti­vate emer­gency brak­ing.

Its prices range from $33,000 to $45,700.

AP photo

Bozhena Lalova, head of Ge­n­e­sis Color and Trim of Hyundai Mo­tor Co., dis­cusses the Ge­n­e­sis G70 sedan dur­ing its an un­veil­ing cer­e­mony in Hwaseong, South Korea, to­day.

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