Hyundai to launch Genesis in U.S.
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.
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.