Hindsight required - Genesis Korea’s posh brand is here. Should we care?

Hindsight required - Genesis Korea’s posh brand is here. Should we care?

As Genesis arrives in Europe, it needs to learn from previous flawed attempts to create an off-the-shelf premium brand.

Eye-catching products from the word go, a personal approach to selling them and dealers that don’t look like dealers: Genesis, the luxury brand from Hyundai, is ready to show Europe what it’s been missing. But doesn’t all of that sound familiar? Would-be premium brands, even ones based in Europe, have been trying to do this for years. DS is a struggling minnow at present. Nissan decided to kill Infiniti here after the same approach as Genesis failed to achieve lift-off. Lexus is the healthiest of these premium brands from mainstream groups, and is currently growing – but, even so, has taken less than 0.4 per cent of the new-car market in Europe over the last decade.

Still, Genesis is confident it can gain a foothold here. ‘We believe now is the right time for the next chapter,’ says the global boss of Genesis, Jaehoon Chang. Two models, the G80 saloon and GV80

SUV, are available with petrol and diesel engines at launch, with the G80 saloon undercutting the entry list price of a BMW 5-series by around £2000.

Its European sales locations will be handled directly, not via dealer groups, and staffed by people with experience in high-end retail and hospitality. The aftersales experience is designed to be simple and stress-free, too.

And soon we’ll find out if Genesis can do for Hyundai’s luxury dreams what N has done for its performance ambitions.

Plush GV80 SUV available with five or seven seats G80 starts at £37k, with EV version to follow in 2022.

  • THE NEW ARRIVALS Smaller G70 saloon and GV70 SUV models (akin to BMW’s 3-series and X3) will follow this opening salvo. A Europe-only G70 Shooting Brake estate will arrive by the end of 2021: ‘It’s tailored for our European customers, and it’s a clear statement of our commitment to the region,’ says Europe MD Dominique Boesch.
  • WHY NO ELECTRIC? Good point – it’s interesting Genesis isn’t entering the most stringent region on emissions with an EV from day one. Still, the Electrified G80, with around 250+ miles of range, is expected to launch here in 2022. Genesis will also bring two more EVs and use the ace E-GMP platform in the years to come.
  • DEALERSHIPS? NO They’re called studios, dahling, staffed with personal assistants, not sales people. ‘The mission is to offer so much more than just product,’ says Boesch. ‘The onus is on us to deliver a service that provides convenience and hospitality. That’s what’ll set us apart.’ First to open will be London, Munich and Zurich.
  • LIKE THEN SUBSCRIBE You don’t even have to visit one of the studios. Like Volvo, and many more car makers besides, Genesis offers online ordering, home delivery and subscription models. A five-year service plan is included too, including a warranty, servicing, roadside assistance and over-the-air updates during that time.
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