The company is targeting “new luxury, Echo-boomer” customers with six new Genesis vehicles by 2020. Hyundai Motor America spokespeople confirmed that all six vehicles will be available in the North America by 2021.
Hyundai is aiming at traditional European luxury brands with Genesis and plans to build all of its vehicles on rear-wheel drive platforms. The latter is a distinct departure from the approach taken by current Japanese and U.S. luxury brands. The Genesis brand will also have its own unique design language, a distinct winged emblem based on the current Genesis logo, and a separate naming convention to differentiate it from Hyundai.
Genesis vehicles will follow an alphanumeric naming convention based on the letter “G” followed by a two digit numeral. Hyundai revealed that the first three vehicles would be the G90, G80, and G70.
The G90 will be the current Hyundai Equus flagship replacement (and will be called EQ900 in Korea) and is due next year as a 2017 model year vehicle.
G80 replaces the current Genesis sedan for the 2017 model year and will be followed by the G70, an entry-level luxury, sports sedan built to take on the Audi A4, BMW 3 series, and Mercedes-Benz C-class.
The names of the other three vehicles were not yet released, but include a midsize, luxury SUV based on the G80 and a smaller, near-luxury CUV based on the G70.
Rounding out the sextet will be a G80-based sports coupe, essentially the next generation Genesis-coupe. Hyundai Motor America representatives confirmed that the Genesis-coupe will be dropped from the Hyundai line as it goes up market in the Genesis brand.
Details on how Genesis vehicles will be marketed, sold and serviced were sparse. Hyundai Motor America officials demurred when asked whether Genesis vehicles would be sold alongside Hyundai vehicles in existing Hyundai stores or in standalone Genesis dealerships. Reps did confirm that the 2017 G90 flagship would be available through the 400 Hyundai dealers that agreed to a special covenant that allows them to sell the current Equus.
To help establish the Genesis brand’s new design identity, Hyundai Motor Group President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer announced the hiring of Luc Donckerwolke, former head of design at Bentley and Lamborghini. Though he will not officially start until mid-2016, Donckerwolke has been tasked with styling the Genesis brand within Hyundai’s newly created Prestige Design Division and has been named head of the Hyundai Motor Design Center.
“In creating the design signature of Genesis brand cars, we set out to display confidence and originality, creating highly desirable products that present new charm through innovative styling and proportions,” said Schreyer.
“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership and experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction. The Genesis brand will fulfill these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy,” said Euison Chung, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman.