|Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo visits the carmaker’s European headquarters in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, on Thursday. (Hyundai Motor Group)|
Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo stressed a rebranding strategy for Hyundai Motors and Kia Motor in Europe in his trip to the region on Thursday, pinning especially high hopes on the long-anticipated second-generation Genesis.
According to group officials, the Hyundai chief visited the group’s European headquarters in Offenbach, near Frankfurt in Germany, to be briefed on the carmaker’s recent car sales and the market outlook overall.
“The next-generation Genesis marks the culmination of our all latest technologies. The car will compete with European premium sedans head-on,” he said in a meeting with local officials.
“With the new launch, we should pave the way for Hyundai to renew its brand awareness among European customers and take the next big leap to become a well respected brand in the region.”
With the aim of continuing the success story of the first-generation model in the U.S., the new, revamped Genesis will hit the European market for the first time.
The first Genesis made its U.S. debut in 2008, selling more than 6,000 vehicles in the first six months to be named the 2009 Car of the Year in the crucial market as the first Korean-made car to do so. Its accumulated unit sales are expected to hit the 100,000 mark in the coming months.
The all-new Genesis, the Korean auto giant’s first four-wheel-drive sedan, is scheduled to be launched later next month, according to Hyundai officials.
In Europe, where the carmaker has thus far focused on pitching its smaller vehicles such as the i30 hatchback and the Tucson ix compact sport utility vehicle, Hyundai plans to seek a premium image with the luxury sedan.
As part of the efforts, the company said it would carry out aggressive marketing activities centering on advertisements and test-drive events.
Hyundai has also recently almost doubled the size of the European head office building, while completing the Hyundai European Test Center last month to directly connect to the renowned Nurburgring race track in Nuerburg, Germany.
Hyundai-Kia’s European car sales surged 52.1 percent between 2008 and 2012 when the market plunged 14.9 percent. During the same period, the Korean duo’s market share almost doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.1 percent.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com