Hyundai Motor, the nation’s top automaker, launched its global brand “Genesis” on Wednesday in response to the fast-growing luxury auto market.
The carmaker said it chose Genesis -- the model name of its full-size sedan -- for its global luxury brand, considering the car’s global presence. The Genesis brand will be evolved under the Hyundai Motor roof for the time being, but later it is expected to be split from the company like Toyota’s premium brand Lexus.
“The launch of Genesis means a new beginning for Hyundai Motor, which has made continued strides (in the global auto industry) with entrepreneurial spirit and passion,” Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said at the launching event.
The vice chairman, the heir apparent of Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo, has led the company’s luxury brand development project since 2004 for the company’s future growth.
The Genesis brand will target a new breed of luxury car buyers, who put more value on individual experiences and characteristics beyond an extravagant lifestyle, company officials said.
“Reflecting changing needs from the luxury car market and customers, Hyundai’s new brand will seek human-centered luxury,” the junior Chung said.
The Genesis brand will introduce a new alphanumeric naming system that starts with the letter “G.”
The Korean automaker will introduce six models under the Genesis emblem by 2020.
As the first Genesis model, Hyundai’s Equus large flagship sedan will debut in Korea next month under the name “G90.” The model will, however, be called “EQ900” only in Korea, in consideration of local customers who have been loyal to Equus. The company will roll out G90 next year globally starting from the U.S. market.
The existing second-generation Genesis sedan will be renamed with a new name “G80” next year. Then, the smaller luxury sedan will come in the latter half of 2017 with the name “G70.”
To further accelerate the Genesis brand, Hyundai will introduce additional four models by 2020.
Hyundai Motor also hired renowned automotive designer Luc Donckerwolke, former chief designer of Bentley, for the development of its new premium brand.
As senior vice president, he will lead the new division Hyundai Design worldwide, from next year.
Together with Hyundai-Kia chief designer Peter Schreyer, Donckerwolke will work to create innovative and differentiated designs for both the Genesis and Hyundai brands.
Donckerwolke began his career as a designer at Peugeot in 1990. Shortly thereafter, he joined Audi in 1992 and later helped to reposition Skoda in developing the brand’s new-model-introduction strategy in the Czech Republic.
“He will help us to elevate the Genesis brand at the global level, based on his diversified experiences from luxury to mass brands,” Peter Schreyer said.
By Seo Jee-yeon (firstname.lastname@example.org