BUSINESS

Hyundai Motor seeks to expand Genesis luxury brand

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Aug 21, 2017 - 16:35
  • Updated : Aug 21, 2017 - 16:35
Amid declining sales and popularity of Hyundai Motor vehicles worldwide, the country’s leading automotive company is recruiting experienced workers to strengthen its independent premium brand Genesis, the company said Monday.

Hyundai Motor will look for experts to work on marketing and strategy planning of Genesis, alongside software experts for autonomous driving and connected cars, and experts in eco-friendly vehicles batteries until Sept. 3.

“The recruitment shows Hyundai’s efforts to boost sales by strengthening Genesis as a premium brand in the global market, just as Toyota did with Lexus,” said Lee Ho-guen, a professor of the department of automotive engineering at Daeduk University.

“Doing so will be profitable for Hyundai, because carmakers do not profit much from selling models like Hyundai’s flagship Avante compact sedan.”

Front view of Genesis’ New York concept car that is said to resemble G70 midsize sedan, the third model of Genesis slated for launch next month. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Ahead of the launch of Genesis’ G70 midsize sedan next month, Hyudai Motor is expected to hold a meeting with its US dealers within this month to inform them about the new business plan for Genesis.

Hyundai is currently working on separating Genesis‘ dealer network from Hyundai in the US, which will take place as early as this year, the company confirmed.

This is viewed as part of the company’s strategy for Genesis to break away from Hyundai’s image as an affordable carmaker, for which the company will gradually downsize the number of dealers to below 300.

“Genesis will sooner or later split as an independent body, separate from Hyundai Motor. But as for now, the company is reviewing how and when the parting should take place,” said a company official.

Genesis cars have continually garnered popularity in the US despite Hyundai’s poor performance there in the recent months.

A total of 17,206 units of the G80 midsize sedan were sold in the US from its official launch there in August last year until July 2017, the company said.

Sales of G80 and G90 midsize sedans also stood for a combined 13.3 percent of mid-to-high premium sedan in the US between January and July this year.

Last month, a division for Genesis made up of four bureaus and seven teams was introduced to focus on expanding the luxury brand, the company said.

The new division is headed by Manfred Fitzgerald, who has previously worked on strategy planning of Genesis. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)