Genesis G70 sedan to rival premium European brands

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Sept 15, 2017 - 16:01
  • Updated : Sept 15, 2017 - 17:39

HWASEONG, Gyeonggi Province -- Genesis, a luxury auto brand spun off from South Korea’s Hyundai Motor, unveiled its third model, the G70 sedan, with aims to expand its presence in the high-end segment, the company said Friday.

Amid Hyundai’s weak performance at home and in the US, Genesis premium cars have been gaining popularity, which makes the first G70 sedan rolled out under the independent Genesis brand an important model.

(From left) Lee Sang-yup, head of Genesis Styling, Luc Donckerwolke, head of Genesis Design Center, and Bozhena Lalova, head of Genesis Color, pose next to the new Genesis G70 sedan during its an unveiling ceremony in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Friday. (Hyundai Motor)

“Genesis has been established as a full dedicated division in just 20 months since its initial launch. The speed and dedication toward Genesis exemplifies how much our company is committed in establishing ourselves as a serious contender in the luxury marque,” said Manfred Fitzgerald, head of the Genesis division, during a press event at Hyundai’s new design center at its Namyang R&D Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.

Rivaling Europe’s premium brands -- the Benz C-class, BMW 3-series and Audi A4 vehicles -- the company will first release the G70 here next week and in the US between the first and second quarters of 2018.

The company’s plan for the G70 is to reach 15,000 units in annual sales here and 60,000 units worldwide.

Officials of Genesis did not reveal when the latest premium sedan would tap into China and Europe.

Luc Donckerwolke, the head of the Genesis Design Center, introducing the premium G70 midsize sedan. (Hyundai Motor)

With the launch of the G70 sedan, the Genesis lineup now features three models, including the G80 and G90 sedans rolled out last year.

Three new models including a large-size sport utility vehicle and eco-friendly car will join the lineup by 2021, in response to market trends, Fitzgerald added.

Lee Sang-yup and Luc Donckerwolke, the heads of Genesis styling and the Genesis Design Center, respectively, highlighted that the exterior of the G70 delivers “athletic elegance,” featuring a fluid silhouette with a parabolic line that connects the front and back of the car.

To strengthen Genesis as a premium brand, separate from Hyundai Motor, the company is working on splitting Genesis’ dealer network from Hyundai at home and in the US, as early as within the year.

Genesis cars are currently sold at Hyundai Motor dealerships.

As a newcomer to the luxury segment, Genesis made its first appearance in the global luxury auto market in November 2015. It was introduced in the US in August last year, together with the launch of the G80 sedan, followed by the G90.

Despite Hyundai Motor’s falling sales in the US due to its aging models and declining popularity, Genesis cars have been expanding their presence.

Between August 2016 and July 2017, combined sales of the G80 and G90 surpassed 20,000 units, totaling 20,689 units in the US, the company said. The models also made up a combined 13.3 percent of the mid-to-high premium sedan market in the US over the cited period.

Headed by Manfred Fitzgerald, who previously worked on the strategy planning of Genesis, a division focusing on the luxury marque made up of four bureaus and seven teams was introduced in July this year, the company said.

By Kim Bo-gyung (