BUSINESS

Sales of new Genesis G70 sports sedan starts in Korea

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 20, 2017 - 11:14
  • Updated : Sept 20, 2017 - 11:14
Hyundai Motor Co. said Wednesday that sales of its Genesis G70 sports sedan have begun in its home market, as the company gears up for the car's global rollout early next year.

The G70, the third sedan in the revamped Genesis lineup, is designed to not only help the South Korean carmaker make its presence felt in the luxury car market, but effectively end its drought of competitiveness in the sport utility vehicle field.

"The new car will help the independent Genesis brand grow and expand further," Hyundai Motor Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk said in a media event held last week. 

Hyundai aims to sell over 60,000 G70 sedans annually -- 15,000 domestically and 45,000 in overseas markets. It plans to add two SUVs and an electric car to the Genesis lineup by 2021.

The next Genesis model will be an SUV, said Manfred Fitzgerald, senior vice president of Genesis, without elaborating.
 
In this photo taken Sept. 15, 2017, models pose for a photo at a media event held at Hyundai Motor Co.`s design center in Hwaseong, just southwest of Seoul, to unveil the G70 sports sedan under the independent Genesis marque. (Yonhap)

Asked if the Genesis lineup might have a high-performance model such as Mercedes-Benz's AMG models and BMW's M models, the Genesis division head told Australian website Motoring Tuesday, "I don't think so right now."

Hyundai wants to turn its N sub-brand into a full-fledged performance division to enhance its brand image as a high-end carmaker. It unveiled the i30 N high-performance car at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show that runs until Sunday.

The maker of the Sonata sedan and the Santa Fe SUV plans to launch the premium four-door sports sedan in the US market early next year but has not yet provided a timetable for launches in Europe and China.

Hyundai launched the Genesis as an independent brand in late 2015 to enter the luxury segment. Unlike the G80 and G90 sedans, which were upgraded or revamped from existing models, the G70 is the first model which was produced entirely under the two-year-old Genesis brand.

In the domestic market, versions of the G70 with a 2.0 gasoline turbo engine, a 2.2 diesel engine and a 3.3 gasoline turbo engine will be available. The models are priced at 38 to 52 million won ($34,000 to $46,000).

The G70's chief rivals include BMW's 3 series, Audi's A4 and Mercedes-Benz's C-class. The G70 shares the same platform with Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors Corp.'s Stinger sports sedan.

Hyundai has sold 150,000 Genesis cars since it launched Genesis as an independent brand in late 2015 to improve its brand image. Hyundai has long been regarded as a brand that offers value for money by producing cheap but durable models.

This year, Hyundai has suffered declining sales in the US market due to its lack of strong SUV models and in China because of bilateral political tensions over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea.

In the January-August period, Hyundai sold a total of 2.87 million vehicles globally, down 7.2 percent from 3.09 million units a year earlier. Overseas sales fell 9.1 percent on-year to 2.41 million cars, though domestic sales rose 4.0 percent to 458,957 units.

In the United States, Hyundai's sales fell 13 percent to 521,078 in the first eight months compared to a year earlier, with its sales in China plunging 40 percent to 674,810 during the same period.

China has taken steps against South Korean products since March in retaliation against the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Korea. Beijing has argued the THAAD system could spy on its military, though Seoul and Washington have said it is directed purely against missile threats from North Korea. (Yonhap)