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Genesis ups 2022 sales target, hints at new EV

CEO says Genesis working on next EVs, watchers say it could be GV90

Genesis CEO & President Chang Jae-hoon poses with G90 at media event held at Genesis Suji, Yongin, Tuesday. (Genesis)
Genesis CEO & President Chang Jae-hoon poses with G90 at media event held at Genesis Suji, Yongin, Tuesday. (Genesis)
Taking last year’s momentum of Genesis expanding its global presence, Hyundai Motor’s standalone luxury brand expects to increase its sales by 10 percent this year with its new lineups and electrified versions of high-end vehicles, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

“We are expected to (sell) between 215,0000 to 220,000 (in numbers) of Genesis vehicles,” Genesis CEO Chang Jae-hoon told reporters at the G90 launching event, adding that the global sales of the luxury brand surpassed 200,000 last year six years after its launch. In 2020, it sold a total of 130,000 cars.

“We attribute (the success of breaking the 20,000-mark for annual sales) to the strengthened lineup by adding a variety with SUV models and electrified versions, as well as increased sales volume after successfully expanding to the US market. We also find it meaningful to become the top 10 luxury sedans, surpassing Honda,” Chang added. 

The launch of the latest fourth generation G90 last month will spur the brand’s upgraded reputation globally, he said, noting that the carmaker targets for annual sales of 20,000 G90 cars in the global market. 

The luxury sedan segment has been long dominated by the German trio: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8. But challengers like Genesis releasing solid alternative to take over German rivals, Chang said stressing that its new full-size sedan will soon redefine the segment. 

"I’m confident that with G90, Genesis will top the top-notch luxury sedan market. What’s more important for us is to satisfy customer needs, not a competition with other carmakers (in the luxury sedan segment)."

The global demand of high-end full-size sedans is estimated at 230,000 a year. The market share of G90 is expected to take 8.6 percent next year from 3.1 percent last year. 

The fourth generation G90, Genesis’ fully-revamped flagship model following the facelift in 2018, could be the brand’s last gasoline-powered model in line with the automaker’s vision to electrify its entire lineup by 2025, considering the automaker’s five to six-year gap in between model’s full changes. 

Chang hinted that the next electrified Genesis model will be from a different segment, not G90, considering the adopt the new E-GMP platform for EV making. 

“We don‘t have a plan to electrify the G90 (sedan), but will set up a plan to electrify an high-end model from another segment,” he said. “Electrification of a full-size sedan is not an easy task.”

Market expectations vary on the next-generation EV model by Genesis, whether the largest F-segment GV90 will be launched to rival the European SUV makers, or the smallest single-piece hatchback G70 will be remade to replace the diesel sedans that have been discontinued.

But unlike the carmaker’s announcement in the last year, G90 has dropped Highway Driving Pilot function which makes automatic lane changes and Level 3 autonomous driving which allows hands-off driving on highways. Such tech will be applied to G90 at the end of this year.

Last year, Hyundai Motor, Kia and Genesis sold a record-high 1.4 million cars in the US, an increase of 21.6 percent from a year ago, surpassing Japan’s Honda to take fifth slot in total sales in the US.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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