After years dipping its toes in the luxury game, Hyundai will at last turn the Genesis marque into a standalone brand, according to a Reuters report. The automaker is said to be making an official announcement today or tomorrow.

The Genesis sedan and larger, more expensive Equus sedan will form the core of this lineup, Reuters reported, with a mid-size SUV to come by the end of the decade. More than likely the Equus will also be renamed.

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Hyundai has dabbled with luxury cars since launching the Genesis sedan in 2008—is Genesis Coupe counterpart existed in a very different segment—and observers for years have called on the South Korean automaker to do luxury for real and make Genesis a standalone brand like Lexus is for Toyota.

So why are they finally doing it now? It’s all about profits, Reuters says:

Now, though, Hyundai faces a profit squeeze from a strong Korean won that eats away at revenue on cars sold outside Korea - about 75 percent of the company’s sales.

[...] “It’s about the profitability. Hyundai is well known for value for money, and customers will buy cars based on that. Selling expensive luxury cars can boost its sluggish profits growth,” Ko said.

The report also cites some discord on the American side of things, with U.S. executives not convinced a Genesis brand is the way to go. Physically, the cars will be sold at Hyundai dealerships, not at standalone stores—at least not yet.

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More information on this as we get it. Think Hyundai has what it takes to go up against Lexus and the Germans for real?


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.