The reports were true: Hyundai is officially launching its own global luxury brand named Genesis. The automaker made the announcement tonight with a few details on what they have in store. Some good, some not so good.
For starters, Genesis will have six new models by 2020 that Hyundai says “will compete with the world’s most renowned luxury car brands.” Here’s some PR speak to whet your appetite:
The Genesis brand seeks to create a new definition of luxury, one that will provide a new platform for future mobility centered on people. By anticipating human needs at every touch point, Genesis models will embody four key aspects: Human-focused innovation, refined and balanced performance, athletic elegance in design and hassle-free customer experience.
Neat. In addition the cars will use a new wing emblem not unlike the current Genesis logo, but “even more luxurious” in appearance. Their words, not mine.
And then we get to the names. If the Hyundai Genesis is already a thing, will it become the Genesis Genesis? No, that would be stupid. And what of the Hyundai Equus?
Hyundai says it will institute a naming system for the new cars that starts with “G” and ends in a number. Like this:
The Genesis brand will also adopt a new alphanumeric naming structure. Future models will be named by combining the letter ‘G’ for Genesis with a number, 90, 80 or 70 etc., representing the segment.
Good. Great. Swell. Another set of alphanumerics for us all to learn. I guess now that Infiniti is done with the G, Hyundai decided to scoop it up. You know how the G37 became the new Q50 and Q60, right? Or as we call it around the office, “Which one is that again?”
Anyway, luxury buyers love alphanumerics instead of real names, apparently, so they have to go that route to be competitive.
But there’s good news: Luc Donckerwolke, the design chief formerly of Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini and others and whom Hyundai scooped up recently, will lead design at Genesis. His work will be overseen by Peter Schreyer, who has led Hyundai’s recent design renaissance. The point is this: the Genesis G-Whatevers should look really good.
I for one am looking forward to seeing what Hyundai is capable of in the luxury space. They’ve made tremendous strides in the past 15 years, and this move seems like a natural progression for them, not to mention a potentially very profitable one.
One of the biggest pitfalls, however, is that the luxury game is more crowded than ever. In addition to the usuals from Germany and Lexus, Genesis will be up against a renewed Cadillac, Infiniti, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jaguar, all of whom are working to get their shit together in different ways. Hyundai had better do the same.
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