And rivals should prepare themselves.
Five years ago, Hyundai Motor Company made a bold move with the creation of the Genesis luxury brand. Some critics thought it would ultimately fail but as it turns out, they couldn't have been more wrong. Genesis is a major success story even though it's only about to launch its fourth model. The Genesis G70 sports sedan has given the BMW 3 Series a run for its money while the larger second-generation G80 and updated G90 continue to provoke their pricey German rivals. The Genesis GV80, the brand's first-ever SUV, will go on sale shortly, and the GV70 luxury SUV is set for an imminent reveal. Genesis also plans to expand its lineup even further within the next 12 months.
The Detroit Bureau was informed by Genesis US CEO Mark Del Rosso during a recent webinar of this bold plan that'll firmly cement the company's luxury market presence.
Aside from the GV80 and GV70 SUVs, Genesis will debut its first all-electric model, a crossover, sometime in 2021. Basically, one year from now Genesis will be advertising six vehicles instead of the current four on its official website. In only six years, it will go from having one model on sale (the first G90) to a total of six. That's beyond impressive for this industry, and all the more so for managing to remain on schedule during a global pandemic. At present, all Genesis vehicles, unlike some Hyundais and Kias, are built in South Korea. Could this change one day, especially given America's importance?
"Given our plans and given the development of the brand... it is my opinion we should consider every possibility," including US production," Del Rosso said. "But for now we are focused on Korea" as the only Genesis production location.
Another challenge Genesis (or any carmaker) is experiencing is to create a sense of heritage. BMW and Mercedes-Benz, for example, have a combined 198 years of heritage and tradition. This includes everything from design to motorsport. Needless to say, Genesis has none of this, though it's not necessarily a bad thing.
"Sometimes heritage is a big weight on your shoulders for a designer," said global design chief SangYup Lee. "We are building the heritage… right now." Above all, Del Rosso sees the company's mission as being one "to disrupt and dominate the luxury consumer mobility space."