Genesis says the devil is in the details if you want to win.
Nissan's luxury arm, Infiniti, is regarded by many to be in a tough place. The brand has some issues. It positions itself as a luxury automaker, built to undercut the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. While the price tag certainly does, the technology and features in vehicles like the Infiniti QX80 often leave it behind the rest of the pack, bargain or not.
Genesis' regional operations manager, Andrew Pilkington, says that Genesis is trying its best to avoid those issues that have befallen luxury autos brands, like Infiniti, that set out to undercut the Germans. He says "we are doing things very differently. We have the financial support behind us. I think we're in a different position to win as an organization in terms of the product portfolio as well."
One of the things that financing buys is relevance. Nissan and other Japanese automakers are a little behind on the switch to EVs, but Genesis is on the front foot. Genesis has three new EVs on the way, and its full-size Genesis GV80 feels like a luxury product, something that often takes more cash than anything else. Of course, money to make cars better, and more innovative is only part of the battle. Creating a sort of "experience" is also important when it comes to wooing luxury buyers.
Pilkington told Autocar that the company's "Genesis difference" policy is part of that. Every new Genesis customer has an assistant assigned to them. Not a salesperson. Pilkington says these assistants don't earn a commission. Instead, they help "the customer through the journey from arranging test drives and assisting with the online ordering process to delivering the car to you and helping if there is an issue with the car during ownership." That helps establish a relationship with customers, something not every carmaker gets right.
Clearly, Genesis hopes these measures will help keep it from falling by the wayside as Infiniti has done. "You need to draw on the expertise of other people and that's why the challenge is getting the right people on board to create that culture," says Pilkington. The first few years of Genesis have been incredibly important, and for now, at least, it appears the brand has stuck the landing.
We see plenty of them on the street, and it appears the brand's reputation is now getting off the ground and keeping it in good standing with the general public. Genesis has worked hard to cement itself as a luxury auto manufacturer, and as long as the quality continues to appease both media and consumers, there's no reason the brand can't succeed. As for Infiniti, it's safe to say both it and Lexus have some compelling Korean competition.