The former sub-brand is getting... a sub-brand?
While automakers from around the world are turning away from traditional sedans, Hyundai's premium Genesis brand has built an entire business on them. Annual Genesis sales have more than tripled in the US since the brand was launched there in 2016, reaching an all-time high of 21,233 unit sales in 2019, and the company's luxury sedans have collected some notable accolades along the way.
That being said, Genesis won't continue to stake its whole existence on sedans, and the brand is now looking to grow with a "3+2+1" strategy that will see it launch at least another three model lines before 2022, and if there's time, a sporty sub-brand.
The head of the Genesis brand globally, William Lee, laid out the division's 3+2+1 strategy in a recent interview with Automotive News (subscription required). The brand's plans for expansion call for 3 sedans, 2 gas-engine crossovers, and 1 battery-electric vehicle - likely also a crossover - to be on the market by the end of next year.
"We call it a 'quantum jump,'" Lee says. "There is no reason we cannot grow significantly. In two years, we will have a very strong six-vehicle portfolio."
Genesis's triplicity of sedans - the compact G70, mid-size G80, and full-size G90 - have found their footing, and the GV80 - a luxury crossover based on the redesigned G80's new RWD platform - will launch in the US this summer. The brand's second luxury crossover, the smaller GV70, will hit the US market early in 2021.
The company's first electric vehicle doesn't yet have a name, but Lee says it will be built on its own dedicated EV architecture rather than appropriating one of the company's gas-powertrain platforms. While a crossover-like body style is most likely, Lee hasn't ruled out that the EV could take on some other form.
That leaves the sporty sub-brand, which could look something like Hyundai's new "N" brand.
"Eventually we need it, but it is too early," Lee says. "We are much more focused on the next two years as a strong foundation for further, continuous growth."
The global Genesis head shared no details regarding what products might fall under such a sport sub-brand, although the company's 2018 Essentia electric sports coupe concept might provide some clues. Lee's predecessor, Manfred Fitzgerald, said last April that the company was pursuing the car "in a very, very serious manner."