Korean Analytics Team

08 November 2018

Hyundai Genesis

Hyundai’s Genesis marque, three years on …

The way in which the Genesis marque was launched was unprecedented and, to some extent, experimental in that parent group Hyundai selected one of its own existing vehicles and rebadged it as the debut model for its new brand. In other words, Genesis was born without its own DNA.

“A mere two years after its arrival, Genesis has already been culled from the European market”

Since then, the going has been tough for the brand, not least in Europe. A mere two years after its arrival, Genesis has already been culled from the European market, where the response to its product line was distinctly lacklustre – perhaps unsurprisingly, given that its vehicles were originally designed to appeal to American consumers. To launch a new premium marque in Europe without a solid grounding in market knowledge and product trends was a gamble – one that ultimately did not pay off.

Even in the US, Genesis has suffered sales declines over the last few quarters. The reason lies in another rash decision, this time to double up on showroom space, with Genesis being forced to share with Hyundai. This has left the brand having to refranchise its US dealerships in a bid to trim numbers, thus allowing for standalone showrooms to be set up.

“Hyundai Group was ill-prepared to join the premium club”

Back in its home market of Korea, Genesis has done relatively well, but has not quite managed to achieve its original target of luring buyers away from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In fact, both German brands have successfully sustained demand on the newcomer’s home turf.

The inevitable conclusion from the Genesis story so far is that Hyundai Group was ill-prepared to join the premium club. That it would benefit from having a premium brand is not in doubt – much in the same way that Toyota has benefitted from Lexus – which explains why the group is now pouring more resources into its fledgling marque, enabling it to expand its corps of dedicated staff, to the extent that it now has its own product development team.

After all, the overriding culture at Hyundai Group has always been that practice makes perfect.