Hyundai’s Luxury Brand ‘Genesis’ Is Aimed At 2020 UK Launch

Fri 18th May 2018

Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, is to be launched to the UK market, according to boss Manfred Fitzgerald.

The brand, which has produced the futuristic Essentia GT, was launched originally in 2016, with the focus on the US and Asian markets, before progressing onto Europe.

Genesis recently revealed a striking new GT concept in New York earlier this year, it’s expected that the Essentia GT will form a big part of Genesis’ move into the European markets, and that includes a right-handed driver for the UK.

“We’ll be entering the European market in the next couple of years. That said, in that market, we’ll be focusing on the UK. We’re definitely building right- hand-drive cars for 2020.”

“To launch the brand, you come with your entire product portfolio,” he said. “It’s not about volume. If it were, then you would go for a specific body type. Instead, it’s a brand- building exercise.”

It’s not the first time that Hyundai have trialled the Genesis brand in the UK, a model called the Hyundai Genesis, which was a rival to the Audi A6, was withdrawn from sale in 2017 after only selling 50 units.

The new and improved line-up is expected to be made up of three saloons and an additional two SUV’s which will rival the BMW x5 and the Jaguar E-Pace. The SUV’s are key to Genesis’ progress in Europe and though the brand is committed to the electric models by 2021, Fitzgerald admits that the company will take an all or nothing approach to electrification, with no plans for a hybrid.

 “I’m not so sold on plug-in hybrid,” he said. “They have a lot of issues and we’re still looking at all options. Internal combustion engines or pure electric are our favourite options.”

Hyundai’s launch of a luxury brand is the latest attempt by the Far Eastern manufacturers to break the German stronghold on luxury vehicles. Nissan’s Infiniti and Toyota’s Lexus have enjoyed mixed success in making a dent into BMW and Audi’s grip.