After years of debate on how to proceed with more luxurious models of the Hyundai brand, Hyundai Motor Company has decided to launch a separate luxury brand, Genesis. Currently, Hyundai offers two luxury car options: Genesis and Equus.
Because Genesis will become the new brand name for the luxury line, the model names will migrate into what most luxury brands have in place: alphanumerics. The US market is set to change over to the new brand in 2016, and while the Genesis cars will not have their own dealerships, there will be a “showroom in a showroom” in existing Hyundai stores with dedicated sales staff.
Manfred Fitzgerald, a former Lamborghini executive, has joined the Hyundai Motor Company’s team in an effort to oversee the luxury car brand.
Although the sales and reputation of the Hyundai brand have become more positive since its start in the early days of disposable cars at impossibly low prices, we have to wonder if Genesis will get lost in the big, scary world of luxury vehicles.
Re-branding these vehicles and placing them under the smaller umbrella of the Genesis brand sounds like a good idea, until you consider the potential issues of an unknown and newer brand in a sea of established luxury brands. In addition to this potential problem, we have to consider the fact that consumers have seen the name Genesis already. Will Hyundai be able to market these vehicles to a more specific and wealthy customer without giving it a proper re-branding?
When placed up against luxury brands such as Jaguar, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, etc., how will Genesis match up? For starters, potential buyers will still have to take their business to a regular old Hyundai store. There will be no luxurious showroom with specialized customer service and plush sitting areas like you would find in other luxury brand showrooms.
Genesis will be utilizing alphanumerics as car model names. For example, the Equus that will arrive early next year will become the G90, today’s Genesis sedan becomes G80, and so on. When compared to other luxury brands, there is nothing special to these names. Audi has models with names such as A6, Mercedes-Benz has E-Class, C-Class, etc., and BMW features X5, X6, along with the i-models. Does following this trend put Genesis even further into the danger of being white noise?
It’s impossible to know how a new luxury car brand will perform in a market such as this one, and time will only tell. Hopefully Genesis can come up with some special features that will stop customers in their tracks and drive them to the ordinary Hyundai showrooms to experience the all new Genesis brand.