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Genesis brand is go

Luxury moves: Hyundai Motor Company vice chairman Euisun Chung in front of the slightly tweaked Genesis logo, announcing the brand this week.

Hyundai confirms launch of Lexus-style Genesis luxury brand

Genesis logo4 Nov 2015

HYUNDAI is following in the footsteps of Toyota, Nissan and Honda by launching a stand-alone luxury brand that will use the now-familiar Genesis name and take aim at the big three German car-makers.

While Hyundai said in a statement that Genesis initially will focus on the Korean, Chinese, North American and Middle Eastern markets, the brand is likely to surface in Australia, possibly by next year.

To differentiate itself from the standard Hyundai range, Genesis model nameplates will start with a G followed by a number to signify the segment, such as 70, 80 and 90.

The first new model will be rolled-out next month, with another five by 2020.

These are believed to include an updated version of the existing Genesis sedan that competes in the upper-mid-size segment.

Others are expected to include BMW 3 Series-rivalling mid-size sedan with a sports flagship variant armed with a 299kW 3.3-litre petrol V6 engine to take on the M3.

Another model set for the line-up will be a large flagship sedan that will likely replace the current Equus sold in Korea, the United States, Russia and China. It could take the G90 moniker, given its size.

The existing Equus has been around since 2009 with a facelift in 2012, meaning it could be the first new model to be launched under the Genesis banner.

Also in the mix are a pair of SUVs, including a large high-riding wagon based on Genesis sedan underpinnings, and a mid-size crossover.

Rounding out the range will be a sporty coupe with cues from the Vision G concept that surfaced at this year's Frankfurt motor show.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia is keeping mum about its plans for the Genesis brand, but it is expected to be launched either next year or in 2016.

The model most likely to launch the brand in Australia is the updated Genesis sedan, replacing the current model that went on sale late last year.

Hyundai is set to take a gentle approach to the launch by selling Genesis models from existing dealerships, rather than opening separate retail sites, as Nissan's luxury arm, Infiniti, has done,Hyundai's approach is similar to that of PSA Peugeot Citroen's Australian distributor, Sime Darby Motors, which has split the DS brand from Citroen but is using the same dealer sites to sell its models.

The company says Genesis will have a strong focus on personalised customer service, with “rapid and attentive service”.

The car-maker also said cars will be engineered for optimal ride comfort and sportiness, and be fitted with the latest active safety technology, connectivity and convenience features.

Genesis models will carry a tweaked version of the logo found on the current Genesis sedan, and Hyundai says cars and SUVs will feature a distinct design theme separate from the corporate look of more affordable Hyundai models.

The newly created Prestige Design Division of Hyundai will be responsible for the look of each model, and the unit will be headed by former Volkswagen Group designer Luc Donckerwolke and overseen by HMC president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer who hinted at the design direction: “In creating the design signature of Genesis brand cars, we set out to display confidence and originality, creating highly desirable products that present new charm through innovative styling and proportions.”

Hyundai Motor Company vice chairman Euisun Chung said the Korean car-making giant had high hopes for the luxury sub-brand and was aiming to be one of the market leaders.

“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction,” he said.

“The Genesis brand will fulfil these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy.”

To date, Toyota's offshoot Lexus is the most notable success among stand-alone luxury brands. Others with mixed success are Nissan’s Infiniti, Honda’s North American Acura brand and Mazda's failed Eunos line-up that disappeared after a few short years in the mid-1990s.

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