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Genesis not aiming for Benz, BMW

Ready to roll: From launch, Genesis Australia will offer the G80 and G70 (left) sedans.

Initial Genesis launch to focus on brand building, not chasing Germans

Genesis logo19 Dec 2018

GENESIS Australia says the soon-to-launch brand is not targeting traditional premium car buyers, and will instead focus on offering a customer experience and concierge services unmatched by other manufacturers.
 
The Hyundai-owned premium brand will launch in Australia at the end of quarter one next year with one flagship store in Sydney’s CBD and a pair of luxury sedans – the mid-size G70 and larger G80.
 
It is the latest premium offering to launch as a separate entity to a more mainstream offering, following Toyota-owned Lexus, Nissan-owned Infiniti and in the US, Honda-owned Acura.
 
Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief operating officer Scott Grant said the company was not aiming Genesis at the usual German premium brands and is instead looking at the wider premium segment that has grown significantly in recent years.
 
“We are not targeting a brand per se, like a BMW or Mercedes,” he said at a media event in Sydney this week. “What we are looking at is the totality of the luxury market. And if you look at the luxury market, you say ‘well you are going to try to get BMW people to come across’. No, not at all. 
 
“We are breaking the total luxury market down into different psychographic profiling areas. And that luxury market has growth consistent with the general affluence of Australia – quite substantially in recent years. Not withstanding this year it is slowing down quite a bit. 
 
“We have had this growing affluence underpinned buy a strong economy for some time. When you look at the luxury market, there are different mindsets of people who are in that sector who have access to the sorts of money and sort of life experience that they want for a luxury motorcar. And a BMW and Mercedes person is quite different to the sorts of people we will reach out to.”
 
Mr Grant – who along with Genesis Australia general manager Peter Evans worked at Lexus Australia for many years – said there were no plans to connect the Genesis and mainstream Hyundai brands in its marketing activities, and added that there would be very little cannibalisation between the two marques.
 
“We won’t be marketing to Hyundai people. Whilst those that are very close to their motorcars may have an understanding of the background and where the vehicles are coming from, and there is nothing to apologise for in that respect, we build very high-quality motorcars and Genesis will be the ultimate example of that. 
 
“But the brands and the businesses and the customers that will engage with those products between the H and the G brands are very different people. Even in the very early stages, it will be very different people. There will be some small amount of cannibalisation, but it won’t be like some other brands have had through their journey in a similar way.”
 
While Genesis is yet to announce full details of its Australian sales and servicing strategy, it is expected that there will be some online sales activities as well as through the Sydney flagship store, which is not like a traditional dealership.
 
Servicing is also expected to be more like a concierge service where the customer’s vehicle is picked up and dropped off.
 
Mr Scott acknowledged that, given the unique customer experience, it was possible that a Genesis buyer might never set foot in a dealership.
 
“Correct. In a traditional context, that’s a fair point,” he said.
 
“We will have to wait and see to what extent we get sufficient volume where those principles might be challenged. But our approach is to create a brand and a purchase and ownership experience that people have not seen before – certainly in the car industry, and even in broader luxury segments. This is going to a high-touch, highly personal experience.”
 
Mr Scott said while the brand was not quite ready to talk about pricing and specifications of its models, it would focus on value for money and simplicity in terms of the overall packaging.
 
“Value still has a place even in the luxury market. I know there is another line of argument that says if you are super lux you have to be super priced…
That’s not our thinking. 
 
“Our thinking is that there are lots of luxury customers – a lux customer is defined as someone who could buy into the luxury segment, these days that starts at (about) $50k. 
 
“I think we can produce as good or better quality than the traditional luxury brands. No doubt the product will be there.
 
“We can package the car with tech and safety and features and it will be equivalent to everybody else but we can package it in a no price, no haggle, no package, no complication (proposition).
 
“We are going to try to specify the cars in the most popular way that meets the market requirements.”

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