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Hyundai tees up for Genesis launch

New player: The boss of Genesis Australia is hoping to appeal to more private buyers with the official launch of the brand later this year.

Genesis ready to drive into the Australian market, says local boss

27 Feb 2017

HYUNDAI’S fledgling luxury brand Genesis is seeking to engage more private buyers in Australia when it is officially launched as a standalone marque before the end of the year.

The South Korean car-maker imported the Genesis large sedan as a toe-in-the-water exercise before Hyundai Motor Corporation announced it would use the nameplate for a new luxury brand to rival the likes of Lexus, Infiniti and the Europeans.

Since its Australian arrival in late 2014, Hyundai has sold just over 1000 units of the V6-powered Genesis sedan, which will be renamed the Genesis G80 – dropping the Hyundai name and badge – when the facelift arrives later this year.

So far the majority of sales of the Genesis sedan have been to hire-car owners and a small amount of fleet business.

However, a sponsorship deal with both the men’s and women’s Australian Open Golf headlines a new push by the Korean company to attract more private and business buyers to the brand, according to recently appointed Genesis Australia general manager Peter Evans.

“That’s why we’re sitting here today – this is not a fleet exercise, this is a brand awareness and consideration thing, not a fleet opportunity,” Mr Evans told GoAuto at the recent women’s Australian Open tournament in Adelaide.

“Ultimately we aim to do more than what we’re doing. Our numbers will align with a combination of our marketing and model line-up. We’re a one-car car company at the moment and that’s reflected in the awareness.”

A former Toyota and Lexus executive, Mr Evans said he views the launch of the rebadged G80 and the smaller BMW 3 Series-rivalling G70 as the brand’s real launch in Australia.

“The level of volume, marketing and awareness is not so high that everybody is going to be confused or bamboozled. For 90 per cent of the market it will be new news,” he said.

The Genesis brand is involved in three levels of golf sponsorship, as vehicle suppliers to both the men’s and women’s Australian Open golf tournaments – a three-year deal – as well as the Genesis Golf Link Cup, which had 98,000 registered competitors last year.

The competition was previously known as the Lexus Golf Link Cup.

“We’re aiming to break 100,000 this year … it talks to 260,000 active Golf Australia Golf Link handicap cardholders,” Mr Evans said.

“There’s about 400,000 in total but 260,000 play regularly enough to qualify for the cup and we enrolled 98,000 in our first year last year.”

The brand awareness campaign is also being deployed at club level, with the company working with its dealer network to become sponsors at a grassroots level.

The Hyundai-badged Genesis sedan was launched in November 2014 and has become popular with the private hire-car market for its comfort and cabin space. Sales figures show 163 were sold in the short time it was in showrooms during 2014.

Another 540 were sold through Hyundai dealerships the following year, a tally it failed to exceed last year with just 373 leaving showrooms.

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