Hyundai's luxury brand Genesis is coming to Europe, and Steve Fowler thinks it will succeed where many others have failed
Ever heard of Genesis? If you haven’t already, you soon will. The luxury brand of the Hyundai Motor Group has dabbled in Europe with top-end Hyundais, but it’s set to launch a major assault on the UK and Europe to take on – deep breath – BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
So how can Genesis get it right where others, most notably Infiniti (which announced it’s giving up on Europe just a few weeks ago), have failed miserably?
• Genesis Mint concept revealed in New York
My star of the 2019 New York Motor Show was the Genesis Mint concept. Its designer, former Bentley boy Sangyup Lee, told me he wanted to prove that luxury could come in the smallest of packages. And boy, was he right.
I caught up with Genesis boss Manfred Fitzgerald in New York, where he revealed that his brand could arrive in Europe sooner than many think. I asked whether we’d see it next year. “You’re not too far off,” he replied. “It won’t take three years.”
It won’t include dealers, either; Genesis will sell direct online and through luxurious “brand centres”.
Fitzgerald’s brand is already making waves in the US, so why Europe? “To be a relevant global brand you have to go into the lion’s den, which means Europe,” he explained.
We’ll see an all-new large saloon and SUV later this year, with another SUV shortly after and EVs coming, too. Then there’s the Mint concept. “It could be turned around in three to four years’ time,” said Fitzgerald.
He promises Genesis will be “audacious, progressive and distinctly Korean” yet, crucially, it will understand European needs. “There are certain Korean attributes I want people to understand and experience: a sense of humility and harmony, bringing things into balance. If people can experience that at every corner, I think that will deliver an alternative to what we have today,” he added.
With Fitzgerald and his global team, backed by Korean drive, desire and resources, I reckon Genesis will succeed where so many others have failed.
Are you looking forward to seeing Genesis in Europe? Let us know your thoughts below…