After dipping into the premium market with the Genesis and Equus sedans, Hyundai made headlines with the planned launch of a separate premium brand, Genesis. It starts with the renamed G80 (neé Genesis) and redesigned G90 (Equus) sedans here in the US, but European consumers will have to wait.
“To launch a premium brand in Europe is a challenge and it’s an even bigger challenge if you don’t have the products you need for the market,” Hyundai Europe Chief Operating Officer Thomas Schmid told Automotive News Europe. “Europe won’t see it before 2019. The main reason is we need different powertrains.”
Powertrains aren’t the brand’s only shortcoming. With the G70 – a 3 Series competitor – coming as the third showroom product, the brand also won’t have a competitor in the increasingly important crossover ranks. As Schmid told ANE, “we don’t yet see the right moment to do it because at the end, we want to be successful, and successful also means profitable.” Initially, Genesis will launch in North America, the Middle East, China, and South Korea.
Pushing back the European launch to 2019 or 2020 should give Genesis some breathing room, ANE reports. By that point, the company will offer six different vehicles, including two CUVs. According to Schmid, the brand would launch in Europe with just five vehicles. At halfway through 2016 and nothing but the G70 on the radar, expect an aggressive product launch schedule in the coming years if Genesis is going to stick to that timeline.