It’s not uncommon for one major auto corporation to own several brands. Many consumers might not even be aware of this. One example of this is BMW, which owns Rolls-Royce. Another is the Hyundai Motor Group, which owns several brands. Genesis is its latest, and the growing Korean automaker has big plans for its new luxury brand.
The connection between Hyundai and Genesis
Though owning three brands is impressive, there’s now another one joining Hyundai Motor Group. Hyundai recently announced it’s turning the electric Ioniq into a separate brand. This will give Hyundai Motor Group four brands.
The main headquarters for Hyundai Motor Group is in Seoul, South Korea. Genesis North America headquarters are in Fountain Valley, California.
Genesis has an all-star lineup of designers and engineers, along with its CEO
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Genesis knew that to get off the ground, it would have to have the right people. In this case, the right people were working for other companies, and Genesis drew them away.
Forbes reports, “First came Peter Schreyer, the Audi artisan who seemed destined to lead all VW Group design before he was lured away by Genesis. Schreyer was followed by Luc Donckerwolke, the former design chief of VW Group’s Lamborghini and Bentley brands. For crucial performance and refinement under-the-skin, Kia’s hiring of Albert Biermann, the chief engineer of BMW’s fabled M performance division, made waves worldwide.”
That Genesis is a new company was probably a huge part of the appeal for Schreyer, Donckerwolke, and Bierman. They had the freedom to release their creativity.
The CEO of Genesis North America, Mark Del Rosso, is the former chief operating officer for Audi of America. He’s focused on bringing something new and exciting to the table, which will help Genesis thrive in the big leagues. However, Del Russo has his work cut out for him because the auto world is tough for a newish start-up.
What does the future hold for Hyundai’s luxury automaker?
Starting a new luxury brand that can compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus is no easy feat. It means hard work. It also means grabbing the attention of consumers who are fiercely loyal to other brands and persuading them your vehicles are better.
Genesis hasn’t done that yet. The sales figures paint a grim picture. According to Forbes, Genesis only sold 21,237 vehicles last year.
Poor numbers aren’t exactly persuading dealers to invest in Genesis by opening showrooms that don’t have the Hyundai name on the door. Despite the rise of CarMax and Carvana, many consumers still like the experience of walking into a dealership and physically setting eyes on the available vehicles. There’s nothing like that new-car smell, after all, and a pretty picture online can’t provide that.
Genesis hasn’t given up, though, and the addition of the GV70 and the latest GV80 is bringing some much-needed cash flow. Considering Genesis is only 5 years old and has a mere five vehicles to offer, it’s understandable it isn’t getting more attention. When it begins to develop more vehicles, we’ll know whether this new brand will make it or go the way of Oldsmobile and Pontiac.