Company Car Today

Genesis: Korean premium brand reveals European launch plans

Premium brand Genesis has confirmed its European launch plans, with the UK being one of three initial markets alongside Germany and Switzerland. 

Genesis: The first models

G80

The executive saloon model arrives alongside its GV80 SUV sibling this summer. It will be launched with 210hp diesel and 304hp petrol engines, which will emit 161g/km and 196g/km of CO2 respectively.

Prices are expected to start from around £35,000. Both saloon and SUV get a 14.5-inch touchscreen
with augmented-reality navigation, with directions on the main screen overlaying a camera view
of the road ahead.

An electric model, Genesis’s first EV, with an estimated range of 265 miles will join the line-up
by the end of this year.

GV80

The large SUV is powered by 304hp 2.5-litre turbo petrol or 278hp 3.0-litre diesel options. The latter will be the more efficient at 214g/km and 34.4mpg, against the petrol’s 226g/km and 28.2mpg. It also features electronically controlled suspension that uses a front camera to spot potholes and optimise comfort, and has Terrain Modes for mud, sand or snow conditions. Prices should start from somewhere in the region of £50,000.

Future product

The G70 saloon and GV70 SUV come later in 2021, these two smaller models will slot in below their respective saloon and SUV siblings.

Beyond that, Genesis has confirmed a new model designed for the European market, although detail is scarce, and said that there will be two further EVs
launched by summer 2022, although one may be the aforementioned Europe-specific car.

The brand, a sister company to Kia and Hyundai, will arrive with an executive saloon badged G80 and large SUV called GV80. These will be closely followed by a compact executive saloon and smaller SUV named G70 and GV70. An electric version of the G80 saloon will also launch by the end of this year, with another two electric models coming within 12 months of the first Genesis cars landing this summer. A “bespoke product for the European market”, probably a smaller model, is likely to be one of them. 

The company is expecting its SUV models to make up the bulk of its sales, and the European move follows on from the brand establishing itself in markets including the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and Russia, as well as its home South Korean market. Last year, it sold 130,000 vehicles worldwide. 

“Genesis has come to be recognised for its commitment to distinctive design, product quality and brand experience,” said Jay Chang, the global head of Genesis. 

“Europe is the spiritual home of the premium car market,” added Genesis Motor Europe managing director Dominique Boesch. “We will need to work hard, earn our place, but we have the ingredients to.”

However, the corporate sector is not thought to be an immediate target for a brand that won’t have a network of dealers. Instead, it will have ‘studios’ in what the company called “luxury shopping destinations”, the first of which will be in London’s Westfield centre. 

In time, Genesis will look to engage with the business sector, with recruitment ongoing for a European fleet manager, and a management team in place that already includes European corporate sales manager Daniel Dietrich.

The company also said it will be operating a “transparent” pricing structure with no haggling or discounting, with sales either online or through the studio sites. It will also offer collect-and-deliver for any service, maintenance or repair work, with a free courtesy car for the first five years as part of a deal that also includes warranty, roadside assistance, servicing and over-the-air updates for the first 60 months. The company is yet to reveal whether or how it plans to work with lease companies or the business sector, although volume targets for the first couple of years are unlikely to be high as the brand seeks to establish itself against the top German players, plus the likes of Volvo, Lexus and Jaguar Land Rover. 

“There will be no traditional franchise dealership model, we will sell to and support customers directly, both online and in the studio,” continued Boesch. 

Customers will be assigned a single ‘Personal Assistant’ point of contact from enquiry through to post-purchase interaction. Genesis claimed it has recruited staff for its studios with “high-end retail and hospitality experience, who will be trained to place customer care above all else”.

Genesis said it has carried out work on the suspension and powertrains to adapt its models to European tastes. 

“We won’t beat our competitors at their own game, but we won’t try to,” concluded Boesch. “Instead we will offer an alternative for a new generation of luxury customers. I think our customers will be surprised by the levels of refinement and performance we offer and delighted by the unique character of our vehicles.”
Paul Barker