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Hyundai confirms luxury Genesis Brand to take on Lexus & Infiniti

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Hyundai are planning to launch the Genesis Brand (Hyundai Veloster pictured)

The rise and rise of Hyundai (and Kia too) has lead to speculation for some time that the next stage in their evolution is a proper luxury brand to take on Infiniti and Lexus, and it’s now confirmed that Hyundai will be launching the ‘Genesis’ brand within two years.

Not to be confused with the ‘Not for the UK’ Hyundai Genesis, the Genesis brand will be a range of cars from Hyundai offering real competition for the luxury brands from Nissan and Toyota, but with a dose of Hyundai pricing and warranty thrown in to the mix.

Hyundai’s product manager in Australia – Roland Rivero - has come out and confirmed that the Genesis brand is in  the making and will initially – at least in Australia – offer two RWD cars.

The starting point will be a saloon and coupe aimed at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class and Audi A4, and it will be a completely new model, not a tarted-up version of an existing Hyundai. Benchmarks for the Genesis Saloon/Coupe are said to be Infiniti’s G37 and BMW’s 3-Series Coupe.

Also in the mix is a bigger Genesis model aimed at the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class, featuring RWD and a 10-speed auto-’box and both a big V6 and a 5.0 litre V8 on offer (and no doubt a powerful turbo diesel when Genesis reaches the UK).

Rivero also says that Hyundai is planning to start initially with the two models mentioned but that if all goes well Hyundai will look at extending the Genesis brand.

Hyundai is already out-doing the established Japanese makers on their bread and butter cars, and the news that they are going to go upmarket with a luxury brand will send shivers down the spines of execs at Toyota and Nissan.

Of course, this could all be a specific plan just for Australia, but it seems highly unlikely Hyundai are going to produce a range of luxury cars for a relatively small market like Australia, and nowhere else.

We’re hunting for information on the plans for Genesis in the UK and Europe, and we’ll update when we know more.

Source: Drive Australia

By Cars UK