Hyundai spins off Genesis into new luxury brand

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company has this week announced plans to create a new car brand from its Genesis line of vehicles.

This new brand will also be called Genesis, and will be positioned towards the higher, ‘luxury’ end of the market.

The spinning-off of this new brand follows similar moves by other Asian competitors like Toyota with Lexus and Nissan with Infiniti.

“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman.

“The Genesis brand will fulfil these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy.”

Hyundai plans for the new stand-alone Genesis brand to have at least 6 individual vehicle models by 2020.

This will mark a significant expansion from the 2 Genesis vehicles, a coupe and a sedan, currently offered by Hyundai.

These future models will be named using a new alphanumeric system combining the letter ‘G’ for Genesis with a number, 90, 80 or 70 etc., representing the vehicle segment.

Hyundai’s decision to spin off Genesis was likely due to the company’s fears of brand and marketing confusion.

Generally, the company is well known for its low-cost and affordable vehicles, so its higher-end Genesis offerings could potentially harm this reputation, while at the same time Genesis sales could be harmed by the ‘low-end’ positioning of Hyundai.

In order to help set the brand apart, Genesis will use a new logo consisting of a pair of wings over a shield. As well, the company will focus on a “distinct design identity” with its new models sharing common design features.

“In creating the design signature of Genesis brand cars, we set out to display confidence and originality, creating highly desirable products that present new charm through innovative styling and proportions,” said Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer of Hyundai.

The Genesis brand will initially be available in four markets – Korea, China, the Middle East and the US – with Europe having to wait till a later date.