Hyundai Motor to come up with luxury electric cars under Genesis brand

  • Reuters, Busan, South Korea
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2016 17:16 IST
The logo of Hyundai Genesis is seen on its new model EQ900 at the Hyundai Motor Studio in Seoul, South Korea. (Reuters file photo)

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co plans to launch a luxury all-electric vehicle under its Genesis marque to build out the lineup of its new premium brand, senior vice-president Manfred Fitzgerald said.

“We will definitely go as Genesis brand down the road of alternative propulsions and it is very, very obvious that EV is definitely on the map,” Fitzgerald told reporters on the sidelines of an auto show in Busan, without elaborating on details such as a launch date.

“I think full electric cars will be the future in the auto industry,” said the former Lamborghini director who recently joined Hyundai and leads strategy for Genesis, which broke out as a standalone luxury brand in November.

Genesis is a departure for Hyundai Motor, which had earned its reputation as a value brand, and is seen aiming at tapping growing demand for premium cars with higher prices to boost flagging profits.

Senior vice-president Manfred Fitzgerald, head of Hyundai's Genesis brand, speaks during the media preview of the 2016 New York International Auto Show in Manhattan, New York on March 23, 2016. (Reuters file photo)

But the brand faces a challenge of carving out its own identity and differentiating itself from its group brands - Hyundai and Kia Motors - as well as German competitors, analysts say.

“The main goal is to have a strong differentiation within brands. No design overlap,” said Luc Donckerwolke, senior vice president at Hyundai Design Centre.

Genesis is a key initiative for Hyundai Motor vice-chairperson and heir apparent Chung Eui-sun, who is being groomed to succeed his father and chairperson Chung Mong-koo.

“He is involved in all decisions,” Fitzgerald said.

Hyundai’s luxury sedan model Genesis was also showcased at the India Auto Expo in New Delhi in February. (HT file photo)

Hyundai Motor plans to add a diesel version of its Genesis G80 large sedan in the first half of next year, the company said in a statement.

The gasoline-powered G80, unveiled at the auto show, is the second model under the Genesis brand after G90 and will be introduced in South Korea next month.

An electric vehicle would diversify the propulsion systems for the new brand, something Fitzgerald said was important to success in the luxury market.

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