Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand took the NY auto show by storm last week when it unveiled its stunning New York Concept. The rave reviews from the automotive press are excellent news for the luxury brand. Back in November last year, Hyundai’s announcement of the creation of the Genesis brand was met with a fair amount of skepticism. That’s because making it into the luxury car market requires an incredible amount of time, investment and quite a bit of luck.
The Korean brand seems to be following the example of the Japanese luxury trio of Lexus (Toyota), Acura (Honda), and Infiniti (Nissan). Using Hyundai as well as its sister brand Kia, the Korean automaker spent the last 30 years building up brand equity in the US while establishing itself as a major league mass-market manufacturer with significant market share, reports Business Insider. Having accomplished that, Hyundai decided to pursue a different kind of market, in search of higher profit margins.
One of the major aims of the New York Concept is to challenge BMW’s industry-leading 3-Series. And it looks like Hyundai has the right people in the right places to make that happen. Last year, Hyundai tapped former Lamborghini head of brand and design Manfred Fitzgerald to oversee the Genesis brand. Former Bentley design director Luc Donckerwolke was brought in to run the design team. And then there’s Albert Biermann. The auto executive joined Hyundai at the end of 2014 and will be tasked with making Genesis drive like a world-class sports sedan. Before joining Hyundai, Biermann was the chief engineer at BMW’s vaunted “M” division. His resume includes the development of the latest generation BMW M3 and M4.
The Genesis lineup currently consists of a couple of larger luxury cars based on current Hyundai models. If a production version of the New York Concept were to make it to market, it would be the brand’s first truly new car.