South Korea’s Hyundai Motor introduced the first sport-utility vehicle (SUV) under its Genesis brand Wednesday, a step analysts stated was crucial for the premium marque’s expansion in overseas markets.
The brand spun off in 2015, is an initiative of Hyundai Motor heir-apparent Euisun Chung geared toward improving the picture of the value-for-money auto manufacturer.
However, its sedan-only line has limited its reach in the U.S. – its largest foreign market – where client preference has moved to SUVs, and where Hyundai has been entangled in conflicts with dealerships.
The auto manufacturer plans to introduce the GV80 SUV in North America in the first quarter of 2020. It expects the model to be a part of a strengthened l-fleet that can even lead the company’s growth in China and Europe, where it has yet to make inroads.
Genesis’ fleet at the moment contains merely three sedans, which analysts stated limits its appeal, notably with the elevated demand for SUVs among younger drivers lately.
The brand showed progress rebuilding its U.S. retail community last year after flip-flopping on strategy for separate dealerships to those of Hyundai-branded automobiles, which led to legal conflicts with Hyundai vendors.
About 350 Hyundai dealerships in the U.S. have Genesis showrooms, with about a dozen in the “early levels” of developing plans for separate Genesis retail centers, U.S.-stationed Genesis spokesperson Kevin Smith stated in an emailed assertion.
More than 70% of Genesis autos had been sold in South Korea during January-November 2019, with the rest sold mainly in the U.S.