Hyundai is planning to reveal its second-generation version of the Genesis saloon at the Detroit motor show that kicks off on January 18th. However, for the first time, the car manufacturer will be bring the large saloon to Europe.
As this is the first time Hyundai is bringing this type of vehicle to European markets, the company will only be shipping hundreds, rather than thousands.
Mark Hall, the company’s vice-president of marketing, said that, although European sales will be in small numbers, the new Genesis has been engineered for right as well as left-hand drive and the UK is one of the markets where it will be offered.
However, in Britain, only the rear-wheel-drive version will go on sale instead of the H-Trac all-wheel-drive option. This is because the cost of engineering all-wheel-drive in models with the steering wheel on the right could not be justified with the estimated number of sales that would take place in the UK, according to Mr Hall.
The original Genesis was developed only for American and Korean markets, but it appears as though this new model will make more of a global impact. It is thought that this shift in strategy could be down to the rising number of Korean-made cars in European markets.
However, if the move is a lucrative one for Hyundai, it could lead to more versions of the model being offered in the UK, mainly a diesel option.
Mr Hall said that the company’s “number one task” is to take the brand’s image over to Europe, adding that awareness of the firm has massively increased over the past few years.
“According to Interbrand, we are now a brand worth $9 billion (£5.4 billion), but in Europe we are still some way behind our competitors. Brand awareness has improved by 50 per cent in the last two years but we need to do more, and we want a further 70 per cent increase over the next three years.”
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