Genesis taking root as luxury car brand with steady sales in U.S.

SEOUL-- Genesis, an independent luxury brand spun off from Hyundai Motor Co., is taking root in the United States as a premium vehicle, having gained 13 percent of the market segment in one year, company officials said Wednesday.

The new brand was formally launched in the U.S. market in August 2016 with the G80, which has sold 17,206 units as of July this year. After sales of some 2,000 units in the first month of its launch, the model has maintained a monthly sales average of 1,000 so far.

G90, made available in September last year, has sold 3,483 units as of July with a monthly average of between 300 and 400, according to Hyundai.

The two models together accounted for 13.3 percent of mid- to high luxury vehicles sales in the U.S. for the January-July months this year. Should sales continue on course for the rest of the year, the Genesis brand would be able to exceed 10 percent of the annual market share for the first time ever, officials said. Its market share last year was 9.6 percent.

The July sales figure shows a decrease of 8.3 percent from the same month of previous year, but officials said it outperformed expectations that were lowered due to the overall slump in the U.S. auto market.

The G80 is classified as a mid-luxury car, rivaling the Mercedes Benz E class and BMW 5 series. The G90 is pitted against the S class of Mercedes Benz and 7 series from BMW, representing the premium luxury segment. The former ranks fourth in its category, and the latter fifth, in terms of sales.

Officials said Genesis will be strengthening its lineup with new models in order to expand its presence in the U.S., the best market for luxury cars. It will also continue to build marketing and sales networks in the U.S. independent of Hyundai. It has established an internal business team to set up such networks by mid-2018, according to the officials.

The G70, a performance sedan by Genesis, is due for launch in South Korea next month before landing in the U.S. early next year, which would better reinforce the luxury image of the brand by widening the choices and increasing market share, officials said.

"We are encouraged in our assessment from the positive feedback in the U.S. market," a Hyundai official said. "We will be able to raise our market presence more quickly after we launch G70 and own an independent sales network."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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