In a crisis, there are always winners and losers. The auto industry is facing a number of challenges and threats, while some of the world's major economies could go into recession in the coming months. In this context, it is interesting to see how some companies manage to grow and achieve success even in difficult times.
Genesis, Hyundai's premium brand, is one of them. It was officially announced as an independent brand in late 2015 and launched its first model, the Genesis G90, in 2017. This was done years after Hyundai created the Genesis sub-brand as a "progressive interpretation of the modern, self-propelled sports sedan." And it was worth it.
According to global data from last year, this brand has sold a little more than 200,000 new cars. The total was 58 percent higher than what Genesis registered in 2020. That year, it had already posted a 55 percent increase compared to 2019, despite the problems caused by the pandemic. In 2018, Genesis sold 77,000 units.
A Question Of Consistency In Product Launches
The main reason for continued sales growth lies in consistency in product launches. Even though the cars initially offered by the brand were not autonomous models, Genesis has started to work on a very interesting plan that includes several cars with their own technology and personality. Since its founding, Genesis has presented five new models and two major redesigns of previous Hyundai models.
The current lineup includes three sedans targeting three different segments, one wagon for the European markets, and three SUVs. All are positioned on the same level as brands such as BMW or Mercedes-Benz.
This is the right way to create and position a new car brand. However, that's not the only success factor. Genesis also worked on key markets while gradually arriving in others. For example, from its inception, it was clear that the United States would be the ideal point of reference. Without this market, it is quite complex to survive for any premium brand. South Korea, known for the purchase of large sedans, was also key.
After securing these two important markets, Genesis started looking overseas. It entered Europe in 2021 and has just arrived in China. Today, without the last two markets, Genesis outperforms other traditional premium brands. And it is expected to increase in share again with the launch of more products in other segments and the expansion of the brand in China, the largest market in the world for premium cars.
An Example For Traditional Premium Brands
This success story, at least so far, should become an example for other premium brands that have struggled to gain ground. It is well known that competing against BMW, Audi, or Mercedes is not an easy task. But it's not impossible. Tesla, Volvo, and Lexus can tell you how to grab a fair share of this profitable market.
The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is a JATO Dynamics Automotive Industry Specialist.