The Genesis luxury brand has been launched at a buzzy, celebrity-laden occasion at its glamorous flagship retail showroom – aka Studio – bang in the bustling middle of Sydney retailing — the Pitt Sreet Mall.
Twice delayed, Genesis is finally on sale here with two introductory models, the G80 mid-size luxury sedan and G70 luxury sport sedan.
Speaking at the opening of the stunning two-level studio showroom on the site of the old Billabong outlet, the global head of Genesis, Manfred Fitzgerald, proudly declared Genesis is a brand name of which all Koreans can be proud.
The Korean connection was emphasised by entertainment from songstress Dami Im, born in Seoul but a huge success in her adopted Australia.
Accompanying the local launch of the brand is news that for the second year in a row Genesis has placed first in the J.D. Power US Initial Quality Study (IQS) among all automotive brands.
The IQS study, now in its fourth decade, serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality.
The launch of the company owned Genesis Studio Sydney trumpets a new premium customer experience to the Australian market, with all products bearing 5-year warranties, 5-years of free scheduled servicing, 5-years 24/7 roadside assist, and free map updates during the warranty time.
Genesis’s pampering extends to concierge pick-up and delivery as part of a valet-style “Genesis to you” program.
The customer’s Genesis is collected when due for a service, with a Genesis loan car provided until the serviced car is dropped back.
The Genesis Studio gives customers an individual point of contact from evaluation to purchase, which then continues throughout their Genesis vehicle ownership.
The stunningly designed Sydney Studio is defined by its spiral staircase, encircled by a spectacular, bespoke large-scale curved LED screen.
It will be joined by similar CBD retail sites in Melbourne and Brisbane next year.
Genesis certainly did its homework before settling on the prime location for its flagship studio in Sydney.
Glenn Forster, boss of national retail operations, points out that 47 million pairs of feet go through the Pitt Street Mall every year.
Every Saturday and every Sunday, all of 650,000 shoppers come into the city.
Prioritising Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for Genesis studios is a no brainer too, with 91 per cent of luxury vehicles sold in Australia sold on the east coast.
Don’t anticipate any discount pricing wars from Genesis, and therefore no resale pain.
Why? Because it owns the flagship dealership (and future retail outlets) it can control the pricing.
The handsome G70, a Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3-Series rival, gets a four-cylinder turbo and a rousing 272kW/510Nm 3.3-litre twin turbo V6 from the Hyundai Motor Group family of engines hooked up to an 8-speed auto and mechanical limited-slip differential.
A sampling of the 2019 North American Car of the Year confirms competent dynamics and a premium cabin.
The bigger G80, a rival for the BMW 5 Series, is a seriously upgraded version of the car sold locally (mainly to hire car companies) as the Hyundai Genesis.
Priced from $68,900 plus on-road costs, the well-proportioned G80 is powered by a carry over 232kW/397Nm 3.8-litre V6, while there is also a Sport variant with the same engine plus a styling pack that includes: mesh grille, overt front and rear bumpers, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Polished timber cabin trim gets the heave in favour of racier carbon-fibre.
Adaptive suspension is standard right across the G80 line-up.
With the appealing free servicing and long warranty, it’s already finding favour with fleets and government departments searching for a roomy alternative to the departed Holden Calais and Statesman.
An all-new G80 will be introduced globally next year.
Though forced to launch without SUVs (the current consumer fave among luxury car purchasers) the cavalry is on the way — a five-seat GV70 mid-sizer and a larger seven-seat GV80.
The GV80 SUV has been spied undergoing hot weather testing in Australia.
“It’s only the beginning,” Fitzgerald remarks, of these additions to the range, importantly, developed in both left-and right-hand drive.
The first Genesis electric vehicle is anticipated in 2021, on a dedicated EV platform.
The gorgeous all-electric Essential GT concept car is a sign of one path that Fitzgerald wants the brand to explore.
The Mint Concept unveiled at the New York motor show is another pointer to the adventurous directions Genesis is prepared to take early into its evolution.
The small, yet all-electric city car, categorised as an accessory for today’s urban lifestylers, is a ground-breaker in several ways and confirms that Genesis premium products come in all sizes.
Fitzgerald believes hydrogen fuel cell technology is the best low and zero-emissions solution going forward, with parent company Hyundai well placed with this alternative power source.
“The beauty of being part of the Hyundai Motor Group is our ability to tap in [to advanced technologies] at any time.”
“We know that Australia is one of the most competitive markets, with over 50 automotive brands on sale here, so we are very much looking forward to this challenge,” Fitzgerald said, adding that, to his visitor’s eyes, Australians manage the right lifestyle balance of hard work mixed generously with fun.
He clearly expects he’ll be providing products to hit the spot.