After some years of deliberation, Hyundai clearly now means business with Genesis, wisely waiting to launch (or should that be, re-launch!) its premium brand into the heart of the tough European prestige/executive sector, currently dominated by the established German premium marques of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Legitimately taking a seat at the top table, sitting alongside these established and successful German prestige brands, is a very tough call, as failed premium players such as Infiniti (Nissan’s failed executive make; ) plus long-admired and established names such as Jaguar, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Lexus, and Cadillac, Lincoln and Honda’s Acura in North America, can testify. Beating the German brand’s stranglehold in this market prestige luxury segment is certainly a very tough and costly task!
Despite their very best and gallant efforts (particularly in the cases of Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Volvo and Lexus, the latter taking three decades to establish a foothold in the large and lucrative European premium new car market that Infiniti, Saab, Rover and Lancia bailed out of in the early 21st Century, although thankfully Lancia is due for a re-launch soon-ish under its new Stellantis ownership) all of these trusted and once-admired marques have failed to make any serious inroads into the dominance of the German prestige brands, despite the latter’s exclusivity and refinement levels often left wanting in recent years, as quantity has ruled over quality.
Quite way highly competent premium models such as the Jaguar XF, Alfa Romeo Giulia and or Volvo S90 have failed to tempt sheep-like buyers away from the dominant but predictable German executive saloons remains a mystery to me, although the (unfair) lower residual values of the none-German cars doesn’t help their showroom and online appeal, with the higher monthly rental and leasing costs of these ‘outcast’ alternatives.
Hyundai has had limited but previous experience in attempting to woo would-be Mercedes or Audi buyers, with laughable previous attempts such as the plush but woeful XG350 and Grandeur models, these depreciating like a very hot stone but becoming favourites with top-line, high-mileage minicab owners.