Hyundai to debut its premium Genesis brand in Europe this summer

Rival to German brands like BMW and Lexus, Genesis will offer both conventional and electric models

Hyundai will launch its premium brand Genesis in Europe this summer, debuting its flagship saloon and SUV models in one of the world's fastest growing electric vehicle markets.

Genesis, which launched as Hyundai's standalone luxury division in 2015 to compete with premium brands like BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, said it will sell both conventional and electric models in the region. Initially the brand will enter the German, UK and Swiss markets.

“The Electrified G80 will be the first all-electric Genesis to arrive in Europe. A further two battery electric cars will follow, providing European customers with a choice of three Genesis zero-emission cars within the first year,” Genesis Motor Europe said in a statement.

Saloons and SUVs

Genesis said orders will open for the Genesis G80 saloon and the Genesis GV80 SUV in June, with the new G70 saloon and GV70 SUV following soon after.


“While Genesis cars are now at a level right below Lexus cars in the US market, it would take some time for them to stand out in Europe as a luxury brand, considering competition among prominent European brands,” said Lee Seung-hwan, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

Lee said however the Genesis brand has room to grow in the European market as they could offer more cost-competitive EVs than other European carmakers.

Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the European Union almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles last year, accounting for more than 10 per cent of overall sales, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) showed.

As carmakers began rolling out new EVs to meet environment regulations, Volkswagen Group, Europe's biggest automaker, unveiled its ID.3 and ID.4 models, while premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi launched high-end versions.

In the first quarter, sales of Genesis cars jumped 165 per cent in South Korea and more than doubled from a year earlier in the United States, according to Hyundai sales data. The brand launched last month in China. - Reuters