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Luxury cars

Hyundai Motor to launch Genesis in Europe; US auto sales at record high

May 04, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai's G80 sedan
Hyundai's G80 sedan

Hyundai Motor Co. is taking its standalone high-end brand Genesis to Europe, the traditional stronghold of premium cars such as BMW and Audi, as the top South Korean automaker aims to rebrand itself as a maker of luxury vehicles.

Hyundai on May 4 announced its official entry into the European premium auto market during an online conference with media in Frankfurt, Germany.

The company said it will launch the G80 sedan and GV80 SUV – the two flagship models of its independent luxury brand – in Germany, the UK, Switzerland and other European countries in June.

The launch will be followed by the mid-size G70 sedan, the G70V SUV and other strategic models dedicated for Europe by the end of the year, it said.

To meet growing demand for electric cars in Europe, Hyundai said it will also launch three models of EVs this year, including the electric version of the G80 that was unveiled last month.

As part of its online marketing efforts, the company plans to open “Genesis Studio,” an online sales platform in Munich, London and Zurich.

SHIFTING GEARS FROM SEDANS TO PREMIUM MODELS

Earlier last month, Hyundai took its Genesis models to China, the world’s largest car market, in a bid to enhance its presence in the luxury segment on a global stage.

Hyundai's G80 sedan
Hyundai's G80 sedan

In mid-April, the company also showcased its first electric version of its premium brand Genesis, dubbed the Electrified G80, at the opening of Auto Shanghai 2021 to revive its sluggish sales in China.

In the US, the Genesis brand is already gaining popularity, pushing Hyundai Motor to post its best-ever monthly sales for a second consecutive month in April.

US SALES AT ALL-TIME HIGH FOR SECOND MONTH

The company sold 3,294 Genesis cars last month, up 308.7% from the year-earlier period. The GV80 accounted for 58% of all Genesis models sold in the US market.

Hyundai's GV80 SUV
Hyundai's GV80 SUV

Overall, Hyundai Motor America sold 80,817 units, including Genesis models, in April, up 132% from a year earlier.

On Monday, Hyundai’s sister firm Kia Corp. also reported its best-ever US auto sales for a second straight month, driven by sport utility vehicles as well as two Kia nameplates – K5 and Forte.

The two automaking units of the Hyundai Motor Group said their combined US car sales more than doubled to 147,700 vehicles last month.

The Genesis G80 EV
The Genesis G80 EV

The stellar performance was also helped by a lower base of comparison as most automakers had to slash their operations in 2020 due to weak sales amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. posted 182.6% on-year growth in US auto sales in April, while Honda Motor Co.’s sales increased 171%.

Write to Il-Gue Kim at Black0419@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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