As one of the newest brands in the market, Genesis has a lot of space to grow. With monthly record sales, outstanding product and authentic design, the brand has been on a roll over since its launch six years ago. But in its short history, Genesis has suffered from management shuffles, strategy changes and more. We recently had a chance to talk to newly appointed chief operating officer, Claudia Márquez, who joined Genesis after being CEO of Hyundai Mexico. We talked about a wide variety of topics—from future products to its electrification strategy, its dealer network, and her biggest challenge.
A GV90 Might Be on the Way
With three sedans and two SUVs offerings, Genesis has room to expand its lineup of crossovers. Currently, the GV70 and GV80 SUVs—a compact and two-row midsize SUV, respectively—are the only two offerings, but the electric-only GV60 will launch next year, and the brand is already thinking where to go next. Of course, a three-row midsize SUV would be a natural option.
Márquez, said Genesis isn’t ignoring the segment and is paying close attention to what customers want. “Today we have GV80 with an optional third row, but what about bigger SUVs?” she asked. “I’d love to talk more about it, but I can’t reveal that until a certain date.”
While we haven’t seen any GV90 spy shots, we saw what looked like a model sized three-row SUV in a recent video featuring Genesis’ chief creative officer, Luc Donckerwolke The GV90 would compete against the BMW X7, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Lincoln Aviator, Audi Q7 and more, and would fit perfectly in the lineup.
Electrified GV70 Is Coming to America
Márquez also confirmed the Genesis Electrified GV70 is coming to the U.S., though its date hasn’t been set. The electric version of MotorTrend‘s 2022 SUV of the Year was recently revealed in South Korea with 483 hp and quick charging capabilities.
Like its fuel-based counterpart, the Electrified GV70 will only be available in all-wheel drive, getting a two-motor setup to deliver 516 lb-ft of torque. Although we still don’t know what battery size the electric GV70 will utilize, it will cover about 250 miles per the Korean EV certification system, though that number could be lower based on the EPA standards.
The Electrified GV70 would be the second or third electric model to join the Genesis lineup. The electric-only GV60 SUV is about to reach U.S. shores early next year, while the Electrified G80 is also on the way. The GV60 is based on the E-GMP platform, which is shared with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 and is a bit smaller than the GV70. Although no specs have finalized, we expect it will get around 300 miles of range like its Hyundai and Kia counterparts.
Genesis plans to only launch electrified vehicles by 2025 and expects to only sell electric vehicles by 2030. “Next year we will launch GV60 and Electrified G80 and we’re happy with all these opportunities. Electrified GV70 will be next and will probably be one of the best-selling EVs we have in terms of volume given its segment,” Márquez said.
The Dealer Network
When Genesis started six years ago, the brand said it would use Hyundai’s existing dealer network to sell Genesis cars, but after getting sued and forced to stop selling cars in some states, those plans were quickly abandoned. Now, Genesis is starting its own dealer network, and while that will take some time to get established, Márquez said that’s not keeping them from getting their numbers up. In fact, the chip shortage has caused them to sell less than what they could have.
“Although we’ve surpassed our goals set for this year, we know we can sell more. Our inventory is quite low with the setup we have today, and if we had more production, we could have better sales numbers. It’s not about the Genesis dealers, it’s more about the limitations we have with the chip shortage,” she added.
Lafayette, Louisiana will be the first official Genesis dealer to open its doors in early 2022, and will be followed by Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Between now and June 30, more Genesis dealers will start to be built in important markets, Márquez said.
The Biggest Challenge
Being a new player has its challenges, and brand awareness is one of them. Although Genesis has strong products, a lot of people don’t know about it. “We’re the best kept secret,” Márquez jokes.
After taking her post on October 1, Márquez said her biggest challenge will be to make sure Genesis is widely known across the U.S. Since her start, she switched ad campaigns to tier 1 media, including TV spots on major networks—something the brand had abandoned under former CEO Mark del Rosso.
The other route for brand awareness is having spaces like Genesis House in New York, a three-story facility that houses a showroom, a fine-dining South Korean restaurant, and an events space. “[In places like Genesis House] we not only have the chance to show our products, but also what Genesis represents. What is the culture? What is the legacy?” she added.
Márquez is also focusing on customer support, saying that all employees who have contact with customers will need to go through different types of training depending on their jobs. “We have to be strongly prepared for our electrification strategy, so that when we get there we are at an important level and be a good alternative for our customers,” she said.
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