South Korea’s Hyundai Motor revealed the first sport-utility vehicle (SUV) under its Genesis model Wednesday, a move analysts mentioned was crucial for the premium marque’s expansion in foreign markets.
The brand spun off in 2015, is an initiative of Hyundai Motor Group heir apparent Euisun Chung geared toward revamping the image of the value-for-money auto manufacturer.
Nonetheless, its sedan-solely fleet has limited its attain in the U.S. – its biggest overseas marketplaces – where client preference has shifted to SUVs, and where Hyundai has been entangled in disputes with dealerships.
The auto manufacturer plans to roll out the GV80 SUV in North America in the first quarter of 2020.
It expects the model to be a part of a strengthened fleet that will also lead the brand’s expansion in China and Europe where it has yet to make inroads, William Lee, Global Head of Genesis, told a media conference.
Genesis’ fleet currently contains just three sedans, which analysts stated limits its appeal, notably with the increased demand for SUVs amongst younger drivers in recent years.
The brand made progress rebuilding its U.S. retail network in 2019 after flip-flopping on technique for separate dealerships to these of Hyundai-branded automobiles, which led to authorized disputes with Hyundai sellers.
About 350 Hyundai dealerships in the USA have Genesis showrooms, with about a dozen in the “early stages” of creating plans for separate Genesis retail facilities.