What’s in a badge? Don’t answer that question, because Hyundai’s about to do so: we hear the automaker is working on making the Genesis name a sub-brand in the vein of Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti.
Hyundai already makes what it believes are three premium cars -- the Genesis, Genesis Coupe, and Equus -- but it’s mulling moving all three of those into a luxury sub-brand called Genesis. Automotive News reports that the cars would be sold from the same Hyundai dealers that currently sell the three models, but that a rebrand may burnish the car’s upscale intentions.
There’s certainly lots of precedent on a move like this: Toyota has Lexus, Honda has Acura, Nissan has Infiniti. It would take quite a bit of work to catch up with the competition, however: sales of the Genesis, Genesis Coupe, and Equus hit about 36,000 units last year, about a third as much as Infiniti during the same time period.
By branding all three of the cars Genesis, Hyundai would reportedly rename the three cars with some sort of alphanumeric scheme. We’d shy away from obvious schemes--i10, i20, and i30 are already taken, and H1, H2, and H3 have some bad memories attached to them--but the top-spec Genesis Coupe already usesthea 380GT moniker overseas, so we’re sure Hyundai has a number of ideas up its sleeve.
As for the badging, Hyundai seems to think that removing the giant H badges from its upscale cars is a slam dunk, as do many of its customers. It doesn’t take much sleuthing to find a bunch of owners forums and YouTube videos of owners who remove the flying H badge from their cars; many go ahead and purchase a Korean Domestic Market winged Genesis badge to replace it.
Will we hear an actual commitment any time soon? History says no--Hyundai has been considering this for at least two years and Automotive News reports that there’s no decision in sight. With sales of the Equus well above expectations, it might be time for the Korean company to strike.
Source: Automotive News (Sub. required)