Genesis launches in Europe as premium rival to BMW, Mercedes and Audi

Korean brand unveils ambitious plans for three EVs and bespoke European model within 12 months

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 11:44 am
Genesis G80 and GV80
Genesis G80 and GV80

South Korean premium car maker Genesis has officially launched in Europe, revealing plans for three electric cars and a range of luxury SUVs and saloons as it looks to challenge the established prestige marques.

The young brand’s ambitious plans will see it take on BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Lexus and Volvo with a range of high-end saloons and SUVs, starting with the G80 and the GV80, which will go on sale this summer.

Shortly after that the smaller G70 and GV70 models will arrive, followed by a model designed specifically for the European market and Genesis says it will launch two more all-electric models within the first year to sit alongside the all-electric version of the G80.

The Genesis G80 will be one of the first models on sale

Having established itself over the last five years in its home country, the US and Middle East, the brand is initially launching in the UK, Germany and Switzerland ahead of a wider roll-out across Europe, a region described by European managing director Dominique Boesch as the “spiritual home of the premium car market”.

Boesch commented: “We are excited to bring such a strong range of globally recognised products to the region. Genesis is already well-known for its impeccably high standards in design, technology, safety and reliability.

“However, it is our mission to offer so much more than just great products. We know that customers today crave experiences, and the onus is on us as a premium luxury brand to deliver a service which provides both convenience and exceptional hospitality to our customers. That is how we will stand apart.”

Admitting that “We won't beat our competitors at their own game and won’t try”, Boesch said Genesis - part of the Hyundai Motor Company - planned to offer them something different and unique.

Genesis GV80

Rather than using franchised dealers Genesis will sell directly to the customer, with every buyer dealing with a dedicated “personal assistant” hired from the worlds of luxury hospitality and retail. The brand is opening “retail studios” in London, Zurich and Munich but plans for most customers to buy online. It claims its buying and aftersales model means customers will never have to visit a dealer. All customers will be offered a five-year servicing and warranty package that will include home delivery and collection at every stage of the buying and maintenance process.

It is also putting an emphasis on simplicity and saving customers time, with a transparent pricing structure which it says means there will be no need for haggling or discounts.

Genesis is launching in the UK, Germany and Switzerland with two existing models before quickly expanding with two other current models, its bespoke European car and two EVs, one of which will be built on a brand-new BEV platform.

First to go on sale will be the G80 executive saloon which is expected to go up against the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. A choice of 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engines will be offered alongside an all-electric derivative with an estimated range of up to 265 miles.

Genesis says the G80's interior is designed to be simple but luxurious

Alongside it will be the GV80 SUV, challenging the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE and Volvo XC90. Using the same 2.5-litre petrol as the G80 or a straight-six 3.0-litre diesel engine, the GV80 features electronically controlled all-wheel-drive and active suspension which uses a camera to spot potholes and optimise the ride, similar to Rolls-Royce’s Flagbearer system.

Both models have been significantly retuned for European roads, doubling the usual development time to ensure their setups offer what Genesis says will be an unrivalled balance of comfort and performance.

Prices and specifications for the G80 and GV80 are expected to be announced soon, ahead of sales beginning in June.