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Hyundai Will Limit Sales of Genesis in Europe (Unless It Sells Well)

When Hyundai introduces the 2015 Hyundai Genesis near-luxury sedan at the Geneva Auto Show next week it plans to do so with the intention of making it an exclusive car with limited sales.

Unspoken is the fact that Hyundai will sell as many as they can. That 1000 sales figure is just being thrown out there so the car looks successful if it hits that number. That probably means Hyundai has higher internal targets.

According to BusinessWeek, "The Genesis, which went on sale in South Korea in November, competes with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s 5-Series and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz E-Class models. The German brands control more than 80 percent of luxury-car deliveries in the U.K., and the western European and Scandinavian markets are likely to be the 'toughest to penetrate' for the South Korean company," Allan Rushforth, head of the Seoul-based manufacturer’s business in the region, said at a press conference in London.

The article also said, "Hyundai’s market share in the region narrowed 0.1 percentage point to 3.4 percent last year amid an industrywide sales drop to a two-decade low as the company prepared to introduce a new version of the i10 small car. Rushforth reiterated targets for Hyundai to bring out 22 new models by 2017 and account for 5 percent of European industrywide sales by the end of the decade."

Can the Genesis be competitive in Europe? It's a tough question to answer but my sense is going to be no. Europeans are snobs about their cars, probably more so than Americans. It's tough for luxury cars to crack that market if they're not German.

Hyundai is really trying to target the 20% of luxury car sales that aren't German. Call it gut instinct but their conquests are going to come from non-German sales.
It's a shame, too, because Europeans should rightly love what seems to be a great sedan. We haven’t driven it yet but based on what we've seen of the releases from South Korea, Hyundai has a winner on its hands.

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