Genesis Is Busy Establishing Itself As An Independent Hyundai Subsidiary
It has been a busy month for the auto world’s latest luxury brand, Genesis. Think about this for a moment. At the beginning of August, the only Genesis on the market was Hyundai’s Model 80 sedan. It was the automaker’s top-of-the-line.
About 30 days ago, Hyundai took the wraps off the new Genesis 90, an all-new sedan that joined the Genesis 80 at the top of the automaker’s lineup. At the time, no one knew of the whirlwind of change that was about to sweep the staid South Korean automaker.
Automaker Kept Stirring Pot
In the past, when Hyundai had a major announcement, the automaker made it and let things alone, apparently willing to let the news sink in a bit before making any further announcements, additions or deletions.
August was the exception to this rule. Almost immediately after Hyundai introduced the Genesis 90, the automaker had another major statement. Genesis would not only be a line of cars produced by Hyundai, but it would also become the automaker’s first independent subsidiary. In announcing the new division, Hyundai noted that the Genesis 80 and 90 sedans were just the starting point. Ultimately, the brand will field six models, a smaller Genesis 70 sedan, a coupe and two crossovers, in addition to the 80 and 90.
Hardly missing a beat, Genesis then announced a major linkage with Amazon. Hyundai has been quietly seeking high-technology sector partners to help it compete in the highly charged automotive tech marketplace that exists today. Instead of merely partnering with Amazon, Hyundai decided to steal a beat from the rest of the auto world by announcing the Amazon’s Alexa assistant would be able to interface with Genesis.
The linkage would allow Alexa to “talk” with Genesis vehicles, telling them what to do. For example, if the owner wanted to start up a Genesis 90, the command to Alexa might be: “Alexa start the car.” At this point, the Bluetooth-capable system would then remotely issue a command to the 90 in the driveway and the vehicle would start. Using Amazon’s Echo-enabled Bluetooth devices, Alexa’s initial command set, though limited, is still sophisticated. Indeed, at this moment, Hyundai is the only automaker to offer a voice interface through a general assistant, not just through an app.
And, almost on top of the announcement of Alexa interface, Hyundai announced the pricing for Genesis 90. At the moment, Genesis 90 is available in rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive versions.
Four Genesis 90 Prices
There are four price points, two under the Premier tag and two under the Ultimate logo. The Genesis 90 Premier is available with a twin-turbo V-6 powerplant. The rear-wheel-drive version is available for $68,100, while the all-wheel-drive version costs $70,600. A 5.0-liter V-8 is the standard powerplant of the Genesis Ultimate. It, too, is available in rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive versions. The rear-wheel-drive model is available for $69,700, while the all-wheel-drive version is available for $72,200.
Just this week, Genesis completed its dizzying month with the information that the automaker will be opening its first standalone Genesis sales environment this week. The store will be located near the automaker’s Seoul headquarters in Hanam. It will consist of a Genesis Studio, where the artful side of the marque will be available and the Motorstudio where the practical or sales side is available.
Manfred Fitzgerald, head of the Genesis brand, told Automotive News Monday that the new site will “introduce our brand and hopefully raise” consumer curiosity about the marque. The automaker plans to add stores to its fledgling network over time.