“We’ve been so successful [in our European operation] that we’ve been given more to develop on our own,” he said.
Ultimately, the move means more bespoke models just for Europe, but also the team leading development of some global models, such as those under the Hyundai N performance sub-brand.
Since taking on the role in 2018, Johnson has consolidated a number of European test sites. Now, the main facility is the former Opel test track at Dudenhofen, Germany.
The Hyundai group is also planning to double the size of its site at the Nürburgring, Johnson confirmed. He said the ‘Ring is used for extensive durability testing, with each vehicle driving 10,000 miles on the circuit.
In terms of new models for Europe, only last year, Genesis launched its G70 Shooting Brake, a car created specifically for the European market.
It’s been so well received, said Genesis Europe boss Dominique Boesch, that its home market in Korea is now considering selling the car, too.