While the G90 luxury saloon, new G80 executive saloon and upcoming G70 compact exec are initially being offered in left-hand drive form only, UK boss Tony Whitehorn says right-hand drive demand is expected, particularly in Australia, allowing Hyundai to bring them to the UK too.
However, he acknowledged that the brand’s first SUV, due in 2018 and set to be followed by a smaller SUV crossover, would be the primary focus for the European market and could be built in right-hand drive form from the offset.
“The Genesis of today is more of an American car, but there are models coming that are more suitable for our market, such as the crossover and SUV,” said Whitehorn. “When we bring out the SUV, there will be more interest.”
Whitehorn said right-handdrive Genesis models would come to the UK as they were introduced and would initially be add-ons to existing Hyundai dealerships before branching out into stand-alone Genesis dealers. “In order to make it a viable proposition, there has to be 5000 to 10,000 sales annually for people to build a new showroom,” he added. “Then there might be a network which could have 15 dealers.
“The challenge for us is that this market is dominated by German manufacturers. They have got heritage and the UK loves heritage. Lexus has had some success, but we are going in there gently.”
Hyundai has recently revealed its new i30 and is set to unveil its i30N performance model at the Paris Motor show. The i30N, which will be the first model from the firm’s N performance sub-brand and a rival to the Ford Focus ST, is due next year. An even hotter version, which would rival the Focus RS, has also been mooted, with N boss Albert Biermann saying it is something “they have been looking at already”.