Hyundai luxury brand expects new models to come in right-hand drive form; SUVs are the primary focus for European market
Rachel Burgess
13 September 2016

Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand could reach the UK by 2018, with the arrival of its first SUV model primed to help the marque take on the European market.

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”.

Our Verdict

Hyundai i30 Turbo

Can the second-generation Hyundai i30 challenge for class honours?

Join the debate

Comments
6

13 September 2016
I'd lose the b pillar kink and choose a different colour to showcase it BUT it looks refreshingly different and pleasing to my eye. I think this is what Lexus are trying, and failing, to achieve with their manga cars.

13 September 2016
Sometimes a big American style comfortable saloon car barge is refreshing, in a market of harshly sprung clinical Teutonic exec tanks.

13 September 2016
Exactly! I was driving into Nottingham yesterday on its battered main route and the road surface would have been an embarrassment in Uganda. The problem for Hyundai is the UK press will assassinate it for poor driving dynamics that apparently we need for all these open stretches of country road, free from speed cameras and traffic - that rarely exist. That said, Hyundai has been brilliant at overcoming class snobbery last few years, chipping away at it.

13 September 2016
A few stylistic quirks apart, this could be the luxury saloon we've been waiting for.
Most of all this design has gravitas, which big american saloons have (but often taken no further than the concept stage) and the German trio lacks.

13 September 2016
Hyundai will need to improve the dealership experience to compete with the luxury end of the market, they know how to compete on price, they have improved their design and offer credible alternatives, they have invested R&D wise and are not afraid to show innovation. However my experience of the dealership has been poor, the first cock up occurred during a routine service where my vehicle was picked up with a fuel leak that it didn't go in with. On another occasion I left the vehicle for work to be carried out on a recall over some suspension modification to find on collection that they had overlooked refitting the fuel tank! That said the vehicle remains reliable and is still used daily 14 years after registration. Be interested to hear how others finds their dealership experience.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

13 September 2016
Now this is a refreshing change. Design is quite nice. Some people will be turned off from the badge only wanting a German car. Screw them. As long as Hyundai don't go daft with the asking price it could work out nicely. As the apprentice said about the chassis dynamics. Most people probably dont care. It looks nice, rides nice, can I get my shopping/bike/golf clubs etc in the boot. Good I'll have it. Wish Hyundai the best of luck with this.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK