South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co confirmed Wednesday it has launched a new global luxury car brand called Genesis to boost earnings and gain more success in the fast-growing global market for luxury cars. Hyundai was reportedly the only major automaker without a separate luxury brand.
The company announced that the Genesis brand’s lineup will begin with two sedans next month. It will add four more models, which will include a luxury sedan, a sports coupe and sports utility vehicles, by 2020.
“We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction. The Genesis brand will fulfill these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy,” Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Euisun Chung said in a statement.
As part of the latest move, Luc Donckerwolke, who was previously responsible for the designs of Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, SEAT and Skoda models at Volkswagen AG, will join the firm in the first half of 2016 as a senior vice president to work on Genesis models as well as Hyundai cars.
The launch of Hyundai’s stand-alone premium brand comes as the company, which is the world’s fifth-biggest automaker by sales when combined with affiliate Kia Motors Corp., reported its lowest quarterly earnings in more than five years. The company’s sales in China dropped sharply this year due to heightened competition from Chinese carmakers.
On Wednesday, Hyundai shares were up nearly 2 percent.