Despite a massive investment by Hyundai, which included luring the immensely talented designer, Luc Donckerwolke from Bentley Motors, and hiring the skilled and canny Manfred Fitzgerald as Head of Brand Strategy – there are some who question Hyundai’s staying power in this elite market segment.
|Luc Donckerwolke (left) and Manfred Fitzgerald - Canny Partners in Crime|
Lack of appeal of high-end passenger cars has decimated brands like Cadillac, and sent many European brands scurrying to plug holes in their catalogues with upmarket SUVs, so what does the appearance of the Genesis G80 say about intention, aspiration and longevity?
Make no mistake, ‘loss of face’ is just as important to Koreans, as it is to Japanese, perhaps more so. I think Hyundai has decided ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ because it has an upmarket Genesis SUV already signed off, and this sexy, slinky high-end sedan has looks, lust appeal and lots of lovely, subtle touches in its overall appearance.
I think this is a car which discerning luxury car consumers will buy – even if they’ve never heard of the brand, nor worry about its Korean parentage.
I see Luc’s sophisticated input here in every surface and especially the interior.
Yes, it’s going to cost Hyundai big time, and big Won as well, so will it go the way of the ugly Nissan-Infinitis? Or, will it blossom into a Korean Lexus? My money’s on the latter.
The financial success of Hyundai and Kia globally will bankroll a gamble on the G80.