Can the Genesis GV60 electric SUV live with the German competition?

GenesisHyundai’s premium subsidiary in Korea hopes its first electric vehicle, the GV60, will be key to its ambitious plan to shake up Germany’s hegemony in Europe, but experts say the odds are stacked against it, despite the excellence of the product. .

Genesis, which is already building a strong business in the US, may have a bit more success than those who previously catered to European windmills like Nissan’s Infiniti, GM’s Cadillac, Tata Motor’s Jaguar and Stellantis’ Alfa Romeo. , but not much more.

American premium contenders like Honda’s Acura and Ford’s Lincoln never thought it was worth trying even in Europe. Massive automakers like Ford Europe with its concierge program, Renault’s Initiale Paris, and Peugeot’s DS brand have all tried to upscale to capture the big profit margins captured by BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, and VW’s Porsche. Result; several billions of shareholders’ funds ransacked and a lot of embarrassment.

Genesis was launched on the belief that the lessons of these multiple failures had been learned. The initial success in the United States raised hopes. Genesis opened in the United States in 2015 with 7,000 sales which accelerated to 21,200 before the coronavirus shutdown. In 2021, sales have exploded to nearly 50,000. Europe presents a tougher nut to crack, but electrification expertise, exemplified by rave reviews received by the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 and other sibling Kia EV6, could beat the Germans at their own game, based on towering technology and engineering. lead, even if it was sometimes more wishful thinking than fact.

The GV60 is Genesis’ first electric SUV and it won’t be the last as the brand plans to go all-electric by 2025. Does it have what it takes to shake up the Germans?

“I see Genesis falling into the same soulless void as Infiniti, Jaguar and Lexus to some extent. Despite producing exceptional products, only Tesla

gave the German-dominated high-end (manufacturers) a hard time,” said Matt Schmidt of Schmidt Automotive Research.

The GV60 will be marketed in Europe in June. It is quite small by American standards. Top of the range is the AWD Dual Motor (Sport Plus) with all-wheel drive and two electric motors, priced at £65,405 ($80,700) in Britain, after tax and before government subsidies. It has almost “ridiculous” acceleration with zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds and a top speed of 146 mph. Range of 289 miles is the claim, so expect around 210 miles. The range starts with the Premium model, which has rear-wheel drive and a single engine, £47,005 ($58,000), 321-mile range.

In an interview earlier this year, Genesis Motor Europe Managing Director Dominique Boesch told me he was aware of the tough fight ahead and avoided ambitious predictions.

“We want to establish our brand and learn how to sell luxury at very high levels. Europe is a laboratory for us, said Boesch, who joined Genesis from Audi.

Genesis initially eschews dealerships by selling online and offering long-term service offerings that include car collection and guaranteed replacement. In the United States, where Genesis operated with a similar formula, it is now moving to stand-alone dealerships for the brand.

Boesch said Genesis wants to become a global luxury brand and that requires success in Europe.

“It’s probably the most sophisticated market in terms of premium and customers want that experience. We’re not here initially just to put more metal on the street, but to be recognized as a brand that has a great product. We’re not initially focused on sales, but if we can be successful in Europe, we’ll be recognized as a truly global premium brand,” Boesch said.

Genesis has some very impressive internal combustion engine (ICE) products. There is the G80 large sedan, the GV80 SUV, the G70 small sedan, the SUV and the Shooting Brake. Later this year, two more electric models will join the range, the G80 and GV70.

Ian Fletcher, automotive analyst at IHS Markit

, isn’t expecting much of an impact from the GV60, with sales in Western Europe just over 1,000 by 2026 and hardly surprising given that Genesis remains a relatively unknown brand. He doesn’t think the electric weapon against the Germans really works, but the Genesis brand will take time to acclimatize in Europe.

“The combination of its design, technology and competitive entry point could appeal to those looking for something different. Electric might help Genesis, but the German brands and other high-end brands are pushing all of their products into those markets so slowly that they’re becoming less of a USP, especially now that some brands have set their sights on becoming BEV-only in the next five years approximately. There’s also a certain brand that has almost established itself as a default choice in the high-end BEV space, which also makes it difficult,” Fletcher said.

The Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric car in Western Europe last year with nearly 140,000 sales, and that was before the German factory started production.

“I don’t think (the) Genesis (project) will end in tears, but it will evolve over time. From what I’ve heard, the product looks very good, but it will need to reach critical mass in the markets/regions where it is present. It looks like it’s heading towards that in some parts of the world, but as we’ve seen with other brands, Europe seems to be less accepting of new entries from premium brands than other markets,” said Fletcher.

Ed Kim, analyst at Long Beach, a California-based consultancy Auto Pacific, said that in the United States, Genesis is increasing sales as its sedan lineup is replaced by high-demand SUVs. Going electric might mitigate this, but as electric vehicles become more mainstream, Genesis’ growth and market share gains will continue. The GV60 is very small by US standards and will likely be a niche model with less than 10,000 sales per year. The larger GV70 will have greater mass appeal.

Which European competitor could suffer from the introduction of the GV60?

“In Europe, Lexus is probably the brand that has the most to lose from the introduction of the GV60. Lexus will introduce the similarly sized RZ450e this year, but the Genesis product not only has more performance and range, it can also charge much faster on a public DC charger thanks to its 800-volt electrical architecture. On a 350kW fast charger, it can charge from 10 to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes – a very impressive feat that the Lexus can’t match,” Kim said.

“Because BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have a much firmer grip on the luxury market in Europe than in the US market, I don’t expect the Genesis brand and the introduction of the GV60 to have as much impact. impact on those brands as they will in the U.S. Plus, thanks to the fanatical nature of Tesla’s customers, the GV60 and electrified GV70 probably won’t have much of an impact on Model Y volumes at short term,” Kim said.

Germans are unlikely to suffer from Genesis’ electric expertise, as luxury brands are also investing heavily in electrics, Kim said.

It’s good that Genesis has said it’s not looking for quick success.

“The success of Genesis in Europe will not come from electrification; the newcomer will have to overcome the long history and heritage of German brands as well as massive customer loyalty. It won’t be easy; Genesis products are very impressive and competitive, but they will have to create their own compelling brand story to draw customers away from incumbents,” according to Kim.

Schmidt agrees that Lexus has the most to fear from the GV60. The biggest threat to the GV60 is other Hyundais and Kias. The new BMWs, Audis and Porches are also preparing new electric cars.

“Hyundai and Kia are perhaps Genesis’ worst enemies. I find it hard to understand why a European Kia or Hyundai customer of the excellent Ioniq 5 or EV6 would be willing to pay a premium for what is essentially the same vehicle Germans will offer these models with BMW’s Neue Klasse targeting 3-series vehicles from 2025. Audi/Porsche’s products will also bite soon Genesis may be able to gain an edge during next 12 to 24 months, but it will soon disintegrate as fast as a raging flash in the pan,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt doesn’t see much room for Genesis’s success in Europe at least.

“I think it will end in tears in Europe. It might be more successful in the United States though, as Infiniti and Lexus have proven,” Schmidt said.

Genesis GV60 AWD Dual Motor (Sport Plus)

Electric motor – front 242 hp, rear 242 hp, 476 hp

Torque – 700Nm

Battery – 77.4 kWh, lithium-ion, 697 volt

Gearbox – automatic

Claimed range – 289 miles, city 386

Claimed power consumption – 19.1 kw/100 km

Charging – 350kW 18 mins, 50kW 73 mins to 80%, 11kW wallbox 7 hours 20 mins

Driving – all wheel drive

Top speed – 146 mph

Acceleration – 0-60 mph – 3.9 seconds

Price – £66,405 ($82,000 after tax and before grants)

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