Genesis G90: New Gunfighter In The Luxury Corral
Look out Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Audi, there’s a new large sedan in town. The Genesis G90 is the first official entry from Hyundai’s newly hatched luxury brand. It is well-developed, packed with features, and, at $68,100, it is priced tens of thousands less than the established brands.
Can Genesis Break In?
Can the Genesis G90 make a dent in the image-conscious and established top end of the market? Let’s look back to the origin story of the last luxury newcomer to break into the major league – Lexus.
Lexus Showed How To Do It
Back in 1989, Toyota brought out the Lexus LS400. Lexus’ first entry was a large sedan. The styling of the Lexus LS400 was similar to that of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class of that era. The LS400 was well equipped and priced significantly lower than the Mercedes.
The Lexus dealership experience was a breakthrough, with beautiful showrooms, free-flowing espresso, and a respectful attitude on the part of the sales staff. How did it work out? Great! In terms of sales, Lexus has made it as one of the top three luxury manufacturers in the US, alongside Mercedes and BMW.
Genesis G90 Follows Lexus – To A Point
Here we are in 2016. The Genesis G90 is a large sedan. It is styled conservatively, in the same vein as the Mercedes S-Class. The G90 is priced over $25,000 below the S-Class. It is well equipped, complete with a full suite of driver assistance aids as standard equipment. These include:
- Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
- Driver Attention Alert
- Smart Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning
- Dynamic Bending Light and High Beam Assist
- Pre-safety seat belt and nine airbags
- Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start
- Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Vehicle Hold
- Multi-view and forward-view cornering camera
- Front and rear parking sensors
The New Luxury Brand’s Facility Dilemma
Genesis has learned from the experiences of other luxury newcomers to this market. The problem: how to justify sinking a huge amount of money into a dedicated showroom, when your sales volume will be low for some time to come. It can take years to build up the brand and add additional models to get volume up to acceptable levels.
There is yet another issue to be faced when building a luxury brand off of an everyday brand like Hyundai. If you use the Hyundai dealership to serve your Genesis customers, you simply can’t give them a dedicated luxury customer experience. Luxury customers do not want to be pressured into a Genesis sale in a sterile showroom cubicle. They won’t wait in line at the service counter behind the Hyundai customers.
So Genesis thought outside the box – or the showroom, to be precise.
The Genesis Ownership Experience
Genesis has come up with a solution that does not require a showroom. A salesman will visit you at home for a test drive and to sell you the car. Your new car will be brought to your home for delivery as well.
When your Genesis G90 needs service, a service valet will pick up your car. This valet service and scheduled maintenance are complimentary for 3 years and 36,000 miles.
You will never need to set foot into a Genesis showroom, so no Genesis showroom is needed! Problem solved!
The Road Ahead For Genesis G90
As Lexus has shown, success can be achieved, but it takes a while. Genesis will need some time to build its credibility in the market. In the short term, it may not steal a lot of sales from Mercedes and BMW but Lexus and Cadillac have a lot more to worry about right now. The Genesis G90 compares very favorably to both of these luxury sedans.
A comparably equipped Cadillac CT6 is similarly priced or higher, and the Lexus is priced slightly higher, although it comes with less standard equipment. The G90 may also be an alternative for some Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5-Series buyers who want more interior space and standard equipment at a similar price point. Competition is a good thing!