Hyundai launching Genesis standalone luxury brand

Weeks after unveiling a new performance sub-brand, Hyundai announced it will transform its Genesis nameplate into a new global luxury brand.

Genesis "will deliver 'human-centered' luxury through a range of new models that feature the highest standards of performance, design and innovation," according to Hyundai.

The rollout will begin in December, with the first of six new Genesis models the automaker plans to introduce by 2020 that will compete with "the world’s most renowned luxury car brands."

Hyundai said Genesis models will embody four key aspects: Human-focused innovation; refined and balanced performance; athletic elegance in design; and hassle-free customer experience.

"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 Co. vice-chairman Euisun Chung said in a statement.

Genesis models will differentiate from their Hyundai-brand siblings through "a distinct design identity," as well as a new emblem, adapted from the one found on the current Hyundai Genesis sedan, and a separate naming convention that combines the letter 'G' and a number.

This would likely explain the Vision G Coupe Concept that Hyundai unveiled in August.

Hyundai also announced that starting in mid-2016, Luc Donckerwolke, who previously worked with the Volkswagen Group designing Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, SEAT and Skoda models, will lead the new Genesis division while remaining head of the Hyundai Motor Design Center.

The work of the new Prestige Design Division will be overseen by Peter Schreyer, Hyundai Motor Group president and chief design officer.

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