Dave Leggett | 22 October 2008
I was just deleting old files off my camera when I came across a curious video clip recorded in Paris. It shows a jazzed up Genesis Coupe and I took it just before I went into a booth on the stand to interview Hyundai Motor Europe's President, Kun-Hee Ahn. You can overhear a helpful chap ask me if I'd like a coffee. Apparently a black coffee would be 'fantastic'. Cool looking car even if it has been Tango'd.
It will be interesting to see how this Genesis brand does. As Mr Ahn acknowledged, Europe is a tricky market to break into for a new prestige brand. Europeans are brand conscious and brand loyal, Americans less so. Breaking into the US market from scratch works if you have the right product at the right price. The Genesis sedan has been aggressively priced.
Not sure about the Genesis name though. A beginning/origin? Fair enough, I guess, if a little bit obvious. But aside from the biblical association, I'm seeing Phil Collins and the ancient pomp-rock group of the same name. Like a number of bands that made it big in the 1970s, they went on a bit long and eventually came across as going through the motions to pay for the next mansion or divorce settlement. Genesnooze was a nickname I seem to remember. I hope the sedan isn't an identikit blandmobile designed to undercut and little else. That said I guess Hyundai is on a learning curve (remember the Lexus LS400? - it was 'dull' but very well made and very competitively priced to establish the brand). The Coupe is certainly striking in the looks department though.
'Dull' is a funny old word when applied to cars though isn't it? It was dull; it never went wrong or had strange handling quirks. I hardly knew I was in the thing, it was so ruddy well boring. Gimme an early 1990s Jag and let's play Russian roulette with the journey home. That's not dull, but is that the sort of excitement you want? Car/brand character, what is that? Whatever it is, it's not normally in the brand from the off (unless the brand and its attendant values are well known and cross over from somewhere else - eg the Google Car).
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