Hyundai will reveal a second generation version of the Genesis saloon at the Detroit motor show in January - and is planning to bring it to Europe in small numbers for the first time.

Mark Hall, the company's head of marketing, said European sales will be in the hundreds rather than thousands but the new Genesis has been engineered for right- as well as left-hand drive and the UK is one of the markets where it will be offered.

However, Britain will get only the rear-wheel-drive version and not the H-Trac all-wheel-drive option. Hall says the cost of engineering all-wheel-drive in RHD models could not be justified by the projected sales volume.

The previous Genesis was developed for America and Korea but the new model will have more of a global presence. The rising image of Korean cars in Europe is one reason why Hyundai has now decided to dip a toe in the water and introduce a large saloon there.

The engines on offer will make it of only limited interest to Europeans, Hall said, but there is talk of diesels being added later.

"Our number one task is to make the brand image [in Europe] as good as the quality of our cars," he added. "According to Interbrand, we are now a brand worth US$9bn but in Europe we are still some way behind our competitors. Brand awareness has improved by 50% in the last two years but we need to do more, and we want a further 70% increase over the next three years.

"We have a new wave of product launches on the way [22 by 2017], new models as well as replacements, and new technologies. There will be new B- and C-segment cars before 2017 and we want to sell 100,000 in each as well as in the C-SUV segment."