The G70 fleshes out the sedan lineup of Hyundai's burgeoning marque. Executives say that having an entry-level sedan demonstrates the brand's commitment to compete.
"To get substance into your brand, you need to demonstrate the breadth of the band," global Genesis brand boss Manfred Fitzgerald said at Hyundai's r&d centre and proving ground here near Seoul. "We still have a lack of awareness."
Alongside the flagship G90 and midsize G80 sedans, the G70 will take on the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C class and Audi A4. Genesis plans to expand the portfolio to six nameplates by 2021 by adding crossovers, and it plans to enter new markets.
"The G70 is our smallest, most dynamic sedan," said Lee SangYup, vice president for design at Hyundai and Genesis. "Our mission is to target the German 3."
The U.S. luxury compact car segment is one of the industry's most crowded -- the Jaguar XE is the latest entry -- and hotly contested: It is dominated by the Mercedes C class, BMW 3 series, Infiniti Q50 and Audi A4. The segment generated annual sales of just over 500,000 units as recently as 2014 and 2015 but has shrunk 9.2 percent this year after a 14 percent decline in 2016.
Still, the G70 is expected to deliver more volume for a nascent luxury brand that has become a bright spot for the otherwise struggling Hyundai Group in the United States. While U.S. sales have slipped 15 per cent at Hyundai and 8.4 per cent at Kia, through August, Genesis has racked up deliveries of 13,366 behind just two car models -- the G80 and the G90 -- in a market that has shifted decidedly to crossovers and SUVs.
Hyundai Canada sales are down 8.9 per cent to 91,599 vehicles through August while total Kia sales are up 4.8 per cent to 51,932 vehicles. Genesis has sold 328 cars in Canada through eight months.