Will the chapter of Genesis begin in India?

Will the chapter of Genesis begin in India?
Highlights

Will the chapter of Genesis begin in India.Every now and then, an automaker makes a car that stands straight against its own philosophy. A Nissan GTR is one such; the Toyota Supra is another and then there is the Hyundai Genesis.

Every now and then, an automaker makes a car that stands straight against its own philosophy. A Nissan GTR is one such; the Toyota Supra is another and then there is the Hyundai Genesis. While the GTRs and Supras threatened the Italians with mighty monsteric beasts sleeping under their hoods, Genesis wanted to break the stereotype, and drew a straight face comparison with the Germans. It was something bold, for when the last time something of this sort had happened, there was a world war going on.Introduced in March, 2007 as the ‘Concept Genesis’, the sedan was designed by Hyundai as a "progressive interpretation of the modern rear-wheel drive sports sedan". Hyundai conceived the idea of the Genesis in 2003. The body design took three years and the total cost of the program was $500 million over a development period of 23 months. Reliability testing ran for 800,000 miles.

Hyundai reportedly benchmarked the BMW 5-Series sedan during Genesis' development; with their press release indicating the Genesis body in white exceeded the BMW in torsional rigidity by 14 per cent. The production Genesis sedan received a five-star crash rating in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hyundai markets Genesis as offering "the performance of a BMW 5-Series and the interior packaging of a 7-Series at the price of a 3-Series."Reviewing the Genesis 4.6 at its US introduction, automotive journalist Dan Neil called the absence of brand emblems at the front of the Genesis "a move that subverts the grammar of luxury," noting "I'm far too much of a romantic to buy this car. I like a brand with provenance and I'm willing to pay for it. For more hard-nosed, practical types, the Genesis presents an all-but-irresistible case of value per dollar. And they won't be wrong."The vehicle continued to grab eyeballs of that niche crowd who looked beyond a German badge, and looked for comfort, luxury and value for money instead. Hyundai also resolved the badge issue and placed an altogether different logo for the car, an Aston Martin-esque logo of its own that conveys the car’s premium credentials, but nothing like the mundane Hyundai. And at present, the vehicle is on its third generation.

The new-gen Hyundai Genesis boasts of some very interesting features including ventilated seats, heads-up display apart from the usual creature comforts and a plethora of safety options including lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and much more. Hyundai has also improved significantly on the driving dynamics and ride quality, parking every close to the German trio.Speaking of drawbacks, it is the lack of a diesel engine that will hurt the car’s sales gravely in the luxury space, especially in a market like India. All said, there is another factor called brand value that manages to triumph every comparison we make between all the models in the mid-size luxury segment. If launched in India, the Genesis will be brought in as a CBU and priced at around Rs. 50 lakh, on par with the 4-cylinder versions of the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5-Series and Audi A6. Even with a comparatively lesser price, Genesis loses out on brand value, which happens to be a major deciding factor for customers in India. But, if they look past the brand issue, the sedan will offer so much more. Should Hyundai play the gamble by bringing Genesis to India or should it wait? Atleast, we can’t answer that.

By Augustin Kurian

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