Genesis, Make It Happen!
Rumors from the Australian outlet Drive have sparked speculation that South Korean automaker Genesis may be looking to create a rival to the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. This would be quite a departure from the company’s current lineup, but Luc Donckerwolke, Genesis’ design boss, has indicated that a four-wheel-drive G-Wagen competitor could be a possibility. “We know that we have the toolbox,” he said, suggesting that the Hyundai Motor Group has the architecture needed to build a Genesis G-Class competitor.
Ralph Donckerwolke, Chief Design Officer for Kia, is questioning the use of the rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame platform that is used for the Kia Mohave and will be employed in the company’s upcoming pickup truck. “Does this really meet the needs of all markets?” he asked. “It’s great to have cars that demonstrate performance, be it off-road or on-road. The more focused the philosophy, the better it is for design.”
The design chief refused to completely dismiss the possibility of a G-Class competitor, stating (in an ambiguous manner) “I don’t see why not. I would not say it would not fit the brand.” Nevertheless, such a vehicle would necessitate a business case study. “We have a set range of vehicles and whether there are extra models we need to add, this is something to be discussed,” Donckerwolke remarked.
It is established that obtaining a G63 has proven to be difficult, indicating the popularity of this sort of automobile. Whether Genesis will be able to generate identical enthusiasm is something yet to be discovered. The brand recently unveiled their GV80 Coupe in New York and evidently, it challenges not only the Mercedes GLE Coupe but also BMW’s X6.
“We must do the homework,” he stated, “to make sure it is in accordance with the brand values. Take the G-Wagen, for instance: this car is a perfect fit for Mercedes-Benz because of its history, rather than its performance. Trying to cram something into a brand that doesn’t have the right ‘genetics’ could be a mistake.”
“A Genesis G-Class competitor could be an epic vehicle,” said Luc Donckerwolke, head of design for Hyundai and Kia, “but given the brand’s struggle to reach the sales volume of established brands like BMW and Mercedes, there’s no guarantee such a product would be a success. As a designer, I would be thrilled to create such a car, but as a business opportunity, that’s another story.”