Hyundai Appoints Ex-Lamborghini Exec To Genesis Luxury Brand Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Dec, 30 2015 | 0 Comments

Hyundai has installed Lamborghini's former Director of Brand and Design Manfred Fitzgerald as the Senior Vice President of the Korean automaker's nascent Genesis sub-brand.

And with Hyundai positioning Genesis as a future competitor to established luxury players like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Japanese rivals Lexus and Infiniti, Mr. Fitzgerald has a big task ahead of him.

Fitzgerald will be responsible for establishing Genesis' brand and marketing strategies, as well as overseeing "other business operations" in the company.

But as a 12-year veteran of Lamborghini, Fitzgerald oversaw a tenfold increase in sales for the Italian supercar manufacturer.

His involvement in that marque's transformation into a big player in the supercar niche puts him in good stead, but the challenge this time around will be different - after all, when most still associate the Korean auto industry with budget-friendly hatchbacks, pushing the Genesis brand to Euro-luxe status may be a hard sell.

Fitzgerald won't be alone in Seoul though. He'll be reunited with Luc Donckerwolke, former Design Director at Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi, who now heads up the Genesis brand's Prestige Design Devision as well as being chief of Hyundai's Motor Design Centre.

Together, the two European expats will be the driving forces behind Hyundai's push into the mass-market luxury segment with Genesis.

While the Genesis badge has previously only been applied to two models - the sporty Genesis Coupe and the 5 Series rivalling Genesis sedan - a more well-rounded range of six new models are planned to debut over the next five years.

They are expected to encompass the established Genesis large sedan - to be rebadged as the G80 - along with the Genesis G90 flagship limo (pictured in Korean-market EQ900 form) and 3 Series sized G70 sedan.

An SUV and crossover will join the range too. A RWD two-door coupe may also eventuate.

MORE: Genesis News and Reviews

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