Hyundai’s Genesis luxury sedan hit the market in the 2008 model year.
By most standards, that would give the car another few years of life in its current form, especially since it’s received numerous updates, a mild refresh and even a new “R-Spec” performance version over the past year.
Hyundai, however, isn’t like most automakers. Its condensed product cycle ensures that models never get stale, and (like the glory days of the U.S. auto industry) likely brings customers back into Hyundai dealers on a shorter cycle.
While the Genesis is neither Hyundai’s flagship sedan nor its volume leader, the car is significant to Hyundai’s global strategy. It’s been successful in pirating customers from both Lexus and Cadillac, and it serves as a gateway to Hyundai’s range-topping Equus. It’s also changed the way that some shoppers perceive the Hyundai brand.
Work is already underway on the next Genesis sedan, and Reuters quotes Hyundai’s chief executive, Kim Choong-ho, as saying that a new Genesis model would be introduced in late 2013. Details are lacking, but expect the next Genesis to retain the current model’s front-engine, rear-drive layout.
A new Sonata sedan will follow the next Genesis, and is slated for introduction some time in 2014. While the current Sonata is Hyundai’s best-selling car in the U.S., it’s only the third-best seller for the automaker in Korea. Hyundai is under increasing pressure from foreign automakers in the Korean market, so it’s likely to focus on boosting domestic sales in the coming months.