Whatever the reason, Genesis has stopped reporting monthly sales, but its numbers weren't promising, plunging by more than half from the 20, vehicles it sold in the U. Despite weak numbers, "I don't think they're in big trouble," said auto analyst Stephanie Brinley, of IHS Markit, though she does think Genesis "made a few missteps.
What's critical, she said, is that the brand expand its lineup as quickly as possible, preferably by moving next into the utility vehicle segment. Genesis revealed a concept hinting at what could be its first crossover model at the New York auto show in , and a production version is believed to be about a year away.
The automaker is intent on showing it wants to do more than just follow the pack, however, racing to play catch-up with the extensive lineup of sedans and utility vehicles offered by its key European and Japanese competitors. It unveiled the radical sports car concept, the Essentia, at the New York show, and the Mint takes it into a new direction. Senior company officials told CNBC they are working on an all-new battery-electric platform that will be used for several future products.
While Genesis is revealing only a few details about the Mint Concept, its exterior footprint appears roughly in line with that of the Smart fortwo — which itself will only be offered with a battery-electric driveline going forward. But the Genesis city car concept adopts a more slow-slung and sporty shape with a coupe-like roofline and the sort of wheels one would find on a high-performance sports car.
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The precise size of the battery pack and drive system hasn't been revealed, but Genesis says the Mint is meant to yield about miles of range and could be back on the road quickly using the latest Level 3 charging stations. Like the Tesla Model 3, the Genesis concept's battery pack would be mounted in a skateboard-like platform allowing product developers to reclaim space normally used for an engine compartment to provide a roomier cabin and a bigger cargo compartment. Brinley questions whether Mint is more than just a concept however, noting that there's relatively minimal demand for two-seat city cars — as the anemic sales of the Smart fortwo demonstrates.
Nonetheless, she believes the show car "gives them a chance to telegraph that they'll be in the electric vehicle market, and explores a new design language.
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The sedan boasts the same stacked and slotted headlights and taillights worn by the SUV, and it also bears a similarly stately grille design. In fact, the disguised G80 has lots of presence and could easily be confused for a future Bentley or Rolls-Royce if we didn't know better. The new Genesis sedan appears to be lower and wider than the current version. It sports a sleeker roofline with a more steeply raked A-pillar up front and a fatter C-pillar out back, which now smoothly tapers into the decklid. The outgoing G80 has a rigid shape with strong character lines stamped into its bodywork, but its replacement looks to scale back on the creased surfaces.
Instead, its face stretches out wider and now sharpens to a point. The next G80 also has broader shoulders that cascade into curved side surfacing. A set of black markings on the wrapped front fenders hint at air vents, and the car's dual exhaust tips are a notable change from the old quad-tip setup. While these spy photos don't provide any information about the G80's performance or powertrain, we know there will be changes under the hood. Genesis has already said that it will not offer a V-8 engine on the next-gen model. Their multi-powertrain models are pretty competent, but so far they have produced no cars which have been designed as electric from the ground up, and are also not selling any EVs nationwide, instead focusing only on California and perhaps a few other ZEV states.
So any take on this vehicle needs to keep that in mind.
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This is not how you signify a serious shift to EVs. We welcome a serious shift to EVs. We welcome bold new concepts, we welcome big changes in strategy which will help our society adapt to new technologies and address the problems of climate change.
We do not, however, like window dressing. Stop teasing us with cars that will never be made. Start making them. While small city hatchbacks may not be particularly popular in the US, they are popular in other regions.
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The US luxury buyer considers size as an important metric, and large cars not only sell well but command price premiums. But if it did succeed anywhere in this country, a big city with a lot of wealth, like New York, might be that place.
And Asian automakers have had success at bringing small cars to the US and selling them well here in the past, during times of change for the auto industry — see how Honda and Toyota revolutionized the industry in the 70s with their small cars. So it could be possible for this car to do well here, but a lot of factors would probably need to align to make it work.