Genesis G70: Continuing it’s Line of “Designer Imposter" Luxury Cars
Photo Credit: Genesis
Genesis has just announced that it’s next installment of it’s rebranded line of luxury Hyundais, the G70, will be in the United States in early 2018. They’re very excited about this new compact sedan and are confident that it will compete with it’s German and Japanese competitors, the BMW 3 Series and the Infiniti Q50. And that’s great, it’s a free market… however, what seems to bother me the most about it is Genesis’ determination to slightly undercut in price, and features, while shoving a few more ponies under the hood. They strive to appeal to consumers by being the $18.99 to their competitor's $20.00. And that’s fine. I mean, it’s a tried and true sales tactic, but when it comes to bang for your buck, features, and the quality of the vehicle you’re getting, is a few thousand dollar difference between South Korea’s newest penny saver and unparalleled Japanese reliability or world renowned German engineering worth pocketing the cash? Or is the Genesis simply producing a line of cheaper “generic brandish” luxury cars that are less expensive and “close enough” to the other timless automakers?
Now don’t get me wrong, the Genesis line has been well received by many and they do seem to really have a cult following for their “is that a Bentley” looking logo’ed cars. The Infinity Q50 comes in at a base price of $34,200 while the BMW 3 Series has an MSRP of $34,900. What does the G70 start at? $33,000… yea, just enough to make it look like you’re getting a deal right off the bat.
Now they’re going to list a bunch of features that come stock and standard because after all, more is more… If BMW gives you 10 world class, state-of-the-art speakers, Genesis will give you 14 speakers that are really good. Then they make it their mission in life to out-rank the comparable luxury models in horsepower. Ok fine, so you may find an extra 50 HP in the Genesis vs it’s comparable model of Infiniti or BMW, but 1. it doesn’t mean that it has the engineering to drive better, 2. you are definitely paying for this in gas consumption 3. in the grand scheme of things while you’re sitting in gridlock traffic on the parkway or during your morning commute, that whole "mine is bigger than yours" really amounts to nothing you’ll ever notice or miss.
Photo Credit: Genesis
You will always get what you pay for when it comes to cars and quality. Unlike Tiffany diamonds, you are getting a lot more than just an inflated pricetag on the same exact, identical, brand named entity. Sure you get really nice customer service at Tiffany's and a little blue box and engravement that allows you to brag that you were dumb enough to pay more for exactly the same thing, but it's a lot different with cars. It's not like BMW and Genesis are identical rocks of carbon with the same color, clarity, and carat weight that you choose to pay more for just because of it's name. The automotive industry is such a competitive market, when you pay more, you really do get more. Cars are engineered, not mined together in a cave and sent off to vendors. If a car is less expensive, there is a reason why. Many reasons why. What it really comes down to is deciding for yourself if those reasons are worth the extra cash, or are they just something you won't notice. For some people a 14 speaker Lexicon surround sound audio system doesn't sound any different from a HiFi Sound System with 12 speakers and a 205-watt digital amplifier. Some people don't care about the difference between the 12 way power seats with lumbar support that the Genesis offers, vs the 16-way power-adjustable front sport seats with 2-way power-adjustable side bolsters, 4-way lumbar support and memory system for the driver's seat that the BMW offers. Its value is truly subjective. Each car is packed with the most elaborately written set of over developed, solutionism technology, that you may or may not care about or appreciate. The value of every piece of leather, wire, screw, brake pad, tire, spark plug, technology & software program, and even radio knob is factored into the value of the car, it just matters if any of it, or all of it means +$2000, +$4000 or +$6000 to the price of your vehicle. Even the quality of paint, or the rareness of a color in production can increase the cost of a vehicle. Rolls Royce paints some of thier cars with "diamond dust." The value lies in your own decision of whether or not you need this, want this, or have to have this, and finally, are you willing to pay more for this? If a car costs less, there is always a reason. It's never a comparison of apples to apples. In this case, it's something that looks and tastes sort of close to an apple, and a real apple. Do you notice the difference, does it mean anything to you and are you willing to pay more for it?
Now don't get me wrong. I am all for saving money, I'm all for different cars appealing to different people and different financial situations. What bothers me about what is going on here is when a company is selling and promoting these "almost apples" as real apples, if not superior quality apples, you pay less for. And for many people, unless you've ever had a "real apple" you don't know the difference. There's nothing wrong with "almost apples" until you develop creative ways to confuse consumers to pass your apples off as something other than what they are. Just be honest about your apples and why they are less expensive. Be your own unique apple and bring something of original value to the fruit basket that consumers will love... don't just strive to be a less expensive, designer imposter apple that has to 1-up the other apples to appear superior.
I guess the best way to explain the difference is do you want beautiful, hand crafted tile floors, or do you want a classy looking laminate… do you want a high quality and precision crafted backyard deck with the feel and durability these materials provide, or do you want a very attractive vinyl deck flooring? And lastly, do you want to pay for that wood deck and ceramic tile? (If Yes then BMW, if No then Genesis). But then ask yourself, "Why do people pay extra for wood decks vs. vinyl?" Why indeed... the same reason you'd pay more for a BMW.
Photo Credit: Genesis
In general if you want a nice and classy looking car that drives well, Hyundai’s Genesis line may be a great fit for you. Unbiased, I can be the first to admit it is a beautiful car with decent quality and many competitive features. I mean it’s almost there - you are paying 15% less after you’ve configured your options and upgrades, but you’re also getting 15% less in quality and performance, craftsmanship, engineering and more from headlight to tail light. What it really comes down to is making the decision on how much these “things” mean to you. Vinyl decking is a beautiful, classy, and more affordable option to high quality wooden decking… it looks great, you can still party and bbq on it, its still waterproof, but the choice really comes down to whether or not the quality, performance, and value mean enough to foot the few extra bill over simple functionality and “close enough” looking and feeling craftsmanship and luxury.
Photo Credit: Genesis
They have “emulated” luxury as best as they can from changing their name so you wouldn't outright associate them with Hyundai and created a logo that looks identical to one of the most prestigious luxury brands in the world while in motion to make you feel like you feel like you’re a million dollars. (By "looks identical" we mean completely ripped off.) Instead of giving their models names like the Hyundai Sonata, they did what all other luxury car makers do, they gave their models a letter and a number. 530i. A4. C300. TLX. Q50. All luxury. Azera? No. Even though the Hyundai sedan has the same $34,100 MSRP as the Infiniti, its not unmistakenly associated with being a luxury car because it's got a real name. And what does the G stand for? Genesis? The Genesis Genesis 70. Not even Ferrari laFerrari could get away with that without some backlash, but when you make one of the world's most coveted Italian supercars, naturally, you are forgiven.
They even hired BMW’s ex-Vice President of Engineering, Albert Biermann to help develop and design their new line of cars. I mean, you got to give them credit… sans for the non-compete contacts he probably had to sign upon leaving BMW after 32 years, they’re going to every length to “almost” get there. I mean… Ferdinand Porsche designed both the Porsche and the Volkswagen Beetle (as an affordable car) and they’re pretty damn close in performance and quality. You can barely tell the difference. And with that I call "shotgun" on the Porsche.
I mean seriously... come on now.
If that’s enough for you then go for it. Your friends and family most likely don’t care a few thousand dollars more that your deck is vinyl and not wood, if it still looks and performs almost as good… unless they own a BMW. The handling, steering, performance, engineering, craftsmanship and technology between the two cars IS the difference in price. You’re getting a lower quality, xerox copy of a luxury car, not a flawless, sharp, original print. The Hyundai Genesis may even feel more powerful at first, but you’re really just straining those extra 50 ponies to move a much bulkier, heavier and less agile vehicle down the highway. But if you like that feeling, or you can’t tell the difference, then by all means, save your money. Ignorance is bliss they say!
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. We do commend Genesis for its efforts in the development and production of a more affordable genetic brand of luxury vehicles that nearly emulates the real thing in look, gives the consumer a great value and that it almost competes… but it really comes down to how much the differences matter to you in terms of saving money. Some people never fail to pay top dollar for name brand tomato sauce because they know and find value in the packaging, quality or taste, but if you can’t tell or notice the difference, or if you just don’t care and you prefer to save money, there’s nothing wrong with Shoprite brand.
The Genesis models are good quality cars with very nice features at a more afforable price and luxury curb appeal. There are a lot of great things about the car line, including the G70 sedan that consumers will love and appreciate the value and savings in. While automakers are always going to compete in power, technology, design and cost of new models and vehicles, they should strive to be their own identiy and bring something really unique, special and valuable to consumers. Genesis, while you may not be a Rolex, you're better than trying to be the less expensive, street vendor knockoff that makes everyone else believe that you have a Rolex. You be your own brand and identiy of luxury car that brings your own level of opulence and grandeur to the automotive industry. Relax with the relentless efforts to imitate or 1-UP your higher priced, luxury automotive competitors and bring something new to the table. Don't be a cheaper, almost-something-else... be the best brand you can be through originality, value and quality, and consumers will flood your dealerships.
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