Genesis Australia boss’ shock departure
FLEDGLING luxury brand Genesis has parted ways with its local boss just months from its official launch.
Industry veteran Peter Evans, who worked for Toyota and Lexus before joining Genesis, left the company last month after two and a half years in the role.
His departure comes at an awkward time for the brand, which is preparing to launch with two vehicles in June.
Genesis said Mr Evans was "pursuing other career opportunities".
"We thank Peter for his contribution to Genesis and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. An announcement regarding the revised Genesis business structure will be made in due course," a statement says.
The brand, which is a luxury offshoot of Hyundai, has been plagued by teething problems and was forced to postpone its launch from December last year to March and then again to June.
Genesis initially planned to launch with a selected range of dealers before deciding to go it alone with high-profile stores in the CBDs of the major capitals.
The Sydney store, in Pitt St Mall, will be first to open - Brisbane and Melbourne will follow.
Hyundai chief executive JW Lee, who also oversees Genesis, said earlier this year that the decision to sell the car without traditional dealerships made sense because initial sales volumes were unlikely to justify the expense to the dealer of setting up a standalone dealership.
The brand will start with just two vehicles, the large G80 limousine and a smaller G70 sedan that will compete with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Much-needed SUVs will arrive later, while the brand's first electric vehicle is slated for 2021.
The business isn't expected to break even for three to four years but global boss Manfred Fitzgerald told journalists at the New York motor show that while he was disappointed by the delays in establishing the brand in Australia, he was more interested in "building awareness" than sales volumes.
"I'm not worried about that. Yes disappointed that it could have been done more effectively or more smoothly and that would have made everybody's life easier, but we'll get there, no worries," he said.
The brand was prepared to play the long game.
"You cannot go after volume and believe that will equate to success," he said.
"What we are in is a marathon and not a sprint. This is something you have to invest in, and you have to have the patience, and you have to have also the vision to see what is going to happen with this brand in 10 to 15 years time. We still want to be around."