Genesis remains open to launching a small electric car

·2 min read

Genesis planted its flag on European soil in 2021, and it released the G70 Shooting Brake to lure motorists across the pond out of BMW and Mercedes-Benz showrooms. The company confirmed it's considering further expanding its presence in Europe with a city car.

"We're looking at expanding our model line-up, and especially in Europe a small model is being considered," said Mark Choi, the firm's head of product planning, in an interview with British magazine Autocar. He added launching an entry-level model anywhere in the world is easier said than done. "It's not a simple case of adding new models; we need to factor in the growth of sales anticipated for our current cars, weigh that against our manufacturing capacity, and then consider the rising cost of raw materials and understand how that affects the decision."

Genesis showed the world its vision for the city car segment when it introduced the futuristic-looking Mint concept (pictured) at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The odds of seeing a toned-down version of the coupe reach showroom are low; it's fairly old in concept-car years. Some of the design study's defining features and styling cues could ultimately trickle down to a city car if executives give it the green light, however.

"The Mint concept is still being studied. We want to understand what a small luxury car could be. When you live in a city, you don't necessarily want a big car so a small luxury vehicle is something to think about," head of design Design boss SangYup Lee told Autocar.

He added a potentially telling detail: "there are premium small cars, but a luxury small car could be something new." This suggests (though this is pure speculation) that Genesis would position its city car above the current crop of premium electric models, which includes the Fiat 500e and the Mini Cooper SE. We've seen a handful of small luxury cars in recent decades, the short-lived, Toyota-based Aston Martin Cygnet comes to mind, but these models have never caught on. It will be interesting to see how Genesis positions itself in this segment.

It's too early to tell whether the smallest member of the Genesis family will be sold in the United States if it reaches production. While the obvious answer is "no" because American drivers want crossovers, the company could position its EV as a niche model in our market.

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