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Hyundai hopes new Genesis will boost slow sales

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm •  Published: January 13, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai is counting on a revamped Genesis full-size luxury car to pull buyers from market leaders Mercedes and BMW and help the Korean automaker recover from two years of lackluster U.S. sales.

The 2015 rear-drive Genesis, unveiled Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, gets an all-wheel-drive option for the first time, making Hyundai competitive for luxury buyers in snowy locations.

The Genesis also goes high tech with an app that ties Google Glass headsets to Hyundai's Blue Link electronic safety, service and entertainment features.

Google Glass computerized headsets have been released to a limited number of early adopters. The glasses project text and images, and wearers can use voice, gestures or taps on a frame touch pad to give commands. People with the glasses can start their cars and unlock or lock doors remotely, find their cars in parking lots and search for points of interest or gas stations.

Hyundai's U.S. sales grew only 2.5 percent last year while the overall market grew almost 8 percent. A year earlier, the market grew more than 13 percent but Hyundai sales were up only 8.9. Hyundai blamed the slow growth on a lack of factory capacity to meet demand for some top-selling models.

For Genesis, demand was the problem. Genesis sales fell 4.8 percent last year in the aging model's final year. When the Genesis was introduced in 2009, Hyundai decided to sell luxury cars under the Hyundai brand rather than creating a new brand that would require more costly marketing. It's sticking with that philosophy with the new model.

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