HWASEONG, South Korea — The origin of the world is laid out in the biblical Book of Genesis. And so it unfolds with the other Genesis — South Korea's upstart luxury brand.
Genesis has its own book of Genesis — literally.
Pull open the satiny, copper-toned hardcover of the oversize Genesis: Volume One, and leaf through its glossy, heavyweight pages. Chapter and verse illuminate the origins and philosophy of the world's newest luxury contender with inspirational meditations and artsy photos.
Global brand chief Manfred Fitzgerald personally penned the 67-page tome to motivate his staff and dealers. Part creation myth, part instruction manual, the text tackles such big questions as: What is Genesis? What is luxury? Who are our customers?
These are hardly academic concerns. Genesis faces a market challenge of biblical proportions.
The newly christened wannabe must differentiate itself from the mass-market Hyundai brand it was cleaved from in late 2015. And it must convince status-conscious buyers in an entrenched global luxury market that "made in Korea" has premium panache.
It won't be easy for a brand with next-to-no heritage to tackle the tradition of German stalwarts Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, let alone Japan's trio of Lexus, Infiniti and Acura.
"We want to be a globally respected brand," Fitzgerald said during a tour of Hyundai Motor Group's global r&d center here. His glossy brand book "should open up your mind to what we're looking for."
Genesis: Volume One encapsulates three key traits: "being audacious, progressive, distinctly Korean." Cultivating that third quality may prove the most delicate.