Hyundai has turned to a former Chrysler and Toyota plant manager to head its new Genesis luxury brand in the U.S.
Erwin Raphael, 49, takes over as Genesis' first general manager on March 1. He will direct the summer launch of the Genesis G90, which replaces the Hyundai Equus flagship sedan. It will be closely followed by a lightly updated version of the Hyundai Genesis, renamed the Genesis G80 for the 2017 model year.
Raphael now leads Hyundai Motor America's key Western sales region.
CEO Dave Zuchowski said Raphael's "product knowledge, broad dealer experience and skill at flawless execution" will be tested in launching the brand.
Rather than awarding franchises for stand-alone Genesis dealerships, Hyun-dai has crafted a plan for a hybrid retail strategy that uses existing Hyundai dealerships for at least the next few years.