Genesis GV60 in Sao Paulo Lime — Photo courtesy of Genesis Automotive
Car enthusiasts are travelers, too, and the Genesis Motors team can’t get enough of exploring the world’s most fascinating places – and they encourage customers to share in their love of globetrotting, too.
Launched in 2015, Genesis is the luxury vehicle division of Hyundai Motor Group, the Seoul, Korea-based automotive company. They feature a number of stylish models, including sport sedans and several sizes of SUVs.
Most recently, in August 2021, they announced a new, sleek electric vehicle, the GV60 that will be available next year. Although the company has existed for under a decade, Genesis has won a number of awards and is considered extremely innovative in the automotive world.
It’s not just the latest technologies and engineering advancements that have caught the eyes of consumers, but the imaginative and bold colors of the Genesis models – and the authentic stories behind them.
Andre Ravinowich is the senior manager of product planning and strategy for Genesis Motor North America. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, he has traveled extensively and and has lived in several locations, including his current home in Southern California.
With a focus on the United States market, he and his colleagues ensure the voice of the consumer is at the forefront during the cars’ development process. This includes choosing the color names for the vehicles.
He says, “We are a young brand, and we have a sense of discovery, inspiration and uniqueness at the heart of the company. So, we wanted names of colors to reflect a destination that a potential customer may have visited in the past, and possibly had a personal connection with. Or perhaps a place where they aspire to visit, such as a dream destination, a difficult place to get to, or a unique location.”
Genesis in Cavendish Red — Photo courtesy of Genesis
Ravinowich explained that his personal love of travel has played a role in the specific colors he suggests for the cars. This strategy started with Andre and a number of passionate product-planning professionals (mostly from the USA team), having brainstorming conversations about colors. This discussion turned into a globally-implemented color-naming strategy based on travel destinations that embodied the colors of the company’s paint palette.
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Prior to Ravinowich joining Genesis, the company offered a few travel-related colors, such as their original Himalayan Gray. In the past, the colors and names were chosen (and altered) for each specific and individual market. For example, the color, Siberian Ice available for the GV70 model was previously called Racing Gray in South Korea. And then each market would potentially change the name to appeal to the specific region.
Eventually, Ravinowich and the US team started pushing the boundaries and elevating the names so they possess an intriguing, travel-related story behind them. The spectrum of colors includes Havana Red, Adriatic Blue, Black Forest Green, Savile Silver, Vik Black – and a host of others. So automotive fans can’t deny that these colors travel well.
Genesis in Adriatic Blue — Photo courtesy of Genesis
Located in Korea, Germany and Southern California, these design teams often collaborate and discuss fun, funky and fascinating color names based on personal travel experiences, memorable vacations and favorite hometown spots (and often lesser-known destinations). Interestingly enough, there was no global marketing directive to create certain colors. Instead, the ideas evolved organically and were embraced by the headquarters in Korea.
Jarred Pellat is the public relations manager at Genesis North America. He says, “Genesis designs vehicles with global markets in mind. All of these groups are working together collaboratively when we are developing new products. So it’s good to get those global perspectives.”
A recent transplant from Canada to California, he explained that, for the first time, Genesis will be using a color name inspired by a Canadian destination. The soon-to-be-released Cavendish Red (for the upcoming G80 Sport sedan) is named for a township in Prince Edward Island that’s known for the particular red hue of its sandy beaches.
One of Ravinowich’s own color suggestions was "Vik Black," a deep, radiant shade that’s currently used for the GV70 and GV80 models. The color was named for the picturesque beach off the southern coast of Iceland, near the village of Vik, where he visited on vacation a few years ago. It’s home to glistening volcanic sand, dramatic cliffs and sea caves.
He says, “As soon as I saw this incredible beach, I was blown away. It’s a truly memorable destination and ideal for the color of the car because it’s a metallic black with a sparkle to it – and the sand actually shimmers due to the sand’s distinctive rock and soil components.” It turns out, this color choice has come full circle, as the GV70 promotional global launch videos were actually filmed in Iceland.
Genesis in Mauna Red — Photo courtesy of Genesis
Another noteworthy Genesis color is the Mauna Red – a bold, fiery hue named after the largest active volcano on earth, Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii. Ravinowich says, “It’s such a powerful place and volcanos are all about the release of energy. We thought it was perfect for the GV70 model because that particular red has a lot of vibrancy.”
Another unexpected color name is Uyuni White, which was chosen to represent the massive salt flats located in Bolivia, South America. The small town of Uyuni is considered the gateway to this other-worldly, pure white expanse. Genesis’s pearl and metallic white color is reminiscent of how the sun reflects off these sprawling salt flats in a certain light of day.
Ravinowich is also proud to share his personal connection to the bright shade of green, São Paulo Lime, which was unveiled at the launch of the new GV60 auto (announced in August 2021). He wanted to select a color that pays homage to his home country, and decided upon the intense green hue as Brazil happens to be a top global producer of limes.
“Brazil is so special to me for many reasons, and I’m glad to have a great color from that country in our palette at Genesis. Plus, it’s the color of the national cocktail, the caipirinha, which is, of course, made with limes,” he says.
Does he have a wish list for future travel-related colors? He explains, “There’s a beach in Brazil called Guarujá where I grew up visiting every summer and it’s located about an hour from São Paulo. Almost every weekend, we would drive there and spend time with family. Yes, it’s hard to pronounce, but I’m hoping we can use it for a color one day!”
Genesis GV70 in Savile Silver — Photo courtesy of Genesis
Pellat added, “This is a testament to the product planning department in the US and around the world. People here are super-passionate about our brand and are car enthusiasts in general. And this is the nature of Genesis...sure, we’re one of the largest motor groups in the world, but at the end of the day, we’re also a new, exciting up-and-coming brand that operates like a start-up environment.
"The company really takes feedback and innovative ideas to heart. When someone like Andre in product planning makes a recommendation with certain things like color, the company takes it very seriously. One person can make a huge different in the organization.”
More creative colors are on the horizon as well. Next year, for the first time, Genesis will introduce a color inspired by a tiny island south of Seoul, Korea. The official name and shade will be revealed in the future, but the company assures us that it will be delightfully descriptive – and offer a fascinating story of its own.