Genesis reportedly planning One of One division for one-off cars

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Commissioning a one-off car may soon become a lot more affordable. Hyundai-owned Genesis is reportedly preparing to launch a new division called One of One that will be tasked with making one- and few-off models like Rolls-Royce and other firms are already doing.

Anonymous sources told South Korean newspaper The Korean Economic Daily that Genesis will announce its One of One division this month. The company won't simply send out a press release; it will reportedly unveil the first cars designed and built by One of One, though there's no word yet on what they'll be. However, the sources said that the range of customization options are wide. Buyers will ultimately be able to modify anything from "the powertrain and transmission to seating arrangements, interior and exterior colors, and other options."

The company will start small: One of One will initially give buyers the option of customizing the interior in some Genesis models. More options will be added gradually, and the goal is to make the One of One treatment available across the full lineup. On paper, this sounds a lot like the personalization program that several high-end carmakers have operated for years, but it stops short of coachbuilding; in other words, you'll be (in theory) able to order a GV80 with wall-to-wall leather upholstery that matches your favorite wallet, but you won't be able to request a production version of the X Speedium concept (pictured) powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine and painted in the Gulf colors.

If the rumor is accurate, One of One will put customization within the reach of more buyers, but the long-term aim isn't to democratize this process. It's to move Genesis further upmarket. "Hyundai is strengthening its bespoke program with an aim to take the Genesis brand to the same or similar level as Bentley or Rolls-Royce," one source told The Korean Economic Daily. That's a big bet for a relatively young and small company, but Genesis has grown at a surprising pace and established itself as a credible player in the luxury-car segment.

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