By Hyunjoo Jin
SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> said on Thursday it plans to open its first dedicated store for its Genesis luxury car line near Seoul later this year, as the South Korean automaker looks to build a separate identity for the brand
Hyundai Motor, best known as a value automaker, launched Genesis as a standalone brand in November hoping to compete with the likes of Germany's BMW <BMWG.DE> and Audi AG <NSUG.DE> in the higher-margin premium segment.
The store will be located at what will be South Korea's biggest shopping mall, Starfield Hanam, due to be opened later this year by retailer Shinsegae Group near Seoul, the carmaker said.
U.S.-based Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> was also in talks to open a store at the mall, although a decision had not been made, an official at Shinsegae said.
Regarding plans for further standalone Genesis outlets, Hyundai said that "while many options are being considered nothing has been decided at this moment".
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South Korean newspaper Electronics Times said on Thursday that Hyundai planned to open 10 dedicated Genesis stores in South Korea by next year, including in Seoul's wealthy Gangnam district and the southeastern city of Busan.
The Genesis line-up currently features two models, a range that the company plans to expand to six by 2020 including an SUV.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Tony Munroe and Stephen Coates)