By on August 8, 2017

Round Rock Genesis dealer - Image: Genesis Motors

“We do in fact have to expedite our process of separating our brands.”
– Genesis Motors General Manager Erwin Raphael

From the start, Hyundai Motor America’s plans to launch its upmarket Genesis brand inside Hyundai showrooms was easy to question. Do consumers want the link between a $68,100 Genesis G90 and a $14,745 Hyundai Accent to be so obvious?

Of course not. But affording Genesis a mere corner of certain Hyundai showrooms wasn’t the only problem — Genesis general manager Erwin Raphael also had issues early on with the number of Hyundai dealers signed up to sell the Genesis brand.

“We may see that (350) figure go down,” Raphael said in November 2016, only a few months after the brand began selling cars in America. “I think it is too high.”

Fast forward to August 2017 and Hyundai’s plan to eventually separate the Genesis brand with standalone showrooms, perhaps in 2020, is about to be pulled way forward. “For this brand to really survive and thrive,” Raphael tells Automotive News, “and for us to develop the culture within ourselves and within our dealer network to support and take care of these customers, we do in fact have to expedite our process of separating our brands.”

So what happens to all of those Hyundai dealers who recently spent thousands renovating showrooms to include Genesis studios?

Dealers have not yet been told.

Andrew DiFeo, Hyundai’s National Dealer Council chairman, says the way in which Genesis was launched may have represented, “the easiest, least-painful route in the short term.” Yet after 352 dealers invested heavily in the future of Genesis, choosing the easy way forward “affected the brand negatively in the long term,” DiFeo says.2018 Genesis G80 - Image: Genesis MotorsThe entire launch process of the Genesis brand was questionable. First, Hyundai launched its luxury sedan in late 2008 as a Hyundai, rather than as a separate entity. At the time, Hyundai considered the cost of developing the car ($500 million) and its Tau V8 engine ($250 million) pricey enough — launching a brand was thought to be a $2.5 billion, 13-year effort.

Hyundai followed up the Genesis with an even pricier luxury car, the Equus, but once again marketed the car as a Hyundai. Then, seemingly doubling down on Genesis’ status inside the Hyundai family, Hyundai launched a second-generation of the Genesis sedan for the 2014 model year as a Hyundai.

Then, as if to suggest the earlier decision to avoid the massive cash infusion necessary to launch a new luxury brand was a poor one, Hyundai launched the Genesis brand in America in 2016 without an entry-level vehicle, without an SUV, without separate showrooms, and did so inside Hyundai dealers.

In fact, the picture is even more muddied than that. All 835 of Hyundai’s U.S. dealers are permitted to sell the G80, Automotive News reports, but any of those dealers who wish to sell the further-upscale G90 must build the Genesis showroom inside their Hyundai store.

The lack of prestige is problematic. So too is the fact that being a dealer for a fledgling premium brand means hardly selling any vehicles: fewer than 5 per month for the average Genesis dealer.2017 Genesis G90 - Image: Genesis MotorsSuch poor throughput is no recipe for success at the franchise level, and without successful dealers, Genesis will quickly lose ground before it can even fill its product lineup.

“We don’t see a path forward without a good, strong dealer network that’s also profitable. And we sometimes have to make very difficult decisions in the short run,” Genesis boss Raphel says, “in order to ensure that we take care of our dealers in the long run.”

The G80-only dealers — remember, these were dealers who previously sold this very car when it was the second-generation Genesis — were originally intended to be pushed out of the process once the third-gen model rolled around and Hyundai began to separate the two brands with separate spaces. But it’s clearly becoming obvious to Genesis that brand perception, in mid-2017, is not where it needs to be.

Pulling plans forward will be costly. Hyundai Motor America needs its current Genesis dealer agreements to disappear, which will require outside legal counsel to achieve.

Perhaps there are dealers that, outside of wasting money, will be relieved at the loss of Genesis-oriented responsibility. After all, there’s been little return on their investment to date. Genesis brand sales totalled 11,563 units in the first seven months of 2017, or about the number of C-Class sedans, coupes, and convertibles Mercedes-Benz sells every seven or eight weeks. But the Genesis G70, an intended rival for that C-Class, is due at dealers next year, and an SUV is set to follow. Both products are expected to outsell Genesis’ current duo.

Hyundai announced the formation of the Genesis luxury brand less than two years ago and the sales arrangement was quickly formulated for a U.S. launch one year ago. Hyundai’s desire to extricate Genesis products from Hyundai showrooms is the latest rapid-fire decision, one that should produce a proper plan by the summer of 2018.

[Images: Hyundai]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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70 Comments on “New Plan: Hyundai Motor America Wants Separate Genesis Showrooms ASAP...”


  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    This is so silly. Just park them in the lot, and leave it there until someone buys it. Who cares what the showroom looks like, no one really wants to spend much time there anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I’m 100% sure this isn’t accurate.

      If someone is paying $70k for a car, they expect a higher level of service and higher class atmosphere than someone paying $14k for a car. This is why Cadillac dealerships don’t look like Chevy dealerships, why Lexus isn’t sold at Toyota dealerships, and why Bugattis aren’t sold at VW dealerships.

      The point of a $70k is people will pay more for intangibles, experiences, and special features and opportunities. If they wouldn’t, they’d be buying a sonata, not a G80.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “The point of a $70k is people will pay more for intangibles, experiences, and special features and opportunities. If they wouldn’t, they’d be buying a sonata, not a G80.”

        Nope nope nope nope nope.

        You can put lipstick on a pig–and it’s still a pig.

        I want to put all of my money into the car, and absolutely zero of it into non-car stuff. Like excess profits to the dealership, who is paying its sales/admin/service staffs EXACTLY like he’s paying the same people at his Hyundai dealership down the road.

        I would be happy to have a complete non-dealership experience, because I know wasted overhead when I see it. That $3000 coffee maker in the lounge? I’m under NO misconception about who’s paying for that.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          ….But most people aren’t you. And the “yous” out there, aren’t the ones overpaying sufficiently to make running an entire premium brand supply, promotion and marketing chain worth vile…

          The people you want to cater to with your premium brand, are the ones who uncritically pay a $20K up charge, because you spent $1K telling them that by doing so they are somehow special. Not guys who want the entire $20K to be allocated to $20K more car…. What bores :)

        • 0 avatar
          Felix Hoenikker

          This,
          If Hyundai wants to sell upscale models in it’s low rent show rooms, let the metal talk and bull sh*t walk. I would have no problem buying a luxury level vehicle under these precepts provided it was at lest 40% less expensive than it’s competition and came with a better warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        While this move was inevitable, it’s not like G80 and G90 sales have exactly been hurting compared to the competition from Audi, Lexus, Jaguar and Cadillac (or for that matter, Infiniti).

        In addition, while a luxury dealership experience may lure in more buyers of a certain kind, will also turn away other buyers due to the higher prices that will need to be charged.

        Also, many Cadillac showrooms are adjoined to a Chevy or Buick/GMC showroom.

        Same for Mini/BMW and SMART/MB.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Automakers don’t care about the look and ambiance of their showrooms just for the hell of it. If you just park the cars in a lot and leave them there until someone buys it your $60k+ car at the Hyundai dealership will be sitting there forever.

      If you want to sell a premium car buyers expect a more premium experience. People don’t want to buy an expensive luxury car that is parked next to a row of $15,000 Accents with their hoods popped open holding signs that spell out “Summer Sale!” with wacky inflatable arm flailing tubemen in the background and balloons and flags strung all over the place. .

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        “If you want to sell a premium car buyers expect a more premium experience. People don’t want to buy an expensive luxury car that is parked next to a row of $15,000 Accents with their hoods popped open holding signs that spell out “Summer Sale!” with wacky inflatable arm flailing tubemen in the background and balloons and flags strung all over the place”

        As a legitimate potential luxury car purchaser, I think what you describe sounds like great fun.

        I realize that I’m probably an outlier.

        • 0 avatar
          SirRaoulDuke

          You are not the only one. If the sales event includes free hot dogs, I am all in.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Free hot dogs seem much more premium to me than marble floors and smooth jazz in the waiting room.

            I love the idea of a luxury dealership having inflatable tube men who are wearing tuxedos.

            I would also be happy to buy my cars out of a vending machine.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m hoping that was just sarcasm…

  • avatar
    arach

    The one thing that makes me feel a little sad here- I know I’m crazy for feeling “bad for dealers”- but my local hyundai dealer, which I really like, just spent a bunch of money creating the “Dual Showroom” so they could sell Genesis. I feel bad that they are probably going to lose the genesis’ after trying so hard to get them.

    My little hyundai dealership competes next door to a Cadillac dealer, and is one of the best dealerships I’ve ever experienced!

    • 0 avatar
      BrentinWA

      I have a Cadillac and live in close proximity to 3 dealers. They all have different levels of service dictated by the management at their stores. The least premium “feeling” dealer in the oldest building gives by far the best service. They go so far as to offer Valet for their service. This means when I want my oil changed they bring a loaner to me wherever I am, leave it, take my car, perform the service, wash it and then return to me, wherever I am again with my car and take the loaner back from me. They do this for new tires and if I want my car detailed as well. Of the other 2 dealers, they want me to schlep to them, one only offers a shuttle and one will give me a loaner if I show up at their door. Which one do you think I use?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      There are some really nice Hyundai dealerships (close to luxury level) and some horrible ones, but most are somewhere in the middle.

  • avatar

    All about the food service.

    At the VW dealer, you get…old coffee. no milk, just icky powder creamer.
    Audi you get K cups and small muffins. Still powder creamer
    Acura you get good coffee and half bagels-and milk (requires refrigerator)
    BMW gives you K cups, cans of soda, and half sandwiches.(real milk)
    Cadillac gives you coffee and half bagels, but they miss the real milk part. (this actually is metaphor for much of GM)

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I sincerely hope that I never spend enough time in a showroom or service department to care.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      My cadillac dealer gives me a little plastic cup with about 6-8 skittles in it. I always thought that was odd. Kind of nice, but odd. I didn’t get the bagels or whatnot though.

      My Hyundai dealer on the other hand has Green tea, regular tea, coffee. A bit nicer.

      Neither compare to the Kia dealership though which has Donuts, fresh fruit, soda, and coffee.

      The Subaru dealership has coffee.

      the BMW dealership has nothing and don’t even have a waiting area, because they give loaners to 100% of service individuals. I waited one time and it was weird because I had to sit in the showroom.

      I really wanted to buy a kia but I just couldn’t do it. They definitely have the life.

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged Miata Man

        I was extremely impressed with the waiting area at the Kia dealer where I purchased my Cadenza: Keurig coffee (with milk), bagels and doughnuts, several cushy couches, WiFi, and a pair of workstations with lots of power plug-ins and USB chargers, all of which made a recent Saturday morning appointment to have some accessories installed a genuinely pleasant and productive experience.

        That dealership used to be a Lincoln/Volvo store, so the space was already there, but it’s interesting that they continued to offer such amenities under the Kia brand. I also hope those features continue in the new building now under construction next door; the second local dealership across town, which was built a decade ago as a Kia store, has a very small waiting area by comparison.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          A # of Hyundai dealerships had built out “special” waiting lounges for owners of the G80 and G90 (and their predecessors).

          All in all, seems a bit silly to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I’m not going to make any sort of multi $10k decision based on weather they give me several dollars worth of bagels and coffee.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      This dealer puts ’em ALL to shame. Seriously. Take the tour.

      http://www.kunilexusofgreenwoodvillage.com/Virtual-Tour

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Why cut corners on the customer experience?

        Silently tack on to the bill the extra $2 for the coffee and snack and make your customers happy. They are paying for it all but they don’t need to know it.

        Buy decent waiting room furniture, add a TV of a reasonable size, and have good wi-fi. “Give” the customer the first round of refreshments for free and let them buy subsequent rounds if the dealer is really a tightwad. How much does a case of soda cans cost at Costco or Sam’s or KMart?

        Look what Starbucks can do for the cost of a $5 coffee. Nice place to be plus food.

        The automobile is often said to be the second largest purchase most of us make in a lifetime. Why does the waiting room experience need to be like a discount store? I’m look ing at you WalMart. Went there to have my old car’s tires rotated and balanced. Lifetime warranty.

        The waiting room looked a little like a detention cell. ;) At least I was there alone and not in the room with a bunch of tired parents and squirming children.

        That Lexus dealer really looks nice!

        Another benefit to being a DIY guy. My own choice in beer or soda plus my favorite music piped into the garage. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      My Hyundai (Genesis) dealer offers soft pretzels and tomato pie, which are nice local (Philly) touches if maybe a little blue-collarish.

      The issue that I had with my dealer was not so much the balloons and inflatable man type thing but having to listen to the hard sell they were giving to the poor hard working schnooks at the next desk who were trying to qualify for the payments on a stripper Accent. It was sad listening to these poor folks getting fleeced by the fat salesman with a bad toupee for lost key insurance and paint chip insurance and meteor strike insurance and other complete BS that you knew they could ill afford and that was clearly being marked up like crazy. “11 out of 10 buyers will lose their key fob and a Hyundai key fob costs ONE MILLION DOLLARS to replace if you lose it.” I felt like shouting out to them “DON’T TAKE IT” but I held my tongue. By luck of the draw,my salesman was a super nice guy and he knew better than to even try pitching that stuff to me – he just handed me the form and told me to check off or decline whatever coverage I wanted.

      The service desk guys at my dealership are also blue collarish guys who must have been promoted up from the shop floor but I like them – they seem like relatively straightforward honest guys. At the Audi dealership the service guys are much more polished but all this means is that they are more polished liars.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I actually seriously considered an Elantra last fall, but got turned off by the pricing games (i.e., the Macy’s style “70% off sale” when the s**t should have been 70% off to begin with) and lack of deal transparency.

        I emailed several Hyundai dealers in my area to give me a decent lease quote. All of ’em played the “just come in and we’ll work it out” line. That kind of stuff is what you see with the “poor working schnook” crowd. But it doesn’t play even remotely well with better-educated, more affluent folks Hyundai would love to steal from Honda and Toyota.

        Shame, because the product is good enough today to stand on its’ own without dealer shenanigans.

  • avatar
    thalter

    You have underscored the key challenge of setting up a distribution network for any new brand (luxury or otherwise).

    You already mentioned the problem of low unit sales. Another problem is that the low number of existing vehicles on the road, combined with the relative newness those vehicles, means that the service department will be mostly idle, even though you still need to pay for employees, facilities, loaner cars, etc. Service and warranty repairs is on area where dealers make up some of the money they lose in sales.

    I recall when Acura and Infiniti launched, the dealers for these new franchises made most of their money selling used cars, at least until the sales and service volume picked up enough to sustain the new car channel.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      If this was the old days where one guy owned one dealership and that was his sole means of making a living, then it would be a big issue.

      But nowadays most dealerships are part of chains, sometime mega-chains. If, in order to keep your relationship with Hyundai, you have to eat some losses for a couple of years at a freestanding Genesis dealership and you have faith that someday Genesis is going to be a major player in luxury cars (admittedly a risk) that’s all part of the game.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So…silly alphanumeric model names, dealerships shared with lesser brands, no SUVs or CUVs to sell, awful resale values…

    If this was Cadillac we’re talking about, all this stuff would be prime flamebait. But for some unfathomable reason, Genesis has real cred with TTAC readers. Still trying to figure that one out.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      How is it a mystery?

      Genesis started with a clean slate, and has yet to make any serious missteps.

      Cadillac spent ~40 years doing every possible thing to destroy their credibility and reputation; to an extent that you almost have to ask if it was on purpose.

      In 1970 Cadillac had as much “cred” as any automaker could possibly have. “Cadillac of X” was slang for the best version of a thing. TV and movies used the ownership of a Cadillac as shorthand to indicate that a character was wealthy and successful. Popular songs were written about how desirable and exclusive a Cadillac was.

      Then they threw it all away chasing short-term gains, apparently thinking their customers were too dumb to notice their slide and that their competition was too dumb to take advantage.

      The new guy at work actually has *more* credibility than the guy who spent the last 2 decades screwing up.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Uh…no serious missteps? Disagree.

        Misstep one is obvious: no SUVs or CUVs. What, they haven’t figured out in the last *nine years* that people really like these cars? And doesn’t Hyundai make any number of CUVs that could easily be “luxed-up”? Spare me.

        Misstep two is equally obvious: trying to sell luxury cars under the same roof as a Hyundai store. Who thought that would be a good long term idea?

        And…the cars themselves. They’re a good deal, and they’re competent performers, but other than that, they’re nothing to write home about. There’s nothing to build a prestige rep on here.

        No missteps? Seriously?

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          “And doesn’t Hyundai make any number of CUVs that could easily be “luxed-up”? Spare me.”

          Actually Hyundai doesn’t make any RWD CUV’s or SUV’s which is what Genesis said from the beginning when the brand was launched. This is unlike where GM just slapped together the C1XX into the CT5 which is FWD based.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            …the Lexus RX is also “FWD based.” I seem to recall that selling a few units here and there. Ditto for the NX, the Acura RDX/MDX, BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Q5.

            (And the CT5).

            And on and on…

            Luxury car buyers don’t generally care about the platform their CUV is based on. This argument doesn’t hold much water for me.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            While the stigma for being FWD-based is much less for a luxury crossover than a luxury sedan, it’s still reflected in the pricing.

            The RX and CT5 are midsize CUVs, but are priced more in line with the RWD compact CUVs (X3, GLC).

            The Infiniti FX/QX70 was smaller than the JX/QX60, but was priced higher and given the higher nomenclature in Infiniti’s lineup.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          No missteps on the order of the Cimarron or the Northstar, no.

          Not selling an SUV or trying to sell expensive cars in a Hyundai store might cause some customers to not consider Genesis; but it does not actively *drive customers way* like low-quality product will.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            I meant *drive customers away*

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d say both Hyundai and Cadillac stopped actively driving customers away with low quality product around the same time (sometime in the ’90s).

            I don’t really see that as an issue for either brand anymore.

            And that doesn’t excuse either brand for obvious product/marketing mistakes (Hyundai not launching Genesis with its’ own dealers and not selling CUVs, Cadillac misreading the market and pumping out too many sedans when what it wanted was CUVs, etc), but Cadillac’s far better positioned than Hyundai is in the luxury market.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          #1 – The first of 3 crossovers is set to launch next year.

          #2 – The end-goal was always to build out a separate luxury dealer network.

          But that was economically infeasible with just 2 models (both relatively low volume large sedans) and when Hyundai started selling the Genesis sedan in 2008, the US was still in the midst of the Great Recession – so not only was it not a good climate for luxury auto sales (or auto sales in general), but the banks weren’t lending (so difficult to get financing to build a new dealership, esp. for a new brand with just ONE model to sell).

          #3 – While not world-beaters, good enough to outsell the competition from Lexus, Audi, Jaguar, etc. (not to mention Infiniti).

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      The alphanumeric thing is something 1) ALL luxury cars have, and 2) causes confusion mostly when all the names change. That’s why Cadillac and Infiniti get groans, they keep changing their meaningless model names. BTW the G80 outsells the CT6 and the Continental so clearly they’re doing something right.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Freedmike, definitely a dual standard as Honda fan boys run the show.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      So…silly alphanumeric model names, – THE SAME AS MOST OTHER LUXURY BRANDS.

      dealerships shared with lesser brands, – THEY ARE FIXING THAT

      no SUVs or CUVs to sell, – THEY ARE FIXING THAT TOO. And not in the GM “we’ll fix it real soon” sense but they will actually fix it.

      awful resale values… ALL LUXURY CARS TAKE A BIG HIT IN VALUE, in part because there’s no cachet in driving a 5 year old luxury car and in part because they are really expensive to fix when the warranty runs out. Genesis can’t help the former but they deal with the latter by giving you an industry leading warranty.

      There is famous (and probably not true) story that Winston Churchill was at a cocktail party and had had a little too much to drink (this part is probably true). A lady approached him and said, “Winston – you are drunk!” and Churchill replied , “And so I am madam, and you are fat and ugly. But in the morning I shall be sober.”

      GM/Cadillac is that fat lady. Tomorrow she is still going to be the fat lady. Hyundai and Genesis have been progressing rapidly starting from zero at a time when GM and Cadillac ruled the world and chances are they will continue to make progress in the future. GM and Cadillac should have been untouchable. If they had put the billions that they once had into their product instead of making their contempt for their customers so utterly obvious, then there would have been no way on God’s green earth that Hyundai could have ever caught up with them. How many millions of customer stories end with the words,”and that’s why I’ll never buy a GM product again.”?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Cadillac will be fine after it addresses the CUV problem…which it will. Look at what bringing out a few of those did for Lincoln.

        Genesis isn’t going to be fine anytime soon.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Genesis will be launching a RWD based crossover by 2020 which will be based on the upcoming G70 sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s great…in 2020. Until then, they have two slow selling sedans, in a market where sedan sales are drying up.

            They should have done the lux-up treatment on the Tucson and/or Santa Fe a LONG time ago.

            Like I said…they aren’t going to be fine anytime soon.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Actually, the 1st of 3 crossovers is set to launch next year (depending when it launches in Korea, we’ll either see it late in 2018 or early 2019).

            The 2nd CUV will launch by 2020 and the 3rd in 2021.

            Really not that different from Cadillac.

            The XT4 is set to launch next year and the the 3-row CUV is set to launch by 2020.

            And totally disagree about “tarting up” a FWD CUV.

            While such CUVs have been successful for Lexus, Acura and Cadillac (well, the just one, the XT5, for now) – there’s also a limit when it comes to their price-point.

            Hence, the RX, despite being a mid-size CUV, hovering in price more with the X3 and GLC and why the NX has often been compared with the X1 and not the X3 in comparison tests.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Genesis has real cred with TTAC readers. Still trying to figure that one out.”

      They still offer naturally-aspirated V8 engines and RWD on nontrack models.

      If Cadillac did a “normal” 5.3L ATS and a 6.2L CTS/CT6 I’d type their praises until my fingers were sore.

      I’m easy to please.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Hyundai already started separate showrooms for the Genesis 3-4 years ago. At least in Florida they have had this distinction between the brands at many Hyundai dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      What is being talked about here is to have Genesis at completely free standing dealerships, like Lexus dealerships, that are not on the grounds of existing Hyundai dealers.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        There are Lexus dealerships (not many) which share lots with a Toyota dealership (but separate showrooms) with vehicles from both brands being serviced at the same service bays.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Why not do what Tesla does, have a small showroom in the trendy part of the Metro, in KC , it’s in the Country Club Plaza, and with a few testers available , and for service have the car picked up like Lincoln offers on there Black or Silver line or whatever they call it.Then service can be performed at the Hyundai dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      When they rolled out the Genesis brand, they already implemented the latter part – if your Genesis needs service they come and pick it up so you never have to set foot in the dealer again after your initial purchase.

      I’m not sure that Genesis buyers would be down with the Tesla style “virtual showroom” where you don’t get to see (or test drive) the actual car you are buying. Tesla can get away with this because they are in high demand. Also I think Genesis buyers trend older than Tesla buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      That’s actually also JdN’s plan for small-volume Cadillac dealerships in the more rural areas (tho would still be sharing a lot with a Chevy or Buick/GMC dealership).

  • avatar
    Carrera

    The three Hyundai dealers I’ve ever visited in my life seemed to have salesmen out of a bad stereotypical skit on SNL. They were gold wearing, sarcastic, chewing gum little creeps. I wouldn’t have bought the cheapest accent there, how about a Genesis?
    I remember reading an article around here about a Lexus dealership in the Miami area as having one of the largest sales volumes in the nation. They have no haggle, but very fair prices and a wonderful atmosphere.
    After reaching a certain level in life, some people just don’t care about balloons and inflatables and free Italian ice for the first 50 people in the showroom.
    I actually really like a newer Genesis and I want them to succeed. I think a totally separate dealership with some high quality sales people could be the way to go. Oh, it will take time, may be years for it to become successful but I think it could work.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      “They were gold wearing, sarcastic, chewing gum little creeps.”

      At my local dealership, they were nothing like this. They were gold wearing, sarcastic, chewing gum big fat creeps.

      Actually the salesman I drew (just by luck) happened to be a super nice guy. He was a retired Philadelphia EMT pursuing a 2nd career, perhaps just to get out of the house. If he didn’t sell a car that day, he was still going to collect his city pension check and make his mortgage payment so he didn’t have that edge of desperation to him. He had the kind of soothing tone of voice you would hope a guy would have as he was loading you into the ambulance. He had actually studied the manufacturer’s literature and was able to speak somewhat intelligently (and truthfully) about the vehicle’s features.

      But the other salesmen did mostly seem to fit the stereotype.

      I will be honest with you – I am a price shopper. I really wouldn’t give a damn if they were selling Genesii off of the back of a pickup truck parked at the side of the road if the price was right. I am not marrying the guys – give me the papers to sign and I will be gone and will never gaze upon your gold chains again.

      That being said, I can see how luxury car buyers like the wood panelling and “classy” atmosphere of say a Lexus dealership – it goes hand in hand with the brand image and forms a complete package. But, you’ve really got to understand that YOU are the one ultimately paying for all that stuff.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    It does seem like Toyota did a much better job separating itself from Lexus when it first was introduced. But then again, Toyota had a pretty sterling reputation for several decades. Hyundai is still widely considered a lower-tier brand even though they’ve made incredible strides in the last few years, but it still does pull down their luxury division.

    I usually don’t care much about a dealership, but I have to say the few Hyundai experiences I’ve had were pretty awful and I can see it being a factor when you’re writing a really big check compared to buying an economy car.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Totally different environment back then – both in the auto industry and in the nation’s economic situation (when Hyundai started selling the Genesis sedan in 2008, the US was still in the grips of the Great Recession).

      Today, it takes a lot more $$ to start a new brand and dealer network.

      For instance, when Honda launched Acura – it was on the fly and for relatively low $$.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    With the low sales numbers, separate showrooms will be difficult to justify by the numbers. The promise of selling high margin luxury cars will certainly allure many a low margin Hyundai dealer principal, though.

    If I were a Hyundai dealer, I wouldn’t be remotely interested unless I was near a highly populated affluent area. Otherwise, any more than a small handful of sales out of the Genesis brand a year would be very optimistic.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Which is why it was never economically feasible to have started a separate luxury dealer network when the Genesis brand was launched, much less when the Genesis sedan first hit the lots in 2008.

      As for the latter, that’s the plan.

      For instance, for Louisiana, the head of the Genesis brand only wants 2 Genesis dealerships for the state.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    There is a Hyundai/Genesis dealer that I regularly pass on my way to my weekend home. They are located right along the freeway and put up a large Genesis sign/reader board. It usually says “Genesis your only luxury choice in xx County”. Like someone who is in the market for a car that expensive isn’t willing to drive the 30-45 minutes to the bigger cities in the adjacent counties and have a selection of all the premium brands.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Maybe 30-45 minutes wouldn’t be an issue, but an hour or more of a drive would be an issue to a good no. of buyers.

      There’s a reason why the smaller Cadillac and Lincoln dealerships in the more rural regions get the business that they do.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Why not up the dealership experience across the line. Is it really that expensive to have good coffee and some bagels. Heck my Ford dealer manages that. The departed Saturn Brand consistently had top notch dealership experience scores in spite of never selling a luxury car. Making Genesis customers comfortable in a Hyundai dealer would have the benefit of helping to shake off some of the lingering brand issues for Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      And I own a Hyundai. Our dealership here is pretty good. In fact I’ve never been to a bad one BUT in upstate NY it was a Fucillo franchise and yeah, I can see how buyers of 60k cars don’t really want to hang out somewhere where the ads bombard you with some dude yelling and putting poor old Tom Park in a headlock.


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