Hyundai Dealers Put on Notice: It's Time for Genesis, but Not Everyone Gets to Play
Hyundai Motor America and its U.S. Genesis division sent messages to Hyundai dealers this week, alerting them to the formation of an independent Genesis dealer network. Hyundai’s recently created luxury marque wants space between it and its value-focused sister division, and that means the need for standalone stores.
Shared showrooms simply won’t cut it anymore.
Right now, Genesis customers in the United States can purchase models at roughly 350 Hyundai dealers, but not for long. The plan calls for just 100 standalone stores as a starting point. If you’re a Hyundai dealer with dreams of selling a higher class of vehicles, this is your opportunity — but your chances of being selected might not be as high as those dealers already selling the brand.
According to Genesis, “certain dealers who are parties to the Genesis Participation Agreement (GPA), currently doing business in defined key markets, will be given the first opportunity to apply for the Genesis franchise.”
Dealers that signed on to the GPA agreed to set up Genesis showrooms inside their Hyundai store. Naturally, those locations get first dibs.
“At Genesis, we believe in putting our customers first and giving them a proper ownership experience,” said Erwin Raphael, General Manager of Genesis Motor America, in a statement. “To ensure that happens, we need to take this next step in the separation of the Genesis brand from our parent company.”
Establishing a “right-sized” dealer network is key for the brand’s long-term health, Raphael said.
Right now, you’ll only find two models under the Genesis banner — the midsize G80 (formerly the Hyundai Genesis) and full-size G90, both rear- or all-wheel-drive vehicles. A smaller G70 sedan arrives this year, with crucial crossovers in the pipe. Until a full (and diverse) lineup materializes in Genesis showrooms, the brand needs to proceed with caution. Sedans, especially those bearing a relatively unfamiliar badge, aren’t a guaranteed draw, especially in today’s market.
Genesis sales kicked off in late summer, 2016. Last year, some 20,594 Americans took home a Genesis-badged vehicle, with the bulk of those buyers choosing the G80. December 2017 was the best sales month thus far.
[Images: Genesis Motors]
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