By on September 8, 2018

If you noticed your neighbor adding a glistening new Genesis model (the midsized one or the bigger one) to their driveway in the past month, you’re a member of a very small group.

Genesis, the luxury marque born of Hyundai, didn’t sell many vehicles in August, but that’s all part of the plan. The brand’s executive director claims there’s less than a month’s worth of vehicles currently in the U.S., but once those ships arrive, look out. Actually, a better way of phrasing that is: “prepare yourself for things to occur in a gradual and measured fashion.”

After seemingly continuous revamps of the fledgling brand’s dealer model, head office has settled on a final plan — one that won’t be ready by the time the 2019 models arrive. Like the brand itself, it’s a work in progress, but at least there’s a game plan.

In July, the brand’s senior group manager of PR told us that, after Genesis receives a distributor license in each U.S. state, dealers are asked to make a choice: accept a compensation offer and hand over their ability to sell Genesis vehicles, or apply to become a Genesis retailer. No one’s forced to build a standalone Genesis store a comfortable distance away from the Hyundai showroom, but Genesis would definitely prefer it. Either way, those stores won’t be ready in time for the 2019s.

The overall goal is to whittle down the roughly 850 Genesis-selling dealers to a more exclusive, manageable number covering key markets, though not as few as in an earlier plan. Hyundai projects the number of retailers to drop to 400 within the next half-year, but Genesis Executive Director Erwin Raphael wants a lower number.

“Four hundred is still higher than what is ideal,” Raphael told Wards Auto. “I think (ultimately) that will come down,” he said, adding that some dealers won’t remain profitable at projected sales volumes.

“It just doesn’t compute to 400.”

Not only will standalone stores remain a far-off proposition by the time the expanded 2019 lineup appears (Genesis adds the smaller G70 sport sedan to its car-only stable this fall), but Genesis doesn’t expect to have its full roster of state licenses and signed-on dealers until February. The brand has licenses for 40 states right now.

Meanwhile, the first 2019 models should begin appearing later this month at a small number of dealers.

“By the end of the year, we will be hitting on all cylinders,” Raphael said.

Genesis sales in the U.S. last month totalled 613 vehicles, continuing a steep decline seen in July. The brand cut off imports in March to drain inventory in time for its sort-of dealer network launch, which will go ahead with only 2019 models on the lot.

[Image: Genesis Motors]

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43 Comments on “As Inventory Dwindles, Genesis Prepares to Turn It On Again...”

  • avatar

    I’m continually amazed how badly this launch is being handled.

    It’s like Hyundai has no idea what they even want the brand to be.

    And it seems extremely basic to me that something like brand strategy, dealer markets, etc would be mapped out ages before a single car goes on sale.

    And it’s even worse if you’re trying to create a “prestige” brand.

    Honestly I get the feeling that Alfa is being better launched than Genesis. And who expected that from the same team that brought you the disaster of Fiat USA?

  • avatar

  • avatar

    I have a Genesis that’s coming off lease in a few months. I want to see and drive a G70. Guess what?? No G70s around. How can Kia have the Stinger out, but no Genesis G70s around?
    By the time the G70 is available in quantity and selection, the reviews will be stale and the auto public’s attention will be on the next new car. Hyundai has already managed to stock a ton of the new, 2019, Santa Fe models, so someone there knows how to launch a vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      My local dealer also has 2019 Velosters.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s b/c Genesis USA had an inadequate plan (which they later trashed) and were incompetent w/ regard to getting the regulatory/licensing approvals from the States.

      Genesis wants the 2019 models sold only at the dealerships which have signed on to Genesis, but instead of an April launch (the G70 and 2019 G80 and G90 have been available in Canada for months), all the issues have resulted in months of delay.

      The good news is that the wait may finally be over; apparently we should be seeing the G70 hit a limited # of dealerships later this month.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott Collins

      >How can Kia have the Stinger out, but no Genesis G70s around?

      It’s outrageous, it’s unfair!

  • avatar

    I like that H/K are in this market, their keeping the usual suspects on their toes. I’ve entertained the thought of a 5-year old used Genesis. But, I look at my 19-year old Lexus (especially the interior), and the bloody thing looks nearly new still, and I think there’s no way a 19-year Genesis is going to look that good that long. Interesting how durability is no longer a perceived value. Even Mercedes seems to have thrown that idea out.

    • 0 avatar

      Lightspeed I’m also eyeing some of these newer Genesis sedans with interest (perhaps not for the immediate future), it’s seems that they have been on a strong upward trajectory in quality and trying to impress and win customers, while Lexus is turning out horribly styled sedans with weak paint. I’m likewise waiting to see how the interiors hold up with some miles. A lightly used G80 (still Hyundai branded the first few years) for $24k with the balance of th factory warranty or CPO looks like an incredible amount of car for the money.

      • 0 avatar

        I know it’s off topic of Korean luxury sedans, but….

        GTem, I hope you’re subscribed or will check back for replys, because I wanted to tell you that I finally bought another 4×4. Specifically, a 2004 GMC Sonoma SLE crew cab (yes, four real doors, not half doors on an extended cab). I’m excited about it, I think its a neat little truck and I’m going to have a lot of fun with it.

  • avatar

    Does anyone remember Amati?

  • avatar

    Gorgeous car.

    Recently read a review that stated it was a better 3 series than the contemporary one BMW produces

    historically imports built image by keeping supply limited and making buyers wait for their special car

    Merc did that for decades – and they started out teamed w/ Studebaker

    • 0 avatar

      Mercedes-Benz started out by inventing the car, or at least Benz did. They also built some of the most technologically advanced and powerful cars in the world prior to Word War II. Saying they built their brand by keeping a lid on supply and sharing Studebaker dealers is a bit of mischaracterization of history.

      BMW built its image by building the 1600-2/2002, a car which was both affordable and unique in its early years. They didn’t get expensive until we went off the gold standard, and BMW didn’t keep supply tight so much as they merely couldn’t build enough of them to keep up with demand.

      The trick isn’t making people wait for their cars. The trick is making cars people are willing to wait for at a price where you make money.

  • avatar

    I guess this was just a trial release to see how well the car is received. From what I can tell people in general don’t know what a Genesis is. Maybe they are waiting for a Superbowl commercial or see an actual dealership.

  • avatar

    The things that are disturbing me:

    1. How long it is taking the G70 to be released. Is there a FIRM release date for the United States? Last I checked you couldn’t even play with the “build and price” on the Genesis site.

    2. How long it is taking to get Genesis’ separate CPO program up and running. I’d take a serious long look at a G80 Sport or 5.0 as a CPO model but I’d want to see whatever Genesis’ CPO program has to offer and not buy it under Hyundai’s terms. (Example is Genesis’ program going to include a version of concierge service for CPO models?)

    • 0 avatar

      Apparently later this month (but only at a very limited # of dealerships).

      Don’t expect to see a Genesis CPO program any time soon.

      Need models coming off lease for that and the 2019MY is the first “full-fledged” Genesis models.

  • avatar

    If they want their dealers to be more like BMW and Mercedes they are well on their way: I saw a G70 at a Hyundai dealer. I was suprised how short and small it was. It was locked. Could I test drive it? HELL NO! Could I just sit in it? NO!, now get away from it. Good luck, Genesis.

  • avatar

    I have a G80 in the form of a ’15 Hyundai Genesis, and aside from some creaking from the pano roof and the awful Michelin tires (which aren’t the car’s problem) it’s been faultless. The interior materials and fit and finish are stellar, and aside from not having the immediate torque of a boosted engine, it’s a pleasure to drive and does exactly what it ought to. I hope the brand manages to succeed, because the cars themselves deserve it.

  • avatar

    I think the G70 is a very handsome car, and I like the larger ones as well. I wish them well. It seems that they have the product (so far as sedans are concerned), and I hope it isn’t all a wasted effort. They need CUVs, STAT, and IMO an individual dealer network.

    I believe the same is true of Lincoln, in respect to dealers. They have good product, but a Navigator sitting across the row from an Echo(echo, echo, echo…)Sport isn’t going to cut it.

  • avatar

    Clock keeps ticking, still no Genesis crossover. I wince to think at how many hundreds of thousands of high margin sales Hyundai missed in its hesitation to build the vehicles they really should have launched the brand with.

    Yes I know G70 save the manuals real drivers car yadda yadda. Once all the dust settles and nobody buys these things and we are back to reality it’s all going to be too late. Genesis cars are excellent- I was wowed by the polish and refinement of an original Hyundai Genesis sedan- but they are the wrong cars for the market and pretty much have been from launch. That product mismatch has and will continue to undermine the brand’s success.

    • 0 avatar

      Better for Genesis to do its CUVs right at the start than mess it up.

      MKX and MKC sales have been disappointing for Lincoln and it’s not like the Stelvio and Jaguar CUVs have been lighting up the sales chart.

      Also, a Genesis CUV based on say, the outgoing Santa Fe Sport, would run across the same problem that Acura has w/ pretty much its entire lineup and Lexus w/ its FWD models – getting outclassed in many areas by its newer mainstream cousin.

      Such a Genesis CUV would be outclassed in numerous areas by the new Santa Fe (just as the ILX is outclassed by the Civic and the outgoing ES by the latest Camry).

      In addition, wouldn’t have been worth the effort as any profits Hyundai would have made from such Genesis CUV sales would have been wiped out by the increased compensation packages Hyundai would have to pay the dealerships that will no longer be selling/carrying Genesis.

      Plus, there’s a reason why Genesis has developed a new platform to underpin the GV80 (which will also underpin the new G80) – reduced weight.

      A Genesus CUV underpinned by the current G80 platform would have been too heavy.

      • 0 avatar

        The MKX is Lincoln’s best selling vehicle, I highly doubt that its “disappointing” considering the sales of sedans in comparison.

        Genesis CUVs would likely be based on the RWD platforms that their sedans are based on. I highly doubt they’d choose to rebadge a FWD Hyundai when they didn’t do the same for the G70 sedan. I mean, basing it off the Sonata would’ve been far cheaper and eaiser, but they didn’t.

        • 0 avatar

          While the MKX may be Lincoln’s best-selling vehicle, that’s not really a big accomplishment.

          Compared to the competition, both the MKX and MKC have lagged significantly in sales.

          The MKX has sold 17.9k YTD (down 11.7%).

          That’s substantially less than the RX (70.7k) and the MDX (32.5k).

          For 2017, Lincoln sold a total of 31k of the MKX (which both the RX and MDX have already surpassed).

          Cadillac sold 68.3k of the XT5 for 2017 and up thru June of this year, has sold more of the XT5 than Lincoln did the MKX all of last year.

          Same thing applies to the MKC which sells less than HALF of what the NX and RDX do.

          • 0 avatar

            Excellent, you disproved your own point above, that supposedly utilities aren’t the answer to luxury brand sales, after he said utilities should have been a part of Genesis’ lineup sooner rather than later.

            Seems to me you picked one brand with less-than-stellar sales and cited it as an example to prove how unimportant utilities are(just ask Lincoln how they’re doing with the new Navigator, and with the Aviator after a year or two).

            But, when I pointed out that despite the fact that it isn’t setting sales charts ablaze, it still outsells their sedans, you counter with how well utilities do for other luxury brands. You can’t have it both ways. Either utilities sell well (and they do) and can pay the bills, or sedans are more important to growth and profit. Can’t be both.

            You can name *almost* any brand of vehicles you want, chances are their utilities/light trucks outsell their cars. That goes for luxury or mainstream. Best selling Toyota? Not a Camry or Corolla. Best selling Honda? Not an Accord or Civic. Best selling Porsche? Not a 911. Best selling Acura? Not a TLX. Best selling Buick? Not a LaCrosse or Regal. Need I go on?

          • 0 avatar

            I did no such thing.

            First off, in no way did I say that CUVs (and/or SUVs) weren’t vital to overall sales; rather just that it’s better for Genesis to do it correctly from the start.

            Which is exactly what Lincoln did NOT do w/ the MKX and MKC (or for that matter, what VW had done w/ its old CUV lineup).

            As I had stated numerous times before, looks like Lincoln is turning things around w/ the Navi and the upcoming Aviator – so, that actually SUPPORTS my point (in getting things right).

            And it’s hardly just Lincoln.

            It’s not like Jaguar CUVs or the Alfa Giulia have exactly been flying off the lots.

            The Giulia has sold under a 1k/month the past few months and the F-Pace hasn’t done much better.

            Even Lexus made a major misstep w/ the RX-L by not extending the wheelbase and just lengthening the rear to squeeze in a 3rd row.

            As I had stated earlier, sure Genesis could have done a CUV earlier by basing one off the outgoing Santa Fe Sport platform, but that would lead to the issue of it being superceded in many ways by the new Santa Fe.

            A Genesis CUV based on the current G80 platform was unfeasible due to weight – which is why the GV80 CUV will be underpinned by a new, lighter weight RWD platform (same reason why BMW waited until the current gen 7 Series platform to underpin its new 3-row CUV).

            In addition, as already stated, would have totally been a MOOT point for Genesis to have had a CUV, as any profits they would have made from such sales would have disappeared in the compensation packages for the dealerships no longer carrying Genesis.

      • 0 avatar

        His point was that they should have provided CUVs from the start or as soon as possible. Having a (relatively) poor selling CUV is better than no CUV in a market that is demanding them.

        As I pointed out, the MKX may not be flying off the lots, but its still outselling Lincoln sedans. So, you’re saying it would be better for Lincoln to not have its best seller in its lineup at all. That selling xx,xxx units is worse than selling 0 units?

        It stands to reason that having a CUV on the market at this time would be beneficial. Genesis has made a mistake by fielding nothing but sedans. That was what he was saying. You arguing that Lincoln having actual names is/will be beneficial is a bit ironic since Genesis has no real names, and evidently won’t anytime soon.

        • 0 avatar

          Again, CUVs based on WHICH platform?

          Already gave the reasons why it was unfeasible to use any of the outgoing platforms (be they FWD or RWD) and why Genesis is developing a new RWD platform to underpin its CUVs, as well as the next gen sedan lineup.

          And again, it would have all been a MOOT point, as any profits they would have made out of CUV sales would have gone right back into even larger compensation packages (some are getting more than $4 million in compensation).

          That’s a big reason why the launch of the G70 and the 2019MY G80 and G90 have been delayed.

          Genesis only wants the dealerships that have signed on to go forward w/ Genesis to get the G70 and other 2019 models, otherwise, they would have to pay the dealerships not going ahead w/ Genesis even more $$ in compensation.

  • avatar

    because what the market is speaking to right now is a higher end car only line up…..

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