By on December 8, 2018

As we explained earlier this year, the fledgling Genesis brand is going through puberty. The brand’s constantly evolving dealer strategy is now set in stone, or what passes for it in the world of Genesis, but the process of separating the brand from its Hyundai parent won’t take place overnight. There’s dealers to whittle down, licenses to gain, standalone stores to build, and inventory to stock.

It’s a work in progress, but the 2019 models — which now total three — are beginning to find their way to more buyers, Genesis claims. Be patient.

Because Genesis chose to roll out its growing (yet shrunken) network of revamped dealers with only 2019 models in stock, the company stopped shipping 2018 models in March, allowing inventory to dry up over the summer. Sales, predictably, fell off a cliff.

American buyers purchased just 417 Genesis models in November — a 77 percent year-over-year decline, with volume through the end of November down 48 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. This fall, the original midsize G80 sedan and its full-size G90 stablemate gained a new sibling in the form of the well-regarded G70, which sharers its architecture with the Kia Stinger. Positioned as a rival to the BMW 3 Series and its ilk, the G70 has looks to spare and appropriate power on hand. till, it isn’t a crossover, fo which Genesis has three on the way.

Only when these models arrive can the brand expect to make it out of adolescence.

Speaking to Automotive News, Hyundai Motor America Chief Operating Officer Brian Smith explained the current state of affairs at Genesis. While planning its separation from Hyundai, Genesis quickly discovered that, in order to birth these standalone stores, it would take time to comply with varying state franchise guidelines. The brand had to apply in each state as a marque separate from Hyundai. Chosen dealers in select markets then had to seek a license to sell 2019 Genesis models. As you can imagine, the roll-out has been far from coordinated.

“Rather than have ’19 model year Genesis trickling out, we decided that was going to be the break,” Smith said. As AN notes, the brand gained licenses in 45 states by the end of September.

That’s good news, because Genesis allocated a fair bit of marketing cash towards the G70. The Korean sports sedan first appeared on Hyundai Motor sales sheets in September (the company sold one in the U.S. that month) and is slowly climbing in volume. 51 were sold in October, the Genesis brand’s worst sales month since its launch, with a further 128 finding buyers in November. Last month, as overall volume rose, the brand sold 217 G80s and 72 G90s.

By the end of the year, Genesis expects 100 to 200 dealers (an unusually broad estimate) will have G70s in stock.

[Image: Genesis]

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47 Comments on “Genesis, a Brand That Barely Exists in Terms of Sales, Begins a Slow Ascent...”


  • avatar

    If the Genesis can stay around why can’t GM save the CT6v. Along with the Corvette the CT6 is GMs best vehicle. I almost wince when I see thousands of below average Escalades leave the lot.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I think my area is somewhat rare in that we have a stand alone Cadillac dealer, built just 6-7 years ago. It’s become quite pathetic and they don’t even bother putting new Cadillacs out front along the road any more, but instead line up interesting used cars from other makes. It’s a great place to buy a lightly used Landcruiser.

      All the Escalades are lined up along the side with their rear ends facing a side road that goes back into an office park. What a winner.

      Contrast this with the stand alone Mercedes and BMW dealerships just to the south which are going gangbusters every day, and BMW just finished a full remodel despite having been built at roughly the same time as the Cadillac dealer. BMW told me they move so much metal that they have a warehouse across town where they store the majority of their new car inventory and rotate through it as needed.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        SaulTigh

        End of the year, dealerships pay taxes on inventory. At Cadillac XT4’s just started ariving a few weeks ago. It’s other models are selling about as well as they did last year. Most dealerships shouldn’t have had any problems reducing inventory. Not surprising that they are filling up the lots with used vehicles.

        BMW just got @$$#&€KED by Tesla. Just as a time when a tidal wave off lease 3series was coming in.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The CT6 was never a true “flagship” sedan and Cadillac will have one in the production version of the Escala.

      Also, Genesis sedans sell well in Korea; problematic when Cadillac sedans don’t sell well in their domestic market.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        bd2

        Selling well in a market 1/10th the size of the U.S. doesn’t count for much.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          @PG

          It’s not so much the overall size of the Korean market, but what are big sellers in the market.

          The Korean market (despite its overall size) is one of the largest markets for larger luxury sedans.

          That’s why BMW and MB see it as one of their key (and most profitable) markets and why both have performance driving centers there (the 1st driving center BMW built in Asia was in Korea and not Japan or China).

          BMW and MB sold more 5/7 Series and E/S Class sedans in Korea last year than Japan, the UK and even Germany.

    • 0 avatar
      Eaststand

      Because there is a world outside of the USA. Sedan/saloon sales are HUGE in asia, thats why a lot of the south koreans line ups look weird to USA eyes, all these sedans and those sales are falling off the face of a cliff in the USA, but the fact is, they might as well put them on sale in the USA and sell minimal amounts, it cant hurt, its all a bonus, but in native areas like korea and china etc, they will sell thousands upon thousands of these cars that are deemed unpopular in America.

  • avatar
    James2

    The Genesis G70 looks awfully intriguing. Too bad the Genesis options philosophy is “take everything or accept nothing”. Obviously, I don’t know *how well* the base G70 V6 is equipped, but their menu consists of nothing but packages… no individual options. Easier to build cars this way, I suppose.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Sadly, Genesis tells me that the closest dealer is 3 hours away. (And I live in a well populated part of a well populated state, central to the entire eastern US.) I guess they don’t want my business yet.

    Unless I’m willing to head to one of the local BHPH lots (Buy Hyundai Pay Here).

    I think their interim strategy should be to send a professional salesguy out to consult with me, with the goal of keeping me OUT of the BHPH store.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I recently bought a Hyundai in MD (not PA where I live), and this large dealer also handled Genesis, with a G90 in the showroom.

      The salesperson told me they were/are close to a Genesis dealer agreement with Hyundai. They apparently had a standoff with the dealer, with Hyundai demanding they foot more of the bill than the dealer wanted. The dealer, meanwhile, basically told Hyundai that if they wanted their well-known name attached to a Genesis dealership, Hyundai would have to pay up.

      She added that Hyundai refused to send them any G70s until the agreement was signed.

      I think the dealers have the upper hand, because they know that the prospect of selling a handful of cars per month isn’t going to pay the bills. So Hyundai is being forced to have some skin in the game.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Actually, Hyundai planned on only a 100 Genesis dealership network, but so many dealerships were angry for being left out (some turned down over $4 million dollar compensation packages).

        Lawsuits ensued and Hyundai had to drop their initial plan and open up Genesis to every dealer group that owned a Hyundai franchise, upon where 400 (which is a lot more than what Genesis wanted) have decided to go ahead w/ a Genesis store.

        Due to other lawsuits, Hyundai has had to drop some of its build-out requirements; this is something that Lincoln is also facing as many Lincoln dealerships (esp. in California) have pushed back on Lincoln’s requirement of building out a separate Lincoln store.

  • avatar
    jfb43

    Sedans are a dying breed – check
    Company ONLY sells sedans – check
    Poor marketing/roll-out of brand – check
    New Korean brand competing against established Japanese and European brands – check

    Wow, sounds like a recipe for success.

    Not like we need another one, but build an SUV or die.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      I’d say you have the gist.

      Egregiously bad timing by an iffy player to launch a foray into Longer-Lower-Wider.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Or…

      They have a very nice product, at a good price.
      Everyone else is abandoning sedans.
      Buick and Cadillac buyers will go somewhere.

      I’m sure they’ll do an SUV eventually. After all Hyundai already does them, and the B&B only get mad at American manufacturers that badge engineer. It’s just fine for everyone else.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        How many times do we have to cover this?

        ‘Buick and Cadillac buyers will go somewhere.’

        Their are no individuals buying Buick and Cadillac cars (sedan, coupe what have you). They don’t exist. Period. Full Stop.

        Fleet companies buy new Cadillac and Buick cars. The general population buys them 2 years later for 40% of the original MSRP and gets a fantastic car for a great price.
        This business that Genesis will scoop up the domestic luxury car buyer is absolute nonsense, Tesla owners like the prestige that comes with their purchase, Hyundai will not be able to replicate this by moving the Genesis to the renovated used car building that is in the back of the Hyundai dealers lot.

        If Genesis can’t come up with a luxury SUV or 3 or some type of electric Tesla fighter in the next 36 months, we will have another brand head to the scrap heap. Joining a long list of interesting ideas: Scion, Saturn, Hummer, Olds, Saab, Geo, Suzuki, Mercury, Plymouth etc.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      BMW and MB still sell plenty of the 3/4 Series and C Class here and worldwide.

      Genesis sedans sell well in Korea (so there’s a foundation of sales where it is worth it for Genesis to continue to invest in sedans); unlike for say, Toyota, where Lexus sedans don’t sell well in Japan, so needs US sales to justify continued investment.

      The 1st of 3 planned CUVs is about a year away.

      Actually is for the best while the dealership situation is in flux.

      Sales of the GV80 would have been severely limited by the small # of Genesis dealerships up and running at this time; and Genesis sales will continue to be hampered by the dealership situation until well into 2019.

      But yes, the separation of Genesis from Hyundai was poorly handled.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Well, this would only make this particular situation worse, but I absolutely LOVED the fact that one of the G70s I saw on the floor at the LA Auto Show yesterday was a non-metallic white RWD 2.0T slicktop 6MT with Brembos, or the purist BMW 3 series BMW doesn’t sell anymore (and the new 3 series BMW WAS showing was some hideous monstrosity).

    There’s definitely pent-up demand for Hyundai/Kia SUVs, just judging by the absolute crapton of Niros and Konas around here. And what I saw of the Palisade and Telluride, they probably can’t come soon enough, and even moreso for whatever Genesis counterpart will come from them.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Yes because all BMW purists are desperately seeking out more subpar, poor spec, bargain 2.0T crap.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Although I would say if the G80 suspension is tuned well it has the potential to be a 5 series competitor since it at least has one decent engine.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Actually, BMW purists like Thomas Holland (Throttle House) think the G70 is the closest thing to the E46.

        The G70 was awarded Motor Trend’s COTY and made Car & Driver’s 10Best list.

        We’ll see if the G20 wins MT’s COTY and bumps the G70 off C/D’s 10Best list next year.

        And oh, the best selling 3 Series is a 4-banger, and let’s not forget the bargain basement 320 (which gets BMW purists really “excited”).

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          He said BMW enthusiasts, no BMW enthusiast is buying the current iteration, it’s strictly selling badge at this point.

        • 0 avatar

          These kind of awards give Hyundai pride, which is something both GM and Ford lack. Actually, i think GM is aware they are peddling off a lot of mediocrity.

          Alas, the CT6 was one of the few GM sedans that could take on the world’s best. Without a prestige car Cadillac is not much different than Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Hyundai’s been stirring the soup on Genesis since 2009. Product has been good from the start. G70, G80, G90 are the best yet. Still not good enough. Question is still how much do I save compared to the real thing. Genesis must be more than a bargain.
    Hyundai continues to bumble around trying to figure out the dealership model. Unable to separate their future from their subprime past no matter how hard they try.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Genesis will have made it when their cars finally appear in the Fram oil filter catalogs at Walmart.
    They had better be willing to invest a lot of money and time in this, and have an awful lot of patience.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Motorweek devoted their A-block segment to the Genesis today. It was a derivative off the Stinger platform, they said and was available in an I-4 and V6 version. It was a blast to drive. DUH! It’s a Stinger!

      My guess is that Genesis paid Motorweek to feature them and gave them a tester, but that seems to me like Genesis has already “made it.”

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Yeah I just stumbled across the road test of the G70 3.3t and I’m very impressed with what I saw, not just with how it looks but also with how it sounds and supposedly drives. Truthfully this was a car that wasn’t even on my radar. Hyundai should promote it better and of course offer a manual with a 3.3.

        I’ll have to drive one myself but I’m very impressed with what Hyundai’s doing. It’s quietly filling the enthusiast gaps that other makes are abandoning. I think that will pay long-term dividends for them if they stick with it. I actually do hope the Genesis brand comes out with a CUV because I want them to stay around!

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Our experience with Hyundai/KIA was not as exotic, but was the lowly Elantra GLS we bought for our granddaughter to go to college with.

          In the four years she owned/drove it, and the 100K+ miles she drove it on the 150mi roundtrip to/from college in Las Cruces, NM, there were zero (0) breakdowns or warranty issues. ZERO!

          But if there had been, there was that excellent warranty that comes with every Hyunday/KIA product. The best in the business.

          It came with Kumho tires, and they SUCK. But put some Pirellis or Michelins on it and it is happy motoring all the way, all the time. I did both tire brands (Michelins ride softer, last longer)

          I’ve heard tell that Hyundai/KIA dealerships are uncaring and generally bad, according to some owners. But I never saw it. Then again, we never went back to the dealership in Las Cruces either. Never had to.

          So, if you want an invigorating driving experience but don’t want to spend all that money on a Genesis, I’d say Stinger, IF you can find one.

          There are FOUR of them at the nearby air force base, so the boys and girls on active duty must know a good thing when they see one.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            Most, if not all, of your good experience stems from her actually driving the car good distances.

            It’s the puttering around, 5000 miles/year that kills a car.

            So the question is, which brand/model dies faster/fastest at 5000 miles/year?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            jalop1991, Yes, that is one of the consequences of living out in the middle of nowhere; the great distances involved to get anywhere.

            So if a person chooses to lease, they won’t have to worry about which brand/model dies faster or lasts longer. But at the end of the Lease, they have nothing to show for all the money they spent.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Does Nissan still own the rights to g20?

  • avatar

    The Genesis got Motor Trend’s car of the year, while GM’s best car the CT6 gets cancelled. You know GM is in trouble when they cannot even compete with Hyundai.

    GM – what a disgrace!

  • avatar
    pprj

    I have a G80. The car is OK, but the Hyundai dealer network, the level of service, the customer attention and all that are a total disaster. I have never seen anything so bad and I tried 2 different dealers.
    Our other cars (today and in the past 5 years) are Audi, Toyota, Porsche and Subaru. Subaru is 20 times better than Hyundai in this regard.
    I regret buying the car. I gave Hyundai more credit than they deserve.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Please tell us more.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      In fairness, Subaru has to have a better dealer network. My wife is on her second Hyundai appliance. First was an 07 Tucson. One trip to the dealer and that was for the water pump/timing belt that I didn’t want to do because I was about to go to Iraq. Her 17 Santa Fe has been once in 36k miles. The alignment was off when we got it. Fixed under warranty of course. They are dull and uninspiring but in my experience as reliable as an Anvil. Sounds kind of like that one Japanese company.

      Subaru on the other hand? I thought we were past the “needs major engine repairs at 100k” era but my old STI, as well as the friends I had that owned one speaks otherwise. For all the hate, I haven’t had a peep of trouble out of my Ford turbo motors all the way back to a Lima 2.3 T in a fox body Thunderbird. Perhaps all the “Them turbos is gonna ‘splode” crowd are just former Subaru owners.

      • 0 avatar
        jthorner

        Subaru’s pancake engine design simply seems less rugged than traditional inline and V-type engines. I’m not sure why, but this seems to be the case. VW and Porsche pancake engines are also not known for the kind of 200k miles trouble free operation one can now expect from many conventional engines.

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      I have a Hyundai Genesis, 2016. (It became the G80 overnight with minimal changes.) In Los Angeles, the dealer service has been just fine; fast and rather inexpensive. I’ve only used the selling dealership.
      I saw the G70 at the L.A. Auto Show, but my local dealership has none and told me there are none for sale in California. If true, that’s a big problem, spending $$ to create a demand you can’t fill.

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    The launch of Genesis brand has been a disaster. Hyundai just stopped shipping product to the US. No wonder sales are so low.
    Due to this dealers hiked up the prices. Whereas a new G80 was advertised at $33K this time last year. Now, the cheapest ones are advertised at $43K. This type of “launch” does not inspire confidence in the brand. Are they trying to go up market? Compete with Mercedes? Preposterous.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      While the separation of Genesis from Hyundai was bungled, there is a reason why shipments (of 2018MY vehicles) stopped in March.

      That’s b/c Hyundai stopped producing the 2018MY and switched to production of the 2019MY early to coincide w/ the planned spring launch of the G70.

      But once issues arose w/ having separate Genesis franchises, the launch was delayed for months and dealerships had to make do w/ what inventory they had on hand (and Genesis stopped advertising and supporting sales).

      Canada, otoh, has been selling 2019 models since May or so, as they have a different sales distribution model (direct-from-manufacturer).

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Just went on Genesis’ website, no dealer in KC metro listed, nearest is Cedar Rapids,IA and Wichita KS. It seems none of the 2 high volume Hyundai dealers want to step up. I don’t blame them- wait for the cross- overs.

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