Car Industry

Hyundai changes its mind on Genesis dealers -- again

Genesis' parent company has rethought its January plans for a limited network of standalone dealers -- but will the new plan work?

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Back in January, we reported on Hyundai's plans to open a series of Genesis-only dealerships across the US to hopefully increase sales for the nascent luxury brand by offering buyers a premium buying and servicing experience. Now it would seem that plans have changed and that Hyundai will offer all of its dealers the chance to sell Genesis.

Initially, the plan for Genesis included 100 dealers in affluent areas in 48 different markets and the exclusion of the bulk of Hyundai's dealers from selling the brand in hopes that it would give the fledgling luxo-brand a bit of cachet.

The upcoming Genesis G70 is expected to be a hot seller and many potential dealers want in on the action before it drops this summer.

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That plan is still somewhat in place according to Hyundai, but the standalone network could launch with more than 100 stores. Hyundai is clear that it will only be wholesaling Genesis models to these newly franchised dealers.

Automotive News was able to obtain a summary of Hyundai's dealer plans for Genesis and what it found is kind of interesting. Specifically, the approximately 350 "Elite"-level Hyundai dealers that are currently selling Genesis G80 and G90 models will be able to continue doing so. However, they will need to sign new franchise agreements.

The 350 or so Elite Hyundai dealers that sell Genesis products now will be able to continue to do so if they choose.

Roadshow

Dealers who sell Genesis will still be required to have a separate facility exclusively for Genesis sales and service, which might complicate things for some dealers but would help separate the brand from the cheap and cheerful image of its parent company.

The important thing in all this is that Hyundai finally seems to have settled on a plan for the continued roll-out of the Genesis brand in America, something for which its dealers have been clamoring. Previously, Hyundai's indecisiveness has proven counterproductive to its goals of establishing Genesis as a real luxury brand.

Here's hoping that will change.