Genesis to Distance Itself Further from Hyundai Sooner Than Planned

It’s tough to stand out as a premium brand when you share a showroom with the Accent.

byEric Brandt|
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Hyundai is fast-tracking the process of fully spinning off the Genesis brand into its own thing with its own dealer network. Barely one year after becoming its own brand, Genesis is in a hurry to further separate itself from sharing showrooms with Accents and Sonatas. Genesis has already had its ups and downs, but something needs to change for them to really stand out in the luxury crowd.

Automotive News reports that Genesis is planning on announcing a new retail strategy later this month. It will scrap the original plan of the full transition being a few years away and begin the clean break as soon as next year. Not only will the new plan be costly, but it could really tick off the Hyundai dealers that have invested a lot in selling the Genesis brand.

Previously, any Hyundai dealer in the U.S. could sell the Genesis G80 sedan, but if they wanted to also sell the G90, they needed to create a special Genesis showroom. A full 352 of the 835 Hyundai dealers in the U.S. have such a showroom and they’re about to be told they need a whole new building if they want to sell Genesis vehicles.

The idea is to give Genesis its own, distinct presence. They want the public to know that Genesis is not a sub-brand of Hyundai, but Genesis is its own luxury brand. In order to do that, they need Genesis dealers with Genesis signs and Elantra-free showrooms.

In a weird way, Genesis needs a smaller dealer network in order to be more profitable. There are greater profits to be made with more buyers being more willing to spend more money on a car that’s being sold in a high-end setting rather than a run-of-the-mill Hyundai dealer. The challenge for Hyundai is in making a big investment creating that dealer network and hoping the profits roll in like they need to in order to keep Genesis alive.

Will Genesis ever reach Lexus status or will it fade into obscurity?

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