The Korean luxury brand will now be sold at all Hyundai dealerships.
In a smart business move, Hyundai decided to take its Genesis and Equus sedans, and rebadge them as the Genesis G80 and G90 respectively. Along with the name change, Hyundai was gearing up for the next stage of the Genesis brand's development: building standalone dealerships. This move would have been great for the luxury Genesis models, because it would separate them from their humble Hyundai siblings. Unfortunately, Hyundai dealers weren't too happy about the change, and the company has gone back on its plan.
Automotive News reports that Genesis General Manager, Erwin Raphael, told Hyundai's dealer council that the opportunity to sell the Genesis brand would now be offered to all Hyundai dealers in the US. This announcement contradicts earlier plans to create separate Genesis dealerships. The initial plan involved opening up 100 Genesis dealerships in 48 markets, preventing Hyundai dealerships from being able to sell Genesis models. In the new plan, all current Hyundai dealerships will be eligible to apply to become a Genesis retailer.
An anonymous dealer was quoted saying "By having more nationwide distribution, you're going to allay consumer fears that they'll be traveling and not be able to get service on their vehicle. If it pans out, it'll be a great thing. It'll help sell more cars, it'll help overall dealer profitably, strengthen their dealer network, and include all those who want to sell the product, and believe in the Genesis product, to sell and service those cars." From the sounds of the deal, Hyundai dealerships will still have to build separate showrooms and facilities for Genesis dealers, but we think the company is making a big mistake by not keeping the Genesis brand more distinct.