Hyundai Dealers Prep for Genesis Brand Debut | Edmunds

Hyundai Dealers Prep for Genesis Brand Debut

DETROITHyundai's Genesis brand dealers will be a relatively exclusive fraternity, Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski told Edmunds.

He expects that less than 40 percent of the Hyundai dealer body may end up selling the new Genesis luxury brand.

Hyundai is launching the Genesis brand to attract luxury car shoppers with a personalized and "hassle-free customer experience." The brand will market six new rear-drive vehicles globally by 2021.

The Genesis brand takes aim at BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

Although Genesis dealers will not be required to build a separate showroom, Zuchowski believes many dealers will create a separate showroom on their own.

"I think that will happen organically over time," he said in a recent interview.

Hyundai is meeting with dealers that are planning or in the process of building a new facility.

They are being encouraged to build a special area in the showroom to sell Genesis models, which Zuchowski called a "showroom-within-a-showroom" concept or to create a separate showroom that can be attached to the Hyundai brand building.

"We think there will be enough volume and enough margin potential in high-volume luxury markets where dealers on their own decide there are just too many nameplates to get under one roof," he said.

Dealers that currently sell the Hyundai Equus full-size sedan will be eligible to sell the complete line of Genesis models.

Of Hyundai's 830 U.S. dealers, 405 sell the Equus today, and they account for about 80 percent of sales for the current Genesis sedan.

The current Hyundai Genesis sedan will be renamed the Genesis G80, while the Hyundai Equus sedan will be dubbed the Genesis G90. The renaming will go into effect for the 2017 model year. Sales begin this fall.

As for the other models, Genesis will introduce the G70 compact sedan in March at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Sales begin in 2017.

Zuchowski said the G70 will be the "BMW 3 Series fighter" and it will be developed on the automaker's new rear-drive vehicle platform.

To complete the six-vehicle lineup, Genesis will introduce a G70 coupe, a compact crossover developed on the same platform as the G70, and a large crossover developed off the so-called "IK platform" shared with the G80. Those vehicles will be on the market by 2020.

A redesigned G80 will appear in 2021.

The G90 will compete with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The G80 targets the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The G70 is aimed at the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The Genesis compact crossover will rival the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

The unnamed large crossover targets the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class.

Edmunds says: Hyundai and its dealers are putting the building blocks in place for a successful launch of the Genesis brand.

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