Launching a new vehicle luxury brand isn’t easy, as Hyundai is learning. The problem this time is that dealers are extremely upset about being ditched in the transition, to the point that many walked out of a meeting in Dallas recently, per an Automotive News report.
Part of the issue is that supposedly not all Hyundai dealers will be authorized to sell the Genesis line moving forward. Really, that shouldn’t shock anyone. After all, have you been to a Hyundai dealership? The experience isn’t quite like visiting a BMW dealer, to say the least.
The other thing that got dealers worked up was the reported announcement that in some areas, Genesis franchises might be opened to non-Hyundai dealers. I can see why that’s offensive, but if the only people who can run a truly premium retail operation are dealers who sell other luxury brands, again that’s just not a surprise.
The walkout from the meeting reportedly was so dealer council members could discuss these proposals in private. Afterward, they returned and the meeting continued.
About one third of Hyundai dealers have upgraded their facilities to sell the Genesis G80. That car, and the upcoming G90, come with bigger profit margins. Hyundai’s evolving strategy seems to be rolling out a small dealer network, meaning there’s no way even one third of Hyundai dealers could be part of it.
In essence, Hyundai’s trying to position Genesis far from the Hyundai brand. Will it work? Maybe, but in the process, the company has to break some eggs.