Genesis, the luxury brand launched last year by Hyundai Motor Co., already has more franchises than the company says it wants.
As of Jan. 1, there were 352 Genesis franchises, vs. none a year earlier. The additional Genesis franchises represented three-fifths of the total 571, or 1.8 percent, increase in all U.S. light-vehicle franchises last year.
Genesis’ start entailed relaunching two Hyundai sedans. The 2017 Genesis G90 is a revamped version of the former Hyundai Equus. The 2017 G80 replaced the Hyundai Genesis.
Hyundai brand had 836 U.S. franchises as of Jan. 1, down one from a year earlier, the annual Automotive News dealership census found. Of those, 413 had been selling the
None of the Genesis franchises are exclusive. Genesis doesn’t plan to open exclusive stores in the U.S. for around five years.
Rather than building stand-alone stores for the luxury brand, Hyundai franchisees who wanted the Genesis franchise agreed, among other things, to pay for additional sales and service staff training, as well as for white-glove services, such as valet deliveries for service customers.
Genesis sold 6,948 vehicles in 2016, or 20 vehicles per franchise. On Automotive News’ sales per franchise ranking, that put the Korean brand between Aston Martin, at 28, and Alfa Romeo and Lotus, each at 4. At Hyundai, sales per franchise rose to 918 in 2016 from 914.
Genesis General Manager Erwin Raphael previously told Automotive News he wants the brand’s store count to dip below 300.
It’s unclear how Genesis will reduce its dealership network when Hyundai stores have invested extra to carry the luxury brand.
A Genesis spokeswoman said the brand’s dealership network has been selling two models for seven months and will adjust accordingly. She said, “As Genesis will be launching new products in additional segments, we will constantly evaluate our retail strategy to ensure optimal results.”