The company, which recently started work on a new £2m flagship dealership in North London, which it will own and run itself, says this strategy will play a vital part in its plans for sales growth over the next couple of years.
“We are quite happy to buy sites and lease them to retailers. Over the next 12 months we will be looking for good quality dealers around the country,” says David Walker, Hyundai UK managing director.
The Korean manufacturer also has plans to open a second wholly-owned site in south London, possibly in the Croydon area. However, it says that this is not an ongoing strategy and is merely a solution to the high cost of land in the area.
“This is not part of a long-term plan, but just the reality of operating in the greater London area. Owning and operating sites ourselves is the most practical solution in these areas but is not something we will be repeating across the country,” says Walker.
The global relationship between Hyundai and Kia is still to be finalised as the parent companies in Korea finalise their business plans, but Walker expects to see distinct strategies for both. Experts believe Hyundai is being lined up to be the premium brand, while Kia becomes a sporty rival to Seat.
“It depends on how Hyundai sets out brand structures for both, but they will need to look at how to differentiate the two in the UK. There will have to be strong brand strategies and some differentiation between them,” says Walker.