Hyundai’s Genesis Motor Europe premium subsidiary will forgo partnerships with traditional franchised car retailers entirely when it enters the UK market this summer.
A brand-operated London store at Westfield Shopping will be the Korean brand’s only physical retail presence when sales get underway, with home or office delivery and collection at the heart of a ‘Genesis difference’ retail model which “will remove the need to visit a ‘dealer’ ever again”.
In an online European launch event this morning (May 4) Genesis said that its aim was to “guarantee a stress-free experience that promotes convenience, trust, and transparency”, with a promise that “we come to you”.
The brand’s Westfield Shopping ‘Retail Studio’ itself as one just a handful of physical retail sites to launch across Europe this summer – including Munich and Zurich.
And a spokesman confirmed to AM that – unlike Geely’s electrified performance brand, Polestar – Genesis had no plans to partner with franchised retail operators to grow its UK presence.
Nor is there to be a franchised relationship for aftersales, with the brand set to service and repair vehicles from a centralised UK facility, he said.
Speaking at today's official launch of Genesis Motor Europe, the global head of Genesis, Jaehoon (Jay) Chang, said: “Over the past five years, our customers around the world have come to recognise our commitment to exceptional design, product quality and an authentic and mindful brand experience throughout the entire ownership journey.
“We believe now is the right time for the next chapter in our brand history. We are excited to bring our brand identity and distinct luxury vehicles to Europe.”
Jay Chang told this morning’s online presentation that Genesis – already an established brand in the US, Canada, Russia and Australia – currently sells around 130,000 vehicles annually.
Genesis will arrive in the UK with its G80 saloon and GV80 SUV models initially available and, as AM reported last week, a more compact G70 saloon GV70 SUV set to added to the model line-up within a year.
The G80 electric vehicle (EV) unveiled at last month’s Shanghai Motor Show will be the first all-electric Genesis to arrive in Europe, with two more EVs to be added within a year, the brand said.
Dominique Boesch, the managing director for Genesis Motor Europe, appointed from his role as Audi’s head of future retail last year, said: “We are excited to bring such a strong range of globally recognised products to the region. Genesis is already well-known for its impeccably high standards in design, technology, safety and reliability.
“However, it is our mission to offer so much more than just great products.
“We know that customers today crave experiences, and the onus is on us as a premium luxury brand to deliver a service which provides both convenience and exceptional hospitality to our customers. That is how we will stand apart.”
Genesis confirmed this morning that its Retail Studio sites would be staffed by Genesis Personal Assistants, recruited from the hospitality sector.
At the heart of the brand’s customer offering, meanwhile, is the Genesis Five-Year Care Plan.
Promising five years of hassle-free motoring, with no hidden extras, it includes: warranty; servicing; roadside assistance; courtesy car; mapping and over-the-air software updates.
In a recent interview with AM Polestar UK chief executive Jonathan Goodman spelled out the importance of franchised car retail partners for its operations, alongside aftersales contracts with 100 Volvo Car UK franchisees.
While relying entirely on online sales, Polestar partnered with Endeavour Automotive and Lookers to open its Polestar Space physical stores in Westfield and the Trafford Centre and has plans for expansion into Birmingham and Glasgow by the end of the year.
Goodman said: “We took the approach very early on that we were not going to make the mistake that some manufacturers have of thinking that we could run a retail site better than the retail partners can.”