Genesis, Hyundai's luxury division, has reneged on a previous decision to create dedicated dealerships under new franchises. The decision left current Hyundai dealers in the cold over the chance to set up their own Genesis dealerships, but made others feel welcome back into the fold.
Automotive News (subscription required) reported on Tuesday that every single Hyundai dealer will now have the opportunity to sell the Genesis brand. However, new or current franchises will still need to construct separate stores for sales and service.
The previous plan, announced in January, capped Genesis dealers to 48 markets that were mostly situated in urban areas. Additionally, elite and well-established franchises were to receive first dibs on the rights to a Genesis dealership; Hyundai dealers were to lose their right to sell the brand.
Now, the Genesis dealer network could launch with 100 stores to start, with the cap and regulations lifted. All 2019 models will "only be wholesaled to newly franchised Genesis retailers," a Genesis spokesperson told Automotive News. Current Hyundai dealers selling Genesis vehicles (roughly 350 of them) will have the opportunity to take a buy-out agreement or sign a new franchise agreement to meet the updated terms. New franchises must sign the agreement as well.
Dealers welcomed the change after feeling the cold shoulder with the previous announcement.
"By having more nationwide distribution, you're going to allay consumer fears that they'll be traveling and not be able to get service on their vehicle," a southern U.S. Hyundai dealer said.