In Depth: Genesis Motors

Hyundai has been on a roll as of late. They are third behind Kia and Porsche in terms of the influential JD Power Initial Quality Study. Their cars are winning awards, and they’ve sold 2 million vehicles in Canada since they’ve arrived in 1983. All by playing the game of making quality cars with an uplevel feel to them that are loaded with content, and selling them at a fair price. Which is why when you look around, you see a lot more Hyundai cars on the road than ever before.

So, what does Hyundai do for their next trick? How about starting a luxury brand. Hyundai has decided to spin off their Genesis models into a separate brand called Genesis Motors. But they are going about it in a radically different way.

First there are no dealerships for now. Instead, the cars which are the Genesis G90 which is a full sized sedan or G80 which is a mid sized sedan that is based on the Hyundai Genesis sedan that won an IT Nerd Award in 2015 (For the record, other cars including a compact sedan and a crossover are coming by 2021) are sold online and delivered to your home. There are four or five boutique locations as well as some standalone dealerships that are coming to Canadian cities this year. But at present, you’ll go to the Genesis website or call them and book an “Experience Drive” and a demo car will be brought to you. You’ll test drive it and if you buy it, you’ll pay the same price that everyone pays as Genesis Motors has a no haggle price policy. During the buying experience, those interested in a Genesis Motors vehicle won’t have sort through a massive list of options. Instead, you choose the engine that you want (at present your choices are a V6 and a V8) and the car comes with pretty much everything you’d likely want in a car in the luxury space. Will I will admit that the V8 models of the G80 and G90 do come with a few extra features, you won’t miss out on the safety front as every model comes standard with a pile of active and passive safety features. From where I stand, the fact that you don’t have to immerse yourself in the lexicon of a car manufacturer or be forced to buy an expensive package of options just to get the one or two things that you really want is really respectful of the customer’s time. Also, the fact that I don’t have to get involved in the combat sport of negotiating the best price is very much welcome.

Now respecting the customer’s time is one of the things that Genesis Motors had in mind according to Chad Heard who is the Senior Manager, Public Relations for the brand. According to Mr. Heard, Genesis had the opportunity to really do something different and distinct from the rest of the luxury segment. Everything they do is centered around the fact that they want to have their customers rave about all aspects of Genesis Motors. The car, the brand, the buying and ownership experience. If that happens, which I think it will, then it’s a huge win for Genesis Motors. From a personal standpoint, this really appealed to me as I am one who has long thought that the car buying experience is not “customer centric.” Thus what Genesis Motors is doing will be something that draws buyers to the brand. That’s evidenced by the fact that every G90 that Genesis Motors had access to in Canada is sold (they’re working to get more as I type this) and 7 people bought them sight unseen. Clearly Genesis Motors has hit on something that resonates with buyers in the luxury space.

The marketing around the Genesis brand is very interesting. The website is very slick, technically sound as I was able to use any browser on any platform, easy to navigate, and provides information on the brand, the cars and the owner experience clearly and concisely. This is backed up by presences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube (Though there was nothing on the YouTube channel when I clicked on it. According to Mr. Heard, content is coming shortly). It’s important for me to point all of this out as I have made a bit of a name for myself for pointing out when companies screw this sort of stuff up. Sometimes in epic fashion. Genesis Motors got this right on day one and that needs to be highlighted. Now all of this is meant to enhance the perception of the brand. That’s important because there are going to be some out there who will have problems processing the fact that Hyundai now has a luxury brand. In my discussion with Mr. Heard on this point, it’s clear to me that they get that and they are working hard to dispel that. As he put it “it’s a marathon not a sprint” on this point. If I may add my two cents to this, anyone who thinks that Hyundai is still the car company that made the Pony needs to go into a dealership and drive one, or take an Experience Drive of either of the Genesis models. I believe that your perception of these two brands will change very, very quickly.

If you’re in the market for a car in the luxury space, you should add Genesis Motors to your list as it is clear that they have entered into this space with a plan to not only be a player, but to become the player in this space that everyone else chases.

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