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Hyundai’s upmarket arm, Genesis, will move to a conventional dealership model, having launched in 2021 as a direct-to-consumer brand. You’ll still be able to buy a car solely online but that service will now be bolstered by a handful of showrooms allowing customers “greater access to [the Genesis range of] premium luxury cars.”

The “strategic move” is designed to significantly expand the Genesis retail footprint. Among the brand’s big partners are Arnold Clark covering Scotland, Sinclair in south Wales and Richmond in Guildford and the south East. Ancaster (southeast London) and Holdcroft (Cheshire) are also signed up, with Pendragon launching in Leeds later this month. 

Despite the change of heart, Genesis insists its unique business model – including its Genesis Difference mantra, and ‘we come to you’-style service remains. If your car needs a service, for example, the Genesis team will bring a Genesis courtesy car to your home or office, take your car away to carry out the necessary maintenance and returning it to you at a time to suit. 

In an exclusive briefing with Auto Express, Johnny Miller, brand director for Genesis Motor UK, told us: “Getting potential customers to see, touch and feel our cars was our biggest challenge. But with the greatest challenges, come the greatest opportunities.

“There is a need for customers to ask questions,” Miller said. “Our new partners allow us to do this.”

The Genesis dealer network will initially launch with six partners, but the brand is looking to expand rapidly, eyeing up 15-20 partners in the short to medium term. The new set-up will apparently put 90 per cent of customers within one hour of a Genesis service centre.

In spite of his position as CEO of Hyundai and Genesis in the UK, Ashley Andrew was quick to assure us that there would be little perceptible crossover between the two brands. “It will be a unique and distinct brand environment,” he told us. “The customer experience will be very distinct. It’ll be a separate showroom, but we can do all of the invisible stuff – logistics, finance, all the back end – we can lean on the group services for that.”

The changes are operational immediately, with further information on partner expansion plans due later.

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