Genesis Canada is offering its retail partners two design options for building new showrooms in markets across Canada.
The first is a dedicated standalone facility on an entirely separate plot of land, while the second allows dealers that have already built or plan to build a Hyundai dealership, in that brand’s updated imaging, to integrate a Genesis showroom into the design.
If the dealer chooses the second format, the Genesis showroom is under a separate rooftop but both stores share common service bays between the two buildings.
Canadian Genesis distributors operate Hyundai dealerships under the traditional sales model while acting as a regional demonstration hub for Genesis sales facilitated at the corporate level, nationally. Offering these two image options give each dealer the flexibility to select the format best suited to the given market, according to Genesis Canada spokesperson Jarred Pellat.
“We're trying to be flexible for our retail partners,” Pellat said. “Especially in the smaller markets like Regina or Winnipeg. Do they really need a fully fledged standalone Genesis [location] for a smaller volume market when it's easier for them to build the Genesis dedicated showroom [with a] small footprint near their Hyundai showroom? … They're the experts in their market.”
This variability is also reflective of the fact that some standalone luxury dealers are struggling to maintain profitability under COVID-19, Pellat said.
“What you're seeing in the luxury automotive space is a lot of brands are not doing so well,” he said. “A lot of that on the dealer profitability side has to do with that they built these huge palaces with dedicated service. … [The shared footprint option] gives them the efficiency of not having to invest millions more into standalone Genesis facilities.”
Both options are being exercised across the country, Pellat said. For example, construction on Genesis Markham begins this month, which will be built under the shared model alongside Don Valley North Hyundai near Highways 407 and 404 in the suburb of Markham, northeast of Toronto. Meanwhile, Genesis Estrie in Sherbrooke, Que., selected the standalone model.
“[Genesis Estrie said,] ‘we don't want Genesis attached to our Hyundai store because it's not in the right neighbourhood, but [the standalone location] is across the street from Mercedes-Benz,’” Pellat said.
The option that was never on the table, Pellat said, was integrating Hyundai and Genesis showrooms under the same roof.
“Genesis is a standalone luxury brand,” he said. “Someone who's going to drop $85,000 on an SUV doesn't want the same experience and buying a Hyundai Elantra. We strongly feel as an organization that we need to create separation between these brands.”
This direction begins as the Genesis brand launches its first SUV, the GV80, which is of pivotal importance to expanding the brand into new markets across the country, according to Pellat.
“GV80 enables us to expand because now we can reach these markets in Canada that are more truck-oriented,” he said.