Genesis Canada is on track to open a total of 30 distributor locations across Canada before the end of calendar year 2021, which will be located in partnership with and proximity to established Hyundai dealers.
The Genesis brand launched in Canada three years ago with an entirely online model for scheduling test drives, ordering vehicles, booking service and home- or office-based delivery for customers.
Richard Trevisan, brand director of Genesis Canada, told Automotive News Canada that customers began asking for locations where they could interact with the vehicles before committing to a purchase. These locations, which are labeled internally as “distributors,” will not maintain inventory but are instead intended to be conveniently located product demonstrations hubs.
“You shop online, but in the end a car is something that you have to experience,” Trevisan said. “You have to sit in it. You have to experience the fit and finish and then drive it.”
To date, Genesis has opened 22 such locations in Canada, including boutique locations at the Square One shopping centre in Mississauga, Ont., and in the Montreal suburb of Laval. The brand also has an experience centre at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Mark Del Rosso, CEO of Genesis Motors North America, said that the Genesis brand globally is looking to the Canadian model as a leader in sales innovation.
“We're learning an awful lot as a global organization on just how much the Canadian leadership was listening to the customer and addressing the market, not only today but also in the future,” Del Rosso said. “I have to admire the leadership of the Canadian team in being able to learn by taking a very innovative way to go to market and then taking the best parts of it and adopting a path forward that allows for greater customer choice.”
While the remaining markets have not yet been disclosed, Trevisan said that not all of those yet to launch will be located in the country’s largest urban centres.
“We will go from Victoria all the way to Halifax, in metropolitan centres and suburban and secondary markets,” he said. “We want to have the right market coverage across Canada, [and] also from a service point of view.”
Genesis lays claim to the title of fastest growing brand in Canada with a 14 per cent year-to-date increase for a total volume of 1,313 units through the end of October, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit. In the United States, where Genesis is sold alongside Hyundai in joint showrooms, sales have been volatile, ranging from 417 units in November 2018 to a record 2,313 units in May 2019.