Hyundai is planning to clump and sell its rear-wheel-drive premium cars like the Genesis sedan, Genesis Coupe, and Equus under a new sub-brand dubbed Genesis, Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of sales for Hyundai Motor America, revealed. If the plan pushes through, the Genesis sub-brand would occupy a separate area in Hyundai’s showrooms.
John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, confirmed that the plan is under discussion, adding that executives were “just scenario planning.” Krafcik said the Genesis sub-brand plan probably falls in the category of “’What if we did this?' or 'Should we consider that?'” The CEO, however, said they love the “halo” that Genesis, Genesis Coupe and Equus have provided the Hyundai brand and they are in great shape, thus there is no plan to make any change.
Zuchowski said the company has already rejected plans for building new showrooms and rooftops for the brand. Meanwhile, Hyundai dealers are open to a possible sub-branding of Hyundai premium vehicles, only under certain conditions given the history of how sub-branding affect dealer sales. The US track record of Asian premium brands show that Lexus (Toyota) has prospered, while Acura (Honda) and Infiniti (Nissan) have not.
Scott Fink, who chairs the Hyundai National Dealer Council and owns three Hyundai stores in Florida, remarked that the struggles of sub-brands in the US market had left dealers hanging with tens of millions in dollars in losses.
Fink said that Hyundai dealers oppose a new luxury sales channel with separate showrooms. He, however, said that the subbrand within Hyundai dealerships may be appropriate if the company’s luxury sales continue to grow. Fink noted that at some point, he thinks that it would make sense to sub-brand Hyundai and that it would be named Genesis.