Over the past month, Genesis sales totaled 796 vehicles, the first time the brand’s sales have dipped below 1,000 units per month. On the surface, then, the two-year-old company seems to be struggling. Over the past six months, the Korean automaker’s sales figures have dropped over 50% year-over-year.
However, Erwin Raphael, Genesis’ U.S. Chief, says that the recent sales dip is nearly in line with their business plan, or just 3% off of their targets. That’s because Genesis is taking a several steps that aim to boost their sales in the future.
So how does that work? Folks with knowledge of the industry will quickly blame this slump on declining sedan sales. Sure, sedans are declining, and Genesis currently has a lineup of just sedans. But it’s not just that – there is a more nuanced answer to this sales slump.
So far, Genesis sales of the G80 and G90 luxury sedans have taken place exclusively through Hyundai dealerships. The brand has functioned as a sub-brand for the past two years. Now, however, that has changed, as Genesis has become its own separate entity. While Hyundai still owns Genesis, the company’s grander plan is to have Genesis brand-specific dealerships. Currently, there is a network of roughly 850 Hyundai dealerships where you can buy a G80 or G90. Genesis is going to offer those dealerships the chance to sign a new franchise agreement to become a Genesis dealership instead.
Under the new plan, Genesis can no longer sell their 2019 model year cars in Hyundai showrooms. So, until they actually have any places to sell their cars, Genesis is not importing its Korean-built vehicles into the US for sale. Only the standalone Genesis dealerships will have access to 2019 models, like the all-new G70. In total, Genesis hopes to convert about 100 of its 850 Hyundai dealerships into Genesis showrooms.
While the Genesis brand’s sales figures have gone down, so has their inventory of new vehicles. According to Genesis, imports of new models ceased 3 months ago. That means the all-new, in-house G70 will go on sale essentially as soon as there is a place to sell it. Genesis hasn’t announced an official date just yet, but told us they hope to cut the ribbon on the first location in August of this year. We’d expect to see G70s hit Genesis soon after.
Genesis just had Nathan and Mike in Portland, Maine to drive the all new 2019 Genesis G70. Driving impressions are under embargo until July 16. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for new Genesis videos coming soon!