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Genesis plans sales outlet expansion

At least 10 ‘studio’ outlets for Genesis to cover 90 per cent of market

25 Jun 2019

GENESIS Motors Australia has announced that it is planning a network of at least 10 studio showrooms that will cover the majority of open points locally, with the South Korean prestige brand launching Down Under this week.


After about six months of delays, Genesis is opening its first showroom at the Pitt Street Mall in the heart of Sydney, with similar high-end studios to follow next year in Melbourne and Brisbane.


Speaking to GoAuto at the brand’s national media launch, Genesis Motors global head Manfred Fitzgerald said the company was currently doing research to determine where the next round of dealerships will be located.


“The sales points will obviously be dependent on where the market is – we have to go where the market is,” he said.


“So, we’re doing research and looking how we stack up versus competitors and see how much this brand obviously resonates with the people out there.


“We have hubs where we can get to first and from there we will try to grow organically.”


With a product portfolio that consists of two luxury sedan and an upcoming SUV, Mr Fitzgerald said that metropolitan areas would take priority in the initial showroom rollout.


“I think (having a metro or rural focus is) still in discussion and under definition,” he said.


“The most obvious thing is to go first of all to metro areas, and then you spread out and see how you can enlarge your footprint.”


To ensure sales momentum builds while showrooms are still unavailable in major cities, the company is launching the Genesis To You program, which will let customers in major cities sample the brand’s products with ease.


The Genesis To You program allows customers the chance to test drive vehicles via Genesis representatives who organise demonstrators to be dropped off and picked up at a location that is convenient for the potential buyers, whether that be at work, at home or even at a cafe of their choosing.


Generally speaking, the test-car program will be available in a 70km radius from each city centre, however Genesis Motors Australia will endeavour to provide assistance to more remote interested customers where possible.


Genesis has decided to introduce a new sales model in Australia that will be replicated for future markets, choosing to bypass selling vehicles out of Hyundai dealerships in favour of its own series of high-end studio showrooms.


Selling direct from the factory to eliminate the extra fees of selling through a dealer, Genesis vehicles will all be sold at a fixed price that eliminates the need to haggle, while preferential treatment will not be given to certain buyers.


Mr Fitzgerald said the decision to introduce a fixed price gave the brand an advantage and was a strategy that other OEMs would like to adopt had they not already established a system that encourages haggling.


“This is a policy where I believe there is definitely an advantage,” he said. “I believe that if you go in, if you find a dealer who will give you a discount for whatever reason, I find that personally unfair... so we want to eliminate that.


“There is no such thing where one will be treated preferentially to the other. All customers are the same and they will get exactly the same price.”


The sales process for Genesis Motors Australia will also be different in that it will not have a focus on sales, but rather studio success will be measured on customer satisfaction.


Each studio will feature a head salesman who will typically have a background in automotive, however other sales staff will be made up of employees with backgrounds in other high-end sales environments that have a large focus on the buying experience.


When asked how the brand will be able to tangibly measure customer satisfaction, Mr Fitzgerald said it would be done through building relationships with customers, while selecting the right staff is crucial.


“For us, the main objective is obviously creating relationships with potential customers out there, getting them to be more acquainted with the brand and therefore with the products, and hopefully buy into what we’re doing,” he said.


“I think the selection of the staff will be crucial – that is one of the key points there.


“Finding the right people who have certain things in mind, certain values that we share, meaning they should bring with them a sense for developing empathy, for building a trusting relationship with customers, so at the end of the day what will be the KPI there to measure it? It will hopefully result in sales.”


The inaugural Sydney studio will take after the original Genesis showroom in Gangnam, Seoul, with enough space for seven vehicles across two floors.


A central spiral staircase acts as the centrepiece for the studio, surrounded by LCD screens and other high-tech lighting features.


While Mr Fitzgerald would not be drawn on the amount of investment Genesis has made in Australia, he said the company was fully committed to succeeding locally.


“What we can say is there is a full commitment of the company to have this not as an afterthought, but as a serious investment to make this brand here in Australia successful.”

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