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Genesis stays on track with unique approach

No haggling: If customers are looking to buy a G70 in Australia, they will not need to bargain with sales staff as each Genesis model’s pricing is fixed.

‘Customer-centric’ strategy key for Genesis in Australia as Infiniti exits market

24 Sep 2019

HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia (HMCA) is holding firm with its fledgling Genesis luxury brand in Australia in the wake of Infiniti’s announcement earlier this month that it would exit the Australian marketplace, with the South Korean car-maker confident its differing approach will eventually bring increased sales volume.


Speaking to GoAuto last week at the Hyundai Venue national media launch in Queensland, HMCA chief executive JW Lee said Genesis Motors Australia (GMA) has a “more customer-centric” strategy than that of Nissan’s Infiniti Cars Australia (ICA), which is due to cease operating here before the end of next year.


“We are approaching this market quite differently from some other manufacturers,” Mr Lee said. “Our approach is to establish our own company-owned network because we want to provide a different experience to our customers.


“I believe our approach is more customer-centric (and) will be accepted by our Australian customers.


“I hope we are going to expand some more by adding some more line-ups. Currently, we only have two models. Next year, we will get another model, an SUV Genesis model.


“Gradually, we’ll also try to expand our network. Currently, we only have one (dealership), our studio in Sydney. Maybe next year (we’ll add) Melbourne and Brisbane.


“As time goes by, we want to increase our volume, but not such a big volume. Baby steps, one by one. We are not targeting volume first, (but) trying to obtain our customers’ confidence – that will be our first objective.


“Let one customer become our brand ambassador. If there is one satisfied customer, then definitely this customer is going to introduce our car to his or her friends or relatives.


“We are not so much strong, ambitious from the beginning but one by one, step by step, (we’ll get there).”


Two of GMA’s unique strategies are its ‘Genesis To You’ program that delivers demonstrator vehicles to prospective buyers who live or work within a 70km radius of city centres, and fixed pricing that eliminates the need to haggle by selling direct from the factory and not through a dealer.


Its Sydney store is wholly operated by the distributor, leaving independent dealers out of the equation in the sales process for now.


Asked if there are lessons to be learned from Infiniti, Mr Lee reiterated that GMA’s unique approach means the two aspiring prestige brands are not directly comparable.


“I believe they always have their own business strategies,” he said. “I cannot say their strategies are wrong or right, but our approach is something different to Infiniti’s.


“We are going to focus much more on customer experience … that’s our current strategy.”


Mr Lee added that customers have so far responded positively to this unique approach and were surprised by the sales strategy in some cases.


“Once the customers have purchased our car, our quality and the car are higher than (their) expectations,” he said.


“Some of the customers are very surprised at our approaches. For example, one customer went to our studio and he was surprised that nobody asked (him) to purchase this car.


“The Genesis experience executives are only focused on the car itself. They try to explain the functions and features of the car.


“He was surprised by such an experience. We got really good feedback from this customer.”


In its first two full months of trading, GMA has sold 41 vehicles – 22 G70 large sedans and 19 G80 upper-large sedans – and Mr Lee indicated that he is currently “okay” with delivering about 20 cars per month.


“More than 100 customers are in (the Sydney studio) every day,” he said. “Who knows, some day they are going to be our (paying) customers.


“The important thing is they didn’t know about Genesis. Most of the customers weren’t aware of the Genesis brand.


“As customers are getting more aware of our brand Genesis, we’ll have some good opportunities to increase our volume.”


ICA has this year sold 386 vehicles to the end of August, or about 50 units per month. This represents a 13.3 per cent decrease over the 445 deliveries it made during the same period in 2018.


As reported, the next Genesis model to arrive in Australia will be a large SUV based on the GV80 concept from the 2017 New York motor show, while a second crossover will arrive in 2021. It is yet to detailed alongside two others destined for local showrooms before 2022.

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