Genesis G70 finally appears, but mostly on TV

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The slender Genesis G70 from 2019 has made its mark on the half-tone show of "Monday Night Football" this season with stylish black-and-white promos that show consumers a glimpse of the next phase of Korean luxury.

Meanwhile, many dealers are playing a waiting game, looking forward to their first deliveries of the luxury sedans and more information about the requirements to continue with the sale of Genesis products.

Even in a crossover-heavy luxury market, the hope is big for the sporty sedan, which is expected to broaden Genesis' buying base by attracting younger consumers, more women and technical know-how. It is the first Genesis product that is not a transfer from the Hyundai brand.

And dealers are satisfied with the pricing strategy, which includes a entry option of $ 35,895 – the same price as the competing BMW 3 series – and a range of top equipment levels that can push the price to $ 53,245. Prices include shipping costs.

A Genesis spokesman told Automotive News that the first G70s were shipped and that the brand expects that 100 to 200 dealers will have them by the end of the year.

That is the latest update in a timeline that has constantly shifted. When it debuted, the G70 would go to American showrooms in the spring of 2018. Then the release window appeared in the summer in the midst of the noise over the brand's retail strategy. Now, three weeks after the fall, cars enter the selected markets.

Atlanta is one of those markets. Genesis from Atlanta received almost 10 G70s this month and started selling as soon as they arrived.

The dealership organizes a start event for the sedan on Thursday 18 October, with private shows, drinks and test drives. The cars are equipped with cameras to record the drivers' reactions.

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Atlanta is one of the best performing markets of the brand.

"We have received a lot of floor traffic on the car," says John Noaker, sales manager for Genesis of Atlanta and Jim Ellis Hyundai. "We get people that we have not seen before from other brands, it opens doors, these are former buyers from Mercedes, buyers from BMW."

Test drive for dealer

The shipments can not come fast enough for Gregory Mauro, who owns Gregory Hyundai in Highland Park, Illinois. Mauro said that a regional manager of the brand recently brought a G70 to him for a test drive.

Mauro said he expects the sedan this month, which is good news, but he had hoped to have it in the summer.

"It is frustrating, you have people who come in [asking], & # 39; Have you already? & # 39; No, & # 39; said Mauro. & # 39; Some of those people are rented, so they have probably already bought something else. & # 39;

He said that Genesis offers "a lot of car" for the money and believes that the top equipment levels will do most of the business in his Chicago store in the suburbs.

For others, the expected arrival date is less clear.

South Florida is one of the markets with the largest volume of Genesis, but the G70 is not yet available in the state. Andrew DiFeo, chairman of the National Dealer Council of Hyundai, said in late September that he expected the G70 to be for sale in Florida in the next 60 days. Allotments, he said, should start soon.

DiFeo, whose store in St. Augustine is in northern Florida, said he believes the top finish of the G70 will get enough attention early, but that the basic consumer model with "luxury ambitions & # 39; can pull.

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The starting price, he said, is "competitive for such a well-judged product." Having a strong lease offer at the launch will be the key, he added.

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New state license

Dustin Walters, COO of Friendship Automotive Enterprises, is uncertain when he will buy the G70 at his store in Bristol, Tennessee. He, like all Hyundai dealers who go through with Genesis, had to apply for a new state license to sell the brand.

He said the company sent him a worksheet with dealer codes with price information about all the trims and packages, which is usually one of the last steps before a shipment arrives.

He predicts that the basic level G70 is probably the most popular in his market and the battle with the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-class and Lexus IS.

Another Southern dealer said he does not know when the sedan will arrive, but he will not bother Genesis with it. He said he is just grateful to be able to sell Genesis models after 2018, now that the brand has withdrawn from a plan to reduce the number of dealers and separate its retail network from Hyundai & # 39; s.

"When they talked about just having 100 Genesis dealers," he said, "they would not have one in Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina or Arkansas."

From the end of September, Genesis is an authorized distributor in 45 states, while a spokesman said the brand is working closely with the other five to finalize its licenses.

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& # 39; Absolute craziness & # 39;

After the turnaround in retail plans in April, the opportunity to sell Genesis was offered to all Hyundai dealers in the US, provided they agreed to open standalone Genesis stores by January 2021.

But now even that timetable is considered flexible. A spokesman said via e-mail that the brand "will continue to strongly encourage the facilities that are being built, especially in key markets, as soon as plans, permits, etc. Allow this."

The brand added that it is developing the latest specifications for the independent dealers and expects it to assist some dealers in setting it up. The repositioning has taken its toll on sales. They dropped 41 percent to September, to 8,909.

Walters said for the time being that dealers operate under the showroom-in-a-showroom model, but long-term specifications for building new stores are now & # 39; separate & # 39 ;.

"It was very little communication about the whole plan," he said. "We have a facility that we can under-utilize and that can work based on what they are looking for."

Another dealer told Automotive News that he had completely cleaned up his hands from the Genesis family, frustrated by the ever-expanding retail plan.

He has sold his interest in his dealer and left his partner to carry out the operation without him, although he has not ruled out that he will return one day.

"That was absolute madness with Genesis, I was done," he said. "I want to switch to a different manufacturer and do something else."