Korean luxury automaker Genesis, an offshoot Hyundai brand, is new to the segment and is already trying to change established industry norms.
When you research a car online or see an ad in the paper or TV, the price listed has four very significant letters: MSRP. That means that the price advertised is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. When you go to a dealership, however, that price isn’t what you’re going to be paying because of additional fees like delivery and destination charges and, of course, other accumulative fees like maintenance and navigation updates. It all means that consumers never know exactly what they are paying until the very end of the long car buying process.
Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis, the automaker behind the G80 and G90 luxury sedans, knows this whole experience is annoying and is launching a new way of selling its cars in Canada. Called Genesis at Home, the brand will let potential customers shop for a vehicle online, get a final quote, complete financing or lease paperwork, put a deposit and order a vehicle from the automaker’s centralized inventory – all online.
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That means there’s no dealing with suggested prices, pushy sales people or hidden costs. The fixed cost of a new Genesis also includes scheduled maintenance (for 5 years or 100,000 km), Genesis at Home concierge service (5 years/100,000 km), satellite radio subscription (5 years/100,000km), and navigation map updates (5 years – up to 10 updates).
But wouldn’t customers want a test drive first? Fortunately, Genesis will offer exactly that through the Genesis at Home concierge. Buyers will be able to request that a car come to their house for a test drive, along with a Genesis representative to walk them through the car’s features and the new sales process.
If the customer follows through with the purchase, they can expect the same kind of service afterwards. For example, when maintenance is needed on the car, Genesis will pick up the vehicle from the customer, leave them a courtesy vehicle, and take the customer’s car for service. They’ll return the car when the service is complete, too, so the usual inconveniences of car ownership and maintenance are practically non-existent. Now, if only Genesis included free gas with their luxury vehicles…
Genesis Canada says this is a bold strategy that isn’t being done anywhere else in the world. The model was piloted for a few weekends in the U.S. with the Hyundai Elantra, where customers could order a test drive through Amazon Prime, but this is a whole new evolution of that idea.
It’s rare for a new luxury brand to launch with standalone stores and rarer still to enable online car sales from the automaker itself, instead of a dealership. The whole brand is seeing how this approach works in the country and may adopt the same strategy in other markets depending on its success.
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