Michael Ricciuto is understandably excited. He is the director of the Genesis brand in Canada, and two new automobiles are being introduced to the buying public. “It’s been a year since our first announcement about these vehicles,” he says. “Now, we are excited to actually bring these cars to market.” Genesis is Hyundai’s entry into the luxury field, first launched in 2009, but now it is being offered in a completely new format, and in a completely new way.
There is a mid-size G80 model, and a full-size G90, offering a V6 engine and a V8 engine, respectively. These cars come almost fully loaded, with what Ricciuto calls “a high level of base content.” But the innovative thing here is the Genesis sales platform, which is “completely transparent,” as Ricciuto describes it. What does that really mean? “There is one price only for each car. No negotiations, no upselling, no hidden fees,” says Ricciuto. “Even the standard delivery and destination charges are included. Every car has five years’ maintenance, five years’ warranty. The focus for us is on the whole experience, not on the price.” It is unconventional, certainly.
Cars are only available for purchase online at present. As time goes on, Genesis will introduce some “boutique” showrooms, all completely distinct from the network of Hyundai dealers across Canada. New models, including an SUV and a sports coupe, are in the pipeline and expected by 2021. But for now, what happens is you express interest, and an agent will bring the car you want to test right to your door. If you like it, it is yours. If not, they simply take it back, and you can choose a different one.
It is called the Genesis at Home concierge service, and Ricciuto is candid about the whole project. “We have awesome products, but so do our competitors. So, we questioned ourselves about how to be different, and provide a special experience,” he says. “We focused on the buying process itself: what do people like, and not like, about that? That is how we arrived at this new transparent sales approach. It was a bold move by Hyundai in the first place, to create the Genesis brand. And now we are taking it to another level. Negotiating is eliminated from the process. No stress, no haggling; you never have to wonder if you actually got a good deal or not.” Maintenance of the car is made simple as well. A Genesis agent will pick up your vehicle, and provide a loaner while yours is being serviced. Your car is then returned to you, road-ready.
The vehicle itself sports every luxury detail you might want, and possibly some you never thought of. The 19-inch alloy wheels are hollow, and filled with an extremely light-weight, noise-dampening material. The moon roof is expansive, the multiple cameras that operate as part of the safety system even provide a bird’s-eye view of the car on the road, and the Nappa leather and genuine wood trim are impeccable. HTRAC all-wheel drive makes the car ready for anything a Canadian winter can throw at it. The list goes on.
As Ricciuto says, “Our customers tell us what they want, what they expect. We will roll out some boutiques, because people may still want to literally kick the tires. But overall, we see this as the modernization of the car-buying process.” That’s not a small ambition, but it does seem like the timing is right. This may well be the first in a series of seismic waves of sales innovations for the car industry.
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