By 2022, Hyundai's Genesis brand should be sitting pretty, executives say, with a fully developed independent dealer network, a portfolio of at least six vehicles split among sedans, coupes and crossovers and annual U.S. sales of about 100,000.
That's nearly two decades after Hyundai started bandying about the idea of adding luxury vehicles to its value-priced product line and selling them through a separate retail channel.
The time in between will have been a bumpy, tortuous ride for Hyundai dealers, thanks to a strategy they have called indecisive at best and maddeningly muddled at worst and despite well-received products that can reasonably claim to compete with the German and Japanese giants.
Last year, Genesis leaders jolted the Hyundai network by announcing a retail strategy that would cut loose the vast majority of Hyundai dealers and demand separate buildings to handle all operations for the luxury line. The about-face has angered dealers who spent years methodically building up the once-paradoxical notion of Korean luxury vehicles, only to find themselves out in the cold now, while also keeping the brand in limbo as it prepares to launch a critical vehicle.
Yet as recently as 2016, then-Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said the "complete reliance on facilities to define luxury is changing." In other words: Genesis didn't need separate stores to distinguish itself.