Realignment at the Genesis luxury brand explains why its franchise count dropped nearly in half last year.
Genesis reported 178 U.S. franchises at the beginning of 2019, down from 352 a year earlier, according to Automotive News' annual dealership census. But the dip was temporary as Genesis, which launched under Hyundai in 2016, remakes its retail network.
The brand's franchise count already is up substantially since Jan. 1, to 250 retailers as of Feb. 22, Genesis spokesman Kevin Smith said. Genesis expects to add up to 75 more within a couple of months.
"We estimate that by the time we have our first Genesis dealer meeting in late April, we'll have a complete new Genesis retail network of approximately 300 to 325 dealers," Smith wrote in an email to Automotive News.
A year ago, Genesis opted to make over its retail network to create more of a luxury sales experience. Previously, 840-plus Hyundai dealerships could sell and service Genesis G80 sedans; about 350 of those stores also could sell and service Genesis G90 sedans.