After six years of selling autos in America, the Korean luxury brand Genesis has opened its first U.S. standalone retail store.
The new dealership, in Lafayette, La., represents the next step for Genesis as it continues to grow its U.S. presence and distance itself from the mass-market brand that launched it, Hyundai.
"Creating a space to showcase the Genesis lineup will help us to not only elevate the brand in our immediate area, but also across the region," said Arthur LeBlanc Jr., dealer principal of the new store, Genesis of Lafayette.
Like his fellow Genesis retailers, LeBlanc has taken his time to open a dedicated store. LeBlanc was awarded a Genesis franchise in January 2018 but didn't start preliminary planning until August 2020.
He said he began building in March 2021.
"Genesis has earned a position as a standalone brand," he said. "As a luxury vehicle manufacturer, a standalone facility is not only needed but also expected from our consumers."
Dealers now have more than 20 other standalone Genesis stores in planning or construction stages around the country. A Genesis store in Cherry Hill, N.J., owned by Peter Lanzavecchia, the head of Genesis' retail advisory board, will open by the end of the year.
A Santa Monica location — operated by Mike Sullivan, who owns the LAcarGuy dealership group — is already selling Genesis vehicles, but in an interim facility while his permanent structure is being built. Sullivan's store will also open by end of year. He is the only non-Hyundai dealer currently in the process of opening a standalone Genesis dealership.
Others in planning phases include a store in Greer, S.C., not from BMW's big U.S. manufacturing complex, and two in greater Los Angeles in the Cerritos and Corona markets.