Hyundai is to axe its upmarket Genesis brand as a legal entity in the UK next year, Car Dealer can reveal.
A source leaked to this publication that Hyundai’s UK boss Ashley Andrew made the announcement this morning.
‘Genesis Motor UK will cease to exist as a separate legal entity and all Genesis operations will be transferred to HMUK [Hyundai Motor UK],’ the insider said.
It’s expected the move will take place at the end of January 2024 and all of Genesis’s staff are now on redundancy consultation. It is believed as many as 83 jobs are at risk.
The insider added: ‘Genesis as a brand will continue under the agency model but for all day-to-day purposes will be part of HMUK.’
A spokesperson for Hyundai Motor UK told Car Dealer: ‘As a business, we announced previously that from January 1, a number of new network partners would be representing the Genesis brand in the UK, marking the start of an exciting period of expansion for the business.
‘As part of the next phase of this expansion, we will bring the Hyundai & Genesis UK businesses together under common management in order to ensure we work most effectively with our new partners.
‘This transition is ongoing and is subject to the employment consultancy agreement.’
The premium brand arrived in the UK in summer 2021 having been launched five years earlier as a separate sub-brand in South Korea.
Before its UK arrival, Genesis had been rolled out to the US, Canada, Russia, Australia and the Middle East.
Genesis initially launched in the UK without a dealer network and instead prioritised online sales and opened studios in upmarket shopping centres.
The first opened in Westfield, London, in summer 2021, followed by another in Battersea Power Station last year.
But in March of this year, the carmaker surprised many by announcing it would create a UK dealer network after all.
Genesis Europe boss Lawrence Hamilton denied the decision was a ‘U-turn’, telling Car Dealer: ‘We’re not backing away from online sales – they are here to stay.
‘The fact that the vehicle may well be ordered and delivered to the customer with the help of a retail partner doesn’t change the fact that the online customer experience is still there.
‘The retail partner is an essential part of the logistics and last-mile experience. We are using retail partners to improve the process.’
In July, Genesis revealed the dealer groups it had partnered with for its UK network, which comprised Arnold Clark, Ancaster Group, Hendy Group, Holdcroft Group, Pendragon, Richmond Motor Group and Sinclair Group.
It’s planned that these dealers will all open showrooms under agency agreements, supporting sales and service operations.
At the time of the annoucement, Genesis said the dealers would deliver ‘consistent, transparent pricing through to peace-of-mind servicing and maintenance’, and the carmaker would look to add more ‘retail partners’ in the future.
Pendragon boss Bill Berman said at the time: ‘We are delighted to add Genesis to our Stratstone roster and be able to offer Pendragon customers another luxurious and sustainable brand from next year.
‘As the fastest-growing luxury car brand in the world, we are looking forward to being an integral part of Genesis’s continued success and its plans to become an EV leader in the UK.’