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Revolutionizing Automotive Retail

An Interview with Eric Marshall, Director, Genesis Motors Canada
Jana Pijak
April 11th, 2024

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A Canadian native, Eric Marshall has been integral to Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. since 2015, initially as a product manager. Transitioning to Genesis Motors Canada in 2016, he rose to national sales manager by 2019. With prior experience in sales and brand management at a domestic automaker, Marshall played a key role in establishing Genesis' unique agency model in the Canadian market. As the Director of Genesis Motors Canada, Marshall is Involved in brand strategy development and distributor network agreements, overseeing GRX facility construction and overall growth strategy from the head office in Markham, Ontario. Marshall's expertise positions him to manage all facets of Genesis Motors Canada's operations as sales momentum builds.

1. Tell us your name and about your role at Genesis Motors Canada?

My name is Eric Marshall and I'm the Director of Genesis Motors Canada.

2. What does innovation mean to you? How do you and your team generate new ideas?

Innovation to me, means constant improvement and challenging the status quo.

The brand launched in 2016 with an agency model in Canada, which was a new approach to doing business. Genesis at Home meant our guests enjoyed the convenience of having a vehicle brought to their home or place of business for a test drive or delivery following its purchase. This included pick-up and return for complimentary scheduled maintenance, and even the ability to make use of a complimentary courtesy vehicle.

Being such a young company, we had the opportunity to create a business model that is built on adapting and anticipating the needs of our guests. We leverage their feedback and regularly meet with our dedicated network of Genesis distributors, and we use their input to continuously evolve our processes and training curriculum.

3. What are some rituals you rely on to reset creativity?

We often organize team building initiatives, experiential training and luxury immersion programs, so that team members can experience luxury hospitality firsthand. We have excellent relationships with our network of distributors and work with a deeply committed group of partners. We meet with regularity to ensure we are adapting and making adjustments as needed to find the right balance for what is best for our guests, distributors and Genesis Canada.

4. Has Genesis Motors Canada ever looked to another industry for inspiration?

As we evolve the business in Canada to an omni-channel approach, guests can still enjoy the convenience of Genesis at Home, or visit their closest GRX (Genesis Retail Experience) facility for any part of the acquisition and ownership process. These beautiful, modern facilities were designed to be welcoming to guests, so we have established processes, training standards and certifications to ensure that they provide the hospitality and attention to detail that our guests have come to expect through luxury hotels, top-rated restaurants, and business class travel.

5. Genesis Motors Canada’s recent ‘Centred Around You’ campaign spotlights the importance of consumer centricity within the luxury automotive space. Tell us more about the inspiration behind the campaign and about the ways in which Genesis is setting itself apart from competitors?

As the business model has matured from the At Home model to this omni-channel methodology, so too has our approach to marketing. In the beginning, we relied heavily on organic owner advocacy, which we have now complimented with a new brand promise, “Centred Around You”.

This elevation of automotive retail aims to mirror the hospitality that our guests have come to expect in other aspects of their lives, but also provide a higher level of service that stems from a deep respect for their time across every aspect of the business.

6. Genesis Motors Canada is revolutionizing the car-buying experience with its Genesis at Home program. Can you speak more about the perks of this program and about how it works?

Prior to launching the brand in Canada, we commissioned expert industry insight and analysis that addressed consumer pain points experienced throughout the vehicle shopping and ownership process. This data supported a need for clarity and convenience that we incorporated into the DNA of our business model, including valet services, transparent, online all-inclusive pricing, and complimentary scheduled maintenance. This respect for our guests’ time results in a streamlined, effortless acquisition and ownership experience.

Genesis Motors Canada established an agency model whereby our guests purchase their vehicle directly through Genesis.ca who own the inventory and set negotiation-free pricing. Our distributor partners work with guests to facilitate this process, providing information and education on products and services.

7. Genesis Motors Canada is expanding its Genesis Retail Experience (GRX) presence with an upcoming Genesis Downtown Vancouver location. How do you think the GRX concept will enhance customer engagement and loyalty in the luxury automotive market?

While some guests will prefer to continue enjoying the convenience of having vehicles picked up and delivered to their home or place of business, others enjoy visiting a physical location. GRX facilities have been designed to be welcoming environments, with open concept layouts and comfortable, stylish furnishings. Attention has even been paid to the curated scents and sounds that guests will experience while they meet with their GXM (Genesis Experience Manager) or wait for their vehicle to be serviced.

From all-inclusive pricing shown online, to the clear view into the EV lab service area – similar to how top-rated restaurants provide the ability for guests to peer into the kitchen - transparency has been built into every aspect of the business.

We currently have fifty percent of the GRX locations across the country open and operational, with the rest to be opened or under construction by the end of the year. These facilities provide a presence in key markets, generating exposure to the brand and offering flexibility for our guests.

8. Can you speak about Genesis Motors Canada’s Forbes partnership?

Genesis Motors Canada is the first automotive manufacturer in the world to be In Partnership with Forbes Travel Guide. Leveraging the global experts, we are working to set a new standard in luxury hospitality through the training of guest-facing team members and certification of GRX facilities.

Brand standards were established to set Genesis apart and create a distinctly different acquisition and ownership experience. With the help of Forbes, processes have been put in place to ensure we deliver on those standards.

The Forbes partnership is a key differentiator for Genesis Canada, demonstrating a concerted effort to introduce hospitality into luxury automotive retail and service. Additionally, GRX facilities that are successful in their training and evaluation will receive a certification plaque in recognition of their accomplishments so guests will know they’re in good hands.

9. Genesis Motors Canada recently hosted its Genesis Invitational experience in California. How did the brand leverage this exclusive experience to reinforce its brand identity?

As a brand, we have been heavily investing in the world of golf on a global level, including hosting tournaments like the Genessis Scottish Open and Invitational. Advertising, activations and sponsorships are intended to educate golf fans around the world about our brand vision and product lineup.

Attendees of the tournament are treated to a high level of hospitality through premium Korean-inspired cuisine and beverage service, as well as vehicle displays and experiential activations around the grounds, providing insight into the world of Genesis.

10. Looking to the future, how will Genesis Motors Canada continue to be a leader in innovation?

We will continue challenging ourselves, improving our facilities and training processes. The recent lineup of concept vehicles unveiled at Genesis House in NYC provide a glimpse into exciting future products that will continue to incorporate safety and infotainment technology in an intuitive manner, with a continued focus on efficiency and spirited driving dynamics.

Our suite of Connected Services will become even more comprehensive, and we will continue our pursuit of creating a frictionless acquisition and ownership experience.
References: genesis