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Genesis leaves the nest, plans for 100 new standalone dealerships

Have you found yourself lusting after the finest in South Korean luxury automobiles, yet unwilling to set foot in a mere Hyundai dealership with all of the proles? Hyundai has good news for you then Old Bean, because it is launching around 100 Genesis dealerships in the US. The Genesis luxury brand has continually surprised everyone since it made its debut in 2015 by making attractive, thoughtfully designed cars that offer significant bang for one’s buck.

The problem has been that it is tough to sell customers a luxury car in a ho-hum dealership. Making this kind of investment in such a young brand shows great faith in the continued success of Genesis and could mean great things for the automaker.

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Hyundai’s luxury sub-brand Genesis wants to set itself apart from its parent company in the eyes of consumers.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

The planned rollout of the dedicated Genesis showrooms began on Jan.

26 when Hyundai announced that it would start the dealer selection process, initially choosing from a limited number of dealers who are party to the Genesis Participation Agreement and who also exist in specific markets. Dealerships will be built out over the next three years, though in the interim, they will be forced to share space with their bargain-oriented brethren.

“At Genesis, we believe in putting our customers first and giving them a proper ownership experience,” said Erwin Raphael, general manager of Genesis Motor America, in a statement. “To ensure that happens, we need to take this next step in the separation of the Genesis brand from our parent company.”

It seems unlikely that Hyundai will suffer from any kind of empty nester syndrome based on its offerings at the recent Detroit Auto Show, most notably the US launch of the N performance sub-brand with the Veloster N.

Now Playing: Watch this: Rivals: Genesis, Lincoln and Volvo are three of the best-kept… 11:53

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Dixons Carphone boss leaves

It’s been all change at Dixons Carphone. The company’s CEO, Sebastian James is leaving to become CEO of Boots. It’s the second departure from the mobile phone and computing company in a matter of weeks, in early January, CFO  Humphrey Singer left to take the financial reins at Marks and Spencer.

The company wasted no time in getting a replacement in. It’s announced that Alex Baldock, CEO of Shop Direct is set to take over. Dixons Carphone has, no doubt, been impressed by his ability an online transformation of the company and sees him as the man to lead the company through choppy waters.

James’ departure marks the end of a troubled period for Dixons Carphone, the company announced slashed profits in December. The company announced that it was overhauling its business model after its poor performance over the half-year. The company declared a fall in pre-tax profit of 60.4%, compared with the same period last year; while UK profits  fell from £130 million to £34 million.

Under the circumstances, it was almost inevitable that the company would seek to make changes and Baldock’s rapid appointment as CEO signals that the change at the top had been considered for some time.

Outstanding contribution

Ian Livingston, chairman of Dixons Carphone, said: “Seb has made an outstanding contribution to both the creation and success of Dixons Carphone. It is a much stronger company today than when he became CEO of Dixons Retail in 2012 with revenue, profit and customer satisfaction all substantially higher. The Group is now the market leader in eight countries.”

Livingston went on to welcome Baldock to the company.  “He has an outstanding track record in leading large, complex consumer-facing businesses. He’s led Shop Direct through one of UK Retail’s fastest, most far-reaching and most successful digital transformations, delivering five consecutive years of record financial performance, with strongly rising sales and an almost tenfold increase in profits. We look forward to Alex bringing that leadership to the Group as we build on our market-leading positions.”

References

  1. ^ Best mobile phone deals in January (www.techradar.com)

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LAPD leases hundreds of BMW i3s, leaves them to rot in garage

To many people who don’t live here, LA might seem like a smog-choked hellscape in which people sit, enraged, in gridlock 23 hours a day. That may have been true 30 years ago, but these days we have more clear days than not and part of that is due to the higher-than-average adoption rates for hybrids and electric cars. Not wanting to look like part of the problem, the Los Angeles Police Department decided to jump on the electric bandwagon last year, but its multimillion-dollar investment hasn’t exactly gone to plan.

Early in 2016, the LAPD put out a request for bids from electric car manufacturers on a contract to supply 100 electric vehicles for police use. BMW excitedly announced in June of that year that it had secured the contract and would be leasing the LAPD 100 of its i3 electric city cars for administrative use at the cost of £387 per month, per car. That works out to around £1.4 million over three years, add in another £1.5 million for support infrastructure for the vehicles, and it quickly turned into a pretty significant commitment for the city. It was a strong show of support for a cleaner, greener LA.

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Except that’s not really what ended up happening.

What ended up happening is the wide-scale neglect and abuse of the cars in the program by police employees. Now, almost two years into the three-year lease, the vast majority of EVs have less than 2,000 miles on the odometer, with several having less than 300 miles. CBS reporter David Goldstein found that those cars with especially low use have cost taxpayers more than £15 per mile traveled. The report found regular instances of the cars being used for nonofficial purposes, with one police department commander (of finance) taking the vehicle to a school in Long Beach (not part of the city) and then to get her nails done.

Another official took a car to meet a student for lunch at Loyola Marymount University. Goldstein also found many other police personnel using the vehicles to go and get lunch.

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Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, and LAPD Chief of Police Charlie Beck pose inside one of the department’s all-electric BMW i3 vehicles.

Danny Moloshok

What’s even worse is that the program didn’t stop with 100 cars. The department now has 200 EVs with 100 more slated to join the fleet for next year, at a total cost of over £10 million.

LA has more money than many other cities, but we definitely have better places to spend it, like helping our rapidly growing homeless population, for example, than on moldering EVs sitting in the parking garage of police headquarters. An LAPD official told Goldstein they would look into the issues raised by his report. It’s important to remember that these EVs aren’t rated for police pursuit, so we shouldn’t expect to see them chasing down perps on the 5 o’clock news.

That being said, who else is looking forward to a bunch of barely used cheap i3’s coming to market in the next couple years?

49 2018 BMW i3s: BMW’s compact electric car gets a little more fun

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[3-Pack] Vandot iPhone 8 Plus Case, iPhone 7 Plus Bling Case – 3 Pcs Clear Flexible Soft TPU Case Extra Grip Slim Fit Ultra Thin Colorful HD Painting Pattern Non-Slip Scratch Resistant Bumper Protective Case Cover Pack of 3 for iPhone 8 Plus / iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 inch – Dreams Come True / Rainforest Leaves / Cactaceae Cactus – Offer

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