U.S. dealers spared for now
By: Ryan Beene
Hyundai Motor Co. is rolling out a global dealership design initiative aimed at creating a unified look at its stores worldwide before the end of the decade.
The plan comes just four years after Hyundai revamped its design standards for U.S. dealerships under a dramatically different vision, prompting about 470 of the automaker's roughly 820 U.S. dealers to invest millions of dollars to renovate their stores or build new buildings. Hyundai says it won't force its U.S. dealers to adopt the new global program.
The new effort, called the Global Dealership Space Identity, was developed primarily for emerging markets and countries where Hyundai has lacked a facility design program, according to company officials. The global design features an open, airy showroom with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass topped by a bronze-colored roof structure.
By contrast, the program that U.S. dealers adopted features a silver exterior wrapping with blue accents, namely the large rooftop cube structure bearing the Hyundai logo.
Because many Hyundai dealerships have been updated, deploying the program in the United States appears to be less of a priority than in other markets, and Hyundai is taking a hands-off approach with its U.S. dealers, at least for now.
Hyundai officials in California and South Korea say the new dealership design eventually will appear stateside, starting with a small number of pilot dealerships yet to be identified, but there's no timetable for a broader U.S. rollout.
Adam Kraushaar, president of Lester Glenn Hyundai in Toms River, N.J., and a member of Hyundai's national dealer council, said dealers and executives discussed the program during the most recent council meeting last month.
"It was conveyed to us that whether you call it a one-off or a pilot, some new buildings may adopt that image, but there will not be a capital expenditure requirement or even a request coming down the line," Kraushaar said.
The program was applied first to Hyundai's new sales channel in Mexico, starting in May. Dealerships in Sao Paolo; Rio de Janeiro; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Paris; and Hamburg, Germany, also have adopted the program, according to a Hyundai Motor Co. spokeswoman. Hyundai Canada, which hasn't had a recent dealership design program, also is applying the global design to its network.
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