Genesis, Despite Sales Growth, Needs Brand Awareness Push, COO Claudia Marquez Says

First Up 11/22/21

How a Toyota Dealership Built a Canopy to Protect Inventory and Generate Electricity

From June 2018 through September 2019, four major hailstorms pelted the inventory at Stapp Interstate Toyota north of Denver. Although insurance covered the damages, its Toyota Financial Services-preferred provider chose to walk away after Stapp's policy expired, citing the high risk in an area prone to such severe weather. When the store in Frederick, Colo., moved to another insurer, its deductibles and premiums soared. Faced with rising costs — and the ever-present prospect of more damaging storms — Dealer Principal Brion Stapp decided to take a seven-figure gamble in the form of a 53,000-square-foot hail canopy that includes 720 solar panels. Click here to see it. Stapp reasoned that insurance costs would fall once providers saw the reduced risk to his inventory. Aside from that, he thought, the dealership could recoup some money by generating its own electricity. "Even though we have very few cars on our lot right now, we're still very, very happy with the decision we made in terms of a short-term, long-term and customer-experience perspective," Stapp told Automotive News. To find out why, click here.

Genesis, Despite Sales Growth, Needs Brand Awareness Push, COO Claudia Marquez Says

Genesis House New York opened this month as part of an effort to build the Genesis brand. The 46,000-square-foot space showcasing Korean culture includes a restaurant, a library and a showroom. Click here to see it. Genesis quintupled U.S. sales in October compared with last year and has filled a trophy case with industry awards over the past five years. But now it needs a big push to raise brand awareness, Claudia Marquez, COO for North America, told Automotive News. "Growth year-over-year has been outstanding," said Marquez, just six weeks into the newly created COO job. "Priority No. 1 is that we have to make sure that consumers understand that we have great products. They are outstanding. But we are missing awareness."  The public profile of the Genesis brand will get a boost from the coming inauguration of its first stand-alone dealerships, Marquez said. Currently, Genesis vehicles are sold at Hyundai stores. The first exclusive Genesis store is set to open in the first quarter of next year, she said. Genesis expects to have about 150 exclusive dealerships by 2025. For more on Genesis, click here.

On EV Tax Credits, What’s Proponents’ Real Objective?

Nestled in the ginormous, multi‐trillion‐dollar “Build Back Better” package that just passed the House is a bonus for not just buying American, but buying union. Scott Lincicome with the Cato Institute writes that Congressional Democrats and the White House have proposed that electric vehicle consumers receive a $12,500 refundable tax credit if they purchase an EV made at an American factory employing unionized workers. The subsidy declines, however, to $8000 if the vehicle is made at a non‐union U.S. plant. The EV tax credit might make for good politics for the union‐friendly Democrats pushing it, but the subsidy defies both economic reality and the United States’ international trade obligations, thus potentially undermining the very environmental objectives it is (supposedly) intended to achieve. For the full report explaining why EV subsidies in general are unnecessary and regressive, and how non‐unionized vehicle assembly plants in the United States appear to be more productive, innovative, and often even better‐paying than their unionized counterparts, click here.

Dealers and their employees should contact their Members of Congress and urge them to oppose this proposal that will divide American workers and play politics with car sales. Click here to learn more about the issue and to contact your legislators. 

Honda Spending Rewarded with Most Auto Ad Impressions

Honda’s “The Origin of Determination” spot reclaims the No.1 position in’s ranking of the most-viewed automotive commercials – the ads that have generated the most impressions across national broadcast and cable TV airings. Wards reports that the commercial’s 215 million-plus impressions during the week of Nov. 8 were made possible by an estimated spend of over $5 million, making Honda the week’s highest spender on auto ads as well. Click here to watch it. As has been the case during this NFL season, the vast bulk of Honda’s impressions and budget centered on the sport. The ad drew the most impressions – 70 million – from NFL programming, and the estimated $3.6 million Honda spent on placing it in football broadcasts was also the highest in the list. Ranking second is Nissan’s “From Dealer To Driveway.” While falling just short of the lead in impressions (only 5 million fewer than Honda), it won the week as the fan favorite with the highest overall score in terms of iSpot’s Ace Metrix survey data. For more on the auto ads of the week, click here.

Toyota Eyes North Carolina Site for First U.S. Battery Plant

Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to invest billions of dollars in a battery plant to be built on the outskirts of Greensboro, North Carolina, as part of the automaker’s efforts to ramp up output of electrified vehicles in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter. Bloomberg reports that the car manufacturer hasn’t made a final decision, but is expected to partner with Panasonic Corp. at the facility. No formal commitment has been made and the plan could still evolve. The factory would be the anchor tenant in an industrial park called the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite. Toyota, which operates 10 non-union plants in the U.S., aims to start local production of batteries in 2025. The company said last month it will initially spend around $1.3 billion in conjunction with its trading arm, Toyota Tsusho Corp., to develop land and build facilities, creating 1,750 jobs. For more on Toyota’s plans, click here.

Around the Web

Mexico Automakers Face Tight Supplies, Listless Market [Wards]

Here's What A Gas Station Fire Suppression System Actually Looks Like [Jalopnik]

He Helped Build Tesla. Now He’s Gunning for It [NYT]

Lincoln Unveils The Attractive New 2022 Zephyr Sedan At Auto Guangzhou [Car Scoops]