New Gen­e­sis tack­les Euro­pean lux­ury mar­ket

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - AUTOS -

FOR 20 years pre­vi­ous to join­ing the Win­nipeg Hyundai team, Ger­ald Boiteau was as­so­ci­ated with Euro­pean lux­ury mod­els. Now, the gen­eral man­ager (for the past year) of Win­nipeg Hyundai would like to as­sure read­ers the Korean man­u­fac­turer’s Gen­e­sis is sec­ond to none in lux­ury.

“We would like to in­vite read­ers to call us and give us the op­por­tu­nity to put you in a Gen­e­sis,” he says. “Once you have taken the Gen­e­sis out for a test drive, you will re­al­ize how out­stand­ing this model is.”

In the style Boiteau has ex­hib­ited over the years, he threw a party at Win­nipeg Hyundai Sept. 18 to cel­e­brate the ar­rival of the 2015 Gen­e­sis. The gath­er­ing was tied into a na­tional launch of the new model that in­cluded sev­eral in­vites from Hyundai deal­ers across Canada. The fo­cus of the evening was twofold — the un­veil­ing of the new model, and a half-hour live na­tional feed of the 2015 Gen­e­sis’s in­tro­duc­tion in Ot­tawa.

Speak­ing to the Ot­tawa au­di­ence, Hyundai Mo­tor Company vice-chair­man Chung Eui-Sun said the man­u­fac­turer is so con­fi­dent in the draw­ing power of the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Gen­e­sis that Hyundai is tak­ing on the Euro­pean lux­ury mod­els head to head on their home turf in Europe.

“We are mak­ing our best ef­fort to de­liver on our prom­ise to pro­vide value to cus­tomers at ev­ery price point,” he said.

Don Ro­mano, Hyundai Canada’s pres­i­dent and CEO, said the new model is built pri­mar­ily of high­strength steel, which makes for a safer model. He added Hyundai is the only man­u­fac­turer that makes its own high-strength steel.

The in­te­rior, he said, is re­plete with full grain napa leather seats, real alu­minum and wood-grain pan­els made by an Ital­ian fur­ni­ture maker from real wood.

The live feed in­cluded a video il­lus­trat­ing the Gen­e­sis’ smart cruise con­trol and lane-keep-as­sist tech­nolo­gies. Seven cars are seen driv­ing one be­hind the other. A flatbed truck passes and, as the truck passes each ve­hi­cle, the driver comes out of the top of the car and jumps onto the flatbed. Just one driver is left and he blind­folds him­self and takes his hands off the wheel. All the cars con­tinue to move for­ward on their own at an even speed and, on their own, come to a com­plete stop when the flatbed, which has pulled in front, sud­denly stops.

Win­nipeg Hyundai sales rep Kae­len Honke was given the op­por­tu­nity to test drive the 2015 Gen­e­sis at a train­ing pro­gram in Toronto last spring. He said the model’s all-wheeldrive sys­tem is cur­rently the most ad­vanced sys­tem on the mar­ket.

“There are a num­ber of added fea­tures in the 2015 model,” said Honke.

“The value for what you pay is re­mark­able,” he added. “The Gen­e­sis ranges in price from $45,000 to $65,000, as com­pared to most other lux­ury mod­els that may start at $70,000.”

Another high­light of the even- ing was an ap­pear­ance on the live feed of Karl Sub­ban, the fa­ther of hockey-play­ing sons P.K., Mal­colm and Jor­dan, to pro­mote Hyundai Canada’s Hockey Helpers Pro­gram (the Sub­ban fam­ily are na­tional am­bas­sadors), which is in­tended to help less well off chil­dren par­tic­i­pate in or­ga­nized hockey.

“Hockey is the best sports class­room,” said Sub­ban, a life­long ed­u­ca­tor). “It teaches kids val­ues and life skills such as team­work and sports­man­ship.” New GM for Win­nipeg Kia As of the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber, Wally Brooks is the new gen­eral man­ager at Win­nipeg Kia.

Brooks be­gan his ca­reer in auto sales 30 years ago and has sev­eral years of pre­vi­ous man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence. He left the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try for a few years to man­age a con­struc­tion company but was lured back into the business by Au­toTown Kia dealer prin­ci­pals Chris Dyck and Evan Titchkowsky with the of­fer of be­com­ing the auto store’s fixed-op­er­a­tions man­ager.

“This is a great store,” Brooks says. “Chris and Evan are awe­some guys to work for. The staff are very good and very pro­fes­sional.

“We are the No. 1 store in Man­i­toba in terms of our CSI score.”

MY­RON LOVE / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Win­nipeg Hyundai gen­eral man­ager Ger­ald Boiteau, left, with sales rep Kae­len Honke be­side the 2015 Hyundai Gen­e­sis.

MY­RON LOVE

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