Genesis Niagara earns Forbes honour for customer hospitality

Eric Marshall, Director Genesis Canada, Performance Auto Group President Glen Alizadeh, and Genesis Niagara Dealer Principal/GM Rein Knol pose with Forbes Travel Guide plaque

For an automotive distributor that began working out of a trailer and with an unusual way of marketing its cars to customers, Genesis Niagara in St. Catharines has come a long way.

Owned by the Performance Auto Group and Distributor Principal and Manager Rein Knol, Genesis Niagara is the manufacturer’s number one Customer Experience Distributor in Canada. It is also among the top five in the country in sales. The dealership did a soft launch in February and a grand opening on June 6.

“Going back to how we started, we would have failed had it not been for the amazing product,” said Knol. “Genesis was so good and grew even before we had stores. Now it’s just icing on the cake.”

For Knol, who has been with Performance Auto Group for more than 30 years, the launch was a chance to celebrate his journey with the company and start a new brand in Canada from the ground up. It was also an opportunity for Genesis Niagara to announce it had received an “In Partnership with Forbes Travel Guide” award for standards regarding luxury experience and hospitality. 

Forbes Travel Guide is the only independent global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruises. 

Genesis Canada, which was launched in 2016, is the only automotive company in the world aligned with the U.S.-based organization that evaluates business properties on 184 elements and provides a score. Their brand tag is “we verify luxury.”

Forbes Travel Guide spends several months with companies providing rigorous training and best practices to optimize the guest experience and then does a one-day audit rating. Genesis Niagara did exceptionally well.

Several other Genesis distributors have received Forbes plaques since the association began in 2021. Genesis Niagara is the first distributor to receive the award in 2024.

“Rein’s dedication to guest experience is unbelievable,” said Eric Marshall, Genesis Motor Canada Director. 

Marshall, along with Alexandra Miziolek, Genesis Canada’s Senior Manager, Operational Excellence and Brand Experience, approached Forbes Travel Guide to establish a relationship.

Genesis Niagara Dealer Principal/GM Rein Knol and various Genesis officials celebrate official opening.

The Clarify Group, a consultancy firm which is part of Universus Media Group and specializes in improving customer experience and hospitality, worked with Genesis Canada to launch the Forbes Travel Guide program and deliver the training.

“I was pretty positive we would get it the first time around,” said Knol. “Customer service is in our DNA. It’s in my DNA. As we brought people in during the early stages, each person was tested ahead of time to make sure they thought the same way.”

The In Partnership with Forbes Travel Guide plaque is proof it worked.

“To actually be part of the forming of it becomes a little closer to you than if it was just another franchise,” said Knol. “That’s what makes it special, you feel like you’ve had a part of this.”

The official launch ceremony featured mood lighting, mist, music, a ribbon cutting ceremony, fireworks and the presentation of a large white porcelain moon jar, which is a symbol of the company’s Korean history. The jar was given to President Glen Alizadeh and Noel by Genesis Motor North America’s CEO Jacob (Jung Hee) Hong. 

Genesis Motor North America COO Claudia Marquez was also in attendance, along with the Deputy Mayor of the City of St. Catharines, Bill Phillips, Genesis Canada President Don Romano and some of his executive team.

Genesis Niagara Dealer Principal/GM Rein Knol and Genesis Canada President Don Romano pose with Korean Moon Jar given as part of Genesis Niagara official opening

Related Articles
Share via
Copy link