Incentives Keep Demand High for Hyundaiby Tim Manni
Hyundai’s “Assurance” program appealed to potential car buyers by offering them the option of returning their new vehicle within a year if they lost their job. The Korean automaker took the program one step further by introducing their “Assurance Plus” program – offering to pay the loan or lease payment for 90 days while the car buyer looks for a new job. Consumers can still decide to return the car after the 90 days.
The added incentive will begin on Sunday when Hyundai will release a series of ads showcasing the program during the Oscars. While the “Assurance Plus” program will run through April, the original “Assurance” program will continue through the end of the year.
So far the program has helped keep Hyundai out of the red:
The auto industry’s U.S. sales in January were at the weakest monthly annualized rate in 27 years, but Hyundai saw demand rise 14%, a trend [vice president of marketing at Hyundai Motor America Joel] Ewanick, Ewanick partly credited to the Assurance program, which was launched in early January.
Perhaps the best aspect of the incentive is that:
There is no charge for the program, and a customer’s credit rating is not damaged in the event of a default because the vehicle’s return is treated as an early payoff.
Automakers take note: if you can prove to consumers that you’re willing to stand behind them, they’ll be more willing to stand behind you.