Hyundai Offers Buyers $1,000 or Gas at $1.49/Gallonby Tim Manni
Hyundai is leading the auto-incentive pack once again. Beginning tomorrow, the South Korean automaker will launch their “Assurance Gas Lock” promotion, an incentive that will offer new vehicle buyers either a $1,000 cash rebate or the chance to lock in gas prices at $1.49/gallon for one year:
With gas prices at $2.70, someone driving a V6 Hyundai Sonata, one of its most popular models, for 12,000 miles over the course of a year would save about $580 with the gas price promotion, given the Sonata’s EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon fuel economy in combined city and highway driving.
Gas prices would need to average about $3.60 a gallon or more for a typical Sonata buyer to benefit from the gas card instead of the cash.
In the June 12 edition of their weekly newsletter, The Kiplinger Letter, the personal finance and business forecasting organization says that while they do expect oil prices to increase to $85 a barrel in the coming weeks, “By year-end, oil will be closer to $65 a barrel, with gas near $2.25 a gallon.” That being said, we’re betting most will opt for the cash.
Hyundai’s latest promotion completes a triple threat for the automaker that’s looking to gain an even greater lion’s share of the automotive market. The “Assurance Gas Lock” promotion, combined with their year-long “Assurance” program, and the newly enacted “Cash for Clunkers” law, could serve to push Hyundai even further to the head of the pack:
[from CNN Money, 2/19/09] 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.
[from CNN Money, 6/30/09] Hyundai will announce its June sales on Wednesday and industry trackers at Edmunds.com expect them to be down 18% from the same month last year, but that would be much better than the overall industry which is expected to be down 28%.
We wrote this exact conclusion back in February when we first reported on Hyundai’s “Assurance Plus” program, and we think it still applies: “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.”