• Mar 25, 2009
Hyundai has scored a big marketing win with its incentive program that allows owners to return a new Hyundai within a year if they lose their job. Called the Hyundai Assurance program, the South Korean automaker sweetened the deal later by offering to pay up to three months of car payments before taking the car back so that owners would have time to look for a new job. While the rest of the auto industry has been hit with slumping sales in 2009, Hyundai sales were up in January and about even in February compared with 2008. Some of that certainly has to do with the peace of mind provided by the Hyundai Assurance program.

But an incentive program isn't successful just because it sells more vehicles. The value of the incentive to the automaker goes down the more it cuts into the profit of each vehicle sold. So how much has the Hyundai Assurance plan cost so far? Aside from a few marketing dollars to get the word out – nothing. That's because despite selling 55,133 vehicles through the end of February, not a single owner has taken Hyundai up on its offer to buy back their vehicle. So, at this point, the incentive program has been a home run idea that's sold more cars but effectively cost Hyundai nothing. Of course, that could all change if within the next year our economy turns into Great Depression II and Hyundai owners begin returning their vehicles en masse. Until then, however, Hyundai will likely continue to enjoy a better sales performance each month than its competition.

Follow the jump for a poll on the effectiveness of Hyundai's Assurance program.

[Source: Kicking Tires]



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  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just wait. Rumor has it the several hundred that are going to turn theirs in will do so just as soon as AAA shows up to get them started.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Caddilac would never offer this deal to it's prospective owners as they still operate on PT Barnum's premise that "A sucker is born every minute". The Caddilac 8-6-4, Cimmaron and all 80's Caddilacs , Catera bring back any memories.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is kind of dumb to say "effectively cost them nothing" when all the financial analysis, legal contracts and marketing spent adds up to a lot of real dollars. It has actually, really cost them something! And the number crunchers have to figure out how many sales they can actually attribute to the promotion, versus how many people would have opted for a Hyundai (the economy choice) anyway. Even the 22-year-old business analyst straight from liberal arts college knows that!

      After just a few months, no one is going to have had the time to lose their jobs and default on their car payments already. I'm pretty sure Hyundai's bean-counters aren't declaring "win" on this one just yet. Not saying they won't, just that they haven't.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Having nice cars at nice prices that people actually want to buy is also a huge part of their success.
      • 5 Years Ago
      God bless Hyundai for being so customer minded and sales savy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I didn't think She had anything to do with it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to say it's a gamble, but credit's so tight that the people who would use this service are excluded from getting a loan in the first place. But, there's always a danger that it could seriously hurt the company, just like Toyota's "saved by zero".

      Still, I think more of the sales are due to their new "halo" cars and the prominent advertising they bought for the Super Bowl.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's highly unlikely this program will hurt Hyundai because they've basically bought insurance to cover any take backs.

        Also, Hyundai controls their own finance company. At the moment in addition to the Assurance Plan they're offering $750 bonus cash incentives for financing through HMFC on all Hyundais except the Genesis Coupe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      doesn't the program require that you have the car for at least 3 months before they will take it back?
      • 5 Years Ago

      this is the biggest ripoff I have ever seen nationally, these uneducated customers are buying yes buying a $7500.00 insurance policy, that the dealer will determine if that is enough to return the car or not, probable not with the very high depreciation rate on these cars, and that would only be after fifty million wherefore and therefores and I told you so and I don't think soes................a Canadian company too.............I think people in general can figure this one out and when they do, they will be pis$#$ off and for good reason........think of It for second and just try returning a car you just bought...........good luck suckers...........................
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seems smarter to me to offer to take the car back than having it re-possesed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does it cover if you wake up one day and say to yourself, "I bought a Hyundai? What the HELL was I thinking?!?!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well Rich, Not all of us are rich.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only if that Hyundai is a Tucson.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Make that Land Rover and then you'd be on the mark.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We'll see how many people take up the offer when FY09 ends.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually, Hyundai's program is "powered by Walkaway", which offers this kind of insurance for pretty much any car, through dealers. Hyundai does indeed have to pay for the program, since they're basically throwing in free finance insurance for their buyers. The real winner here is Walkaway USA, which is apparently making out like a bandit. Oh, and according to AN, at least two buyers have turned their cars in as of 2/16: https://home.autonews.com/clickshare/readLink.do?CSAuthKey=SthhyZ8pRco-oBxiurSLvPY-0
      • 5 Years Ago
      Score one for the marketing genius who came up with this.
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