Hyundai: If You Lose Your Job, You Can Return Your Car
When Hyundai Motor Company’s sales dropped dramatically in December, Hyundai introduced a new plan to revitalize their sales: Customers will now be allowed to return their vehicles – for up to a year from the date of purchase – if they lose their jobs. This program is the first of its kind in the industry.
Hyundai’s new tactic comes at a time when industry-wide U.S. auto sales remain at their lowest levels in at least two decades under the pressure of tight credit and weak consumer confidence.
“The assurance is our attempt to proactively address what we believe is one of the primary contributors to today’s economic woes — a dramatic decline in consumer confidence,” David Zuchowski, Hyundai’s vice president of U.S. sales, told Reuters.
Cars or trucks may also be returned under the program if income is lost due to “certain life altering circumstances” such as bankruptcy, overseas transfer or accidental death. There is no charge for the program, nor would it hurt a customer’s credit rating in the event of a default because the vehicle return would be treated as an early payoff.
Earlier this decade, Hyundai had seen sharp growth in the U.S. market driven by an attention-grabbing 10-year warranty. That strategy allowed Hyundai to claim the mantle as the fastest-growing major automaker earlier this decade, but it fell short of ambitious U.S. sales targets in 2007 and 2008, hit by the industry-wide slowdown in sales.