As retailer desperation reaches a fever pitch and discount signs pop up everywhere, here’s something a little different:

With Hyundai’s Assurance Program, if you lose your job, you can return your car to the dealership.

Any automaker could have done this, but they haven’t—yet. And Hyundai did it first.

Not only will this drive word of mouth, it positions Hyundai as a company that cares—not just another automaker desperately trying to move metal.

What’s more, this is simply smart business:

When someone starts missing payments, what happens? Collection calls are followed by legal notices, and eventually the gets a visit from the repo man and their car gets to ride the hook. Ultimately, the customer is demoralized and the creditor loses money.

With this program the car is returned without incident, the customer retains their dignity and Hyundai is the good guy.

I think it’s brilliant.

But what do you think?

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Via Trendhunter

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Debbie says:

    I think this is the smartest ad and policy I’ve witnessed in this time of financial uncertainty. This type of “we won’t let you down” cultivates that often hard to obtain consumer loyalty that so many of us strive for. Hats off to Hyundai!

  • Brian Moore says:

    If I understand correctly, Hyundai is essentially promising to be a guarantor on up to $7,500 of the loan if the buyer defaults – under certain circumstances – in the first 12 months.

    It’s my guess that Hyundai is counting on stringent loan requirements to help cover its risk. What bank, the logic goes, would loan money to a guy it suspects will lose his job in a year? (Insert snide answer here!)

    If that is the thinking, then it is pretty smart. It’s still risky and a bit desperate, but desperate times call for blah, blah, blah.

  • Jeff Stern says:

    I think it’s a smart way to earn word of mouth and customer loyalty. Further, it removes a major barrier to purchasing in “these uncertain times.” Of course, they wouldn’t be able to be in this position if they hadn’t spent the last several years improving quality to the point of becoming a recommended manufacturer by Edmunds and Consumer Reports. If this was the Hyundai of 10 years ago, I think that people would scoff and make snide comments about whether the car would last long enough for people to take them up on the offer.

  • kevin urie says:

    So if I get a Hyundai now, does it mean I think I will loose my job in the next year? Or does my employeer feel better about laying me off if I have a Hyundai?

    Funny questions, but think about it.

  • Brilliant enough to cite in the book I’m writing (with quote by and attribution to you, Patrick).

    Shel Horowitz, award-winning author,
    Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First
    http://www.principledprofit.com

  • […] this year, Hyundai introduced its Assurance Program giving buyers the option to return their new car to the dealership if they lost their […]

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