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Hyundai Offers New Buyers Credit Relief

Will 90-day payment deferral and 6-month job loss assurance coverage alleviate concerns?
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In an attempt to soften customer concerns about buying a new vehicle during the coronavirus pandemic, Hyundai is reinstating a tactic it used during the global recession in 2009.

In the U.S., the carmaker and its high-end Genesis brand are deferring payments for 90 days for buyers of select models, including the Hyundai Accent, Elantra, Kona, Santa Fe and Venue, as well as the Genesis GS 70.

In addition, Hyundai and Genesis will cover up to six months of payments for any buyer who loses his or her job (regardless of employment history) in coming months. For now, the Hyundai Job Loss Protection program applies to customers who purchase or lease a new vehicle—and finance it through Hyundai Capital—through the end of April.

“We understand the extreme uncertainty created by the coronavirus and the anxiety experienced by our customers, and wanted to tap into Hyundai’s legacy of having people’s back,” says CEO Jose Munoz. He notes that the Assurance program gives customers one less thing to worry about.

Good Idea, But…

Any assistance to consumers is certainly welcome.

But the immediate challenge and concern will be getting people to visit dealership showrooms. That’s assuming that they’ll even be open, which seems increasingly unlikely in coming weeks as cities and states impose new business restrictions and social distancing guidelines.

LMC Automotive’s latest forecast indicates U.S. vehicle sales could fall by 300,000 units this year as a result of the coronavirus. 

More Response Measures

Hyundai also has established coronavirus response teams at all affiliated companies to monitor the situation, minimize risks and prepare for potential scenarios.

As part of the plan, Hyundai America has:

  • Cancelled or postponed upcoming company events (this week’s unveiling of the 2021 Elantra will be livestreamed without an audience)
  • Suspended all travel outside of North America and all non-essential travel in the region
  • Required all employees to work from home if their job allows
  • Increased the cleaning frequency of high-touch surfaces at offices and manufacturing sites, and provided them with hand sanitizers and disinfectants

As of early Monday, Hyundai said it had no reports of affected corporate, dealership or manufacturing employees in the U.S. The company has no immediate plans to suspend or scale-back production at its assembly plant in Alabama.

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