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Hyundai introduces assurance program in U.S.

Oct 12,2017
Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top automotive company, introduced a comprehensive assurance program for potential buyers in the United States, an effort to counter continuous losses in the U.S. market.

“In building on the brand promise to provide customers with a better experience, Hyundai introduces Shopper Assurance, an industry-first nationwide program that streamlines and modernizes the car-buying experience,” said Hyundai Motor America, Hyundai’s local unit in the United States, in a statement.

As part of the program, Hyundai said it will have dealers post the “fair market pricing,” which refers to manufacturer’s suggested retail price minus incentives and any other discounts that dealers can offer. Prospective buyers can also set the site and time of test drives and conclude most of the necessary paperwork online.

U.S. customers not satisfied with their purchases are given a three-day grace period. This guarantees full refunds on vehicles sold within three days after they leave the shop, with the condition that the cars have been driven less than 300 miles (483 kilometers), according to the carmaker. Customers also have the option to exchange the vehicles for another Hyundai. Hyundai Motor America launched the program on Wednesday, local time, in Miami, Orlando, Dallas and Houston and plans to expand the program to all Hyundai dealerships in the United States by early 2018.

“We’ve listened to our customers, and they want convenience and simplicity when it comes to buying a car. Shopper Assurance is going to give our dealers the tools we need to exceed the expectations of today’s shopper,” said Andrew DiFeo, the head of Hyundai’s dealerships in Korea and the dealer principal of Hyundai in St. Augustine, Florida. “With a strong lineup of new cars and CUVs, we expect that Shopper Assurance will give us a competitive advantage and help turn prospects into buyers. We are creating a modern purchasing process where transparency and convenience are paramount.”

The new initiative by the carmaker comes amid falling sales in the U.S. market.

Hyundai sold a total of 511,740 vehicles in the United States this year as of September, a near 13 percent drop compared to the same period last year. Its market share in the United States fell by 0.9 percent year on year to 3.7 percent along with declining sales. The U.S. market accounts for about 15 percent of the carmaker’s annual profit.

Park Young-ho, an analyst from Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities, said in a recent report that Hyundai’s struggle in the U.S. market is likely to last for the time being unless the carmaker improves the marketability of its products there, which requires introduction of new models. The automaker will roll out seven new models in the United States next year, including the luxury sports sedan Genesis G70 in March, which garnered quick and explosive popularity in Korea.


BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]