GM examines Hyundai for Inspiration for New Marketing Program

Tom Ludwick
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Hyundai seems do be doing something right. Whether it is the company's fresh new products or its Assurance program that allows buyers to return their car if they lose their job, something is working. Meanwhile, the folks at GM have taken notice. They are reviewing Hyundai's marketing strategy to see what the Korean automaker is doing right.

In January Hyundai posted a 14.3 percent rise in U.S. sales and with a 0.7 percent sales decline in February, it is the second best performer for the month behind Subaru. GM is now looking to see how much of Hyundai's sales increase resulted from the Assurance program.

With the program, buyers can return any new Hyundai vehicle leased or financed in 2009 if they lose their jobs within the first year of ownership. Hyundai will even make the payments on the vehicle for the first 90 days.

Mark LaNeve, GM's Vice President of North American sales, service and marketing, says "We've looked at Hyundai's program extensively, and we've examined some possibilities of what we might do because certainly the consumer is anxious and worried about the future and whether or not they will retain their job."

GM has reviewed Hyundai's program, but wants to offer something more "consumer friendly." He said "We're not crazy about the Hyundai program because all it does is protect your credit from being wrecked. You've still got to turn in your car. And when you lose your job, you still need a car to find another job."

For now, GM will continue its President's Day sales incentives into March. It will also use its television advertisement time purchased during the NCAA basketball tournament to promote its product message rather than its sales according to Pete Ternes, a GM spokesman.

Source: Automotive News

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