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Hyundai's New Assurance Program Guarantees Trade-In Values

Hyundai's Assurance program was an instant hit when it launched at the start of the recession in early 2009, giving customers the security of knowing they could return their car in certain cases without a hit on their credit scores. Two years later, the automaker is reworking its promotion to guarantee the trade-in value of the vehicles it sells.

"Hyundai Assurance is a partnership with our owners in their purchase of a vehicle," said CEO of Hyundai America John Krafcik. "Depreciation is the single highest cost of car ownership.  While Hyundai's depreciation is now among the lowest in the industry, Assurance will remove many of the barriers and concerns about vehicle ownership. The trade-in value benefit extends this partnership from the initial purchase all the way through what we hope will be the consumer's next purchase of another Hyundai."

Under the program, Hyundai guarantees the residual value of its new vehicles, again providing customers a sense of security when buying a new vehicle from the automaker. Upon purchasing a new vehicle, customers will be given a future value estimate based on figures provided by the Auto Lease Guide. The guarantee is valid only after ownership of 24 months, but no more than 48 months. Customers must also provide proof of scheduled maintenance at an authorized Hyundai dealership.

When a customer returns their vehicle, dealers compare the projected value with the current figure, giving the higher of the two. If for some reason the value dropped, owners are free from paying any negative equity, but if the new value exceeds the previous quote, customers have the opportunity to apply the difference toward the purchase of a new vehicle.

The new Assurance promotion comes as the automaker ended its buy-back program at the end of February. The new promotion applies to all new Hyundai vehicles purchased on or after May 1st. What are your thoughts, will Hyundai hit another home run or won't customers care about the new program?