By Desiree Homer
More Automakers Having Our Backs
Almost immediately upon the national recommendation of practicing ‘social distancing’ for Americans, automakers jumped to make decisions intended to help their retailers. Hyundai is reworking dealership goals and objectives, to provide a reprieve to its dealers during this uncertain time. Anticipating a government recommended shelter in place policy, Hyundai recognized showroom traffic would likely halt altogether for both Hyundai and Genesis stores. President of the O’Brien Auto Team, in Bloomington, Illinois, Ryan Gremore, says Hyundai has also offered to extend timing on facility agreements.
Hyundai Is Adjusting the Performance Bar
To help dealers weather the storm, Hyundai announced earlier in the week it would offer relief to retail dealers nationwide. The March performance objectives are being adjusted to reflect a decreased flow of on-site car buyers. The manufacturer notified dealers that it would pay $400 per wholesale unit, regardless of the survey scores and benchmark objectives.
Much like GM Financial has already offered its dealers, Hyundai Motor Finance is extending the option for extended floorplan interest and payments. The co-op marketing program has also been adjusted to reflect a decreased flow of car buying traffic. In addition to moving the bar, Hyundai, as previously stated, is extending facility agreement timelines.
Customer Incentives & Loyalty Extras
In response to many of the statewide concerns for virus containment, that has recently led to many businesses closing their doors temporarily, Hyundai relaunched its Assurance Job Loss protection program. This platform allows select model buyers or lessees who finance through the Hyundai captive, over the next seven weeks, will be eligible for six months of payments to be made for them. Hyundai is also offering a 90-day payment deferment option for new purchases of select models. A similar program is now established with the Genesis models as part of the Genesis Cares protection. Jose Muñoz, CEO of Hyundai North America, shared that bringing back this program, previously enacted in 2009, allows customers to weather this uncertain time with one less worry.
The Wave of Automaker Assistance Continues
Kia Motors America has also started extending offers to its customers in the form of 120-day payment deferment options. Based on both Tier 1 and Tier 2 credit evaluations, and for certain models, this program is set for now to run through the end of the month. Ford Credit has established a designated phone number for any current owners to call should they need assistance with payments. Nissan’s finance division has followed suit with similar hotlines for Nissan and Infinity vehicle owners. Many of the officials are considering other incentives and relief efforts but recognized an immediate need to setup relief options for the unique financial situations for each customer.
The takeaway here as the COVID-19 updates continue to unfold; automakers are ready to help. Despite the recent announcements of production stalls, the companies are recognizing the hardships likely to come to customers and dealers alike. For now, it’s encouraging to see efforts are being made immediately, and will likely continue to change as we navigate the coming weeks.