How Hyundai is Adapting the Car Buying Process for Shoppers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Jack R. Nerad | Apr 16, 2020

Hyundai has been one of the most aggressive of the global carmakers in responding to the threats and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Korea-based auto manufacturer was one of the first to announce a nationally publicized program of consumer support in the wake of the coronavirus and the economic upheaval that has accompanied it.

How Hyundai is Adapting the Car Buying Process for Shoppers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Similarly, Hyundai dealers have significantly changed their operations to contend with the difficulties it presents to conducting business while at the same time keeping employees and customers safe from infection.

The following are details of the many initiatives Hyundai has undertaken to weather the crisis.

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In a swift response to the business effects of the coronavirus epidemic, Hyundai reinstated the Hyundai Assurance Job Loss Protection program, an initiative it had created during the depths of the Great Recession of 2008-09. Designed to allay the fears of consumers who are concerned that an imminent job loss might prevent them from making car payments, the program offers new customers up to six months of payments if they lose their jobs due to COVID-19 and have purchased or leased their vehicle between March 14 to April 30, 2020, through Hyundai Motor Finance.

Beyond that, Hyundai is offering 0% (APR) car-loan financing and deferred payments for 120 days at the customer's request on many of its 2020 models. The combined offer is for select new purchases made through April 30 and financed by Hyundai Motor Finance. Not all buyers will qualify.

Hyundai has extended its First Responders Program to include healthcare professionals and hospital employees as defined by the U.S. Labor Bureau of Statistics. This widens the pool of first responders eligible to receive a $500 discount on all new Hyundai vehicles.

In place of previously scheduled television advertising, Hyundai is now running a new TV ad on the Assurance Job Loss Protection program.

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Hyundai Dealership Changes - Find the best deals!

The business and personal movement restrictions brought on by the onset of the pandemic have prompted Hyundai dealers to significantly change their operations. Most Hyundai dealers are still open for service business and many are conducting new- and used-car sales, but from their hours of operation to the methods of delivering a sold car to a customer, their operations have been transformed almost overnight.

For example, several Hyundai dealers are offering online purchase and home delivery for new-vehicle purchases and pick up and drop off for service customers. In many instances, this is facilitated by Hyundai's new "Click to Buy" program that allows customers to purchase a vehicle without leaving the safety and comfort of their home.

In a similar vein, electronic signature authorization has been instituted for repair approvals. In fact, from service scheduling to vehicle pickup to vehicle delivery after the repair or maintenance has been completed, online tools are available to speed the process.

Dealerships across the country are closely monitoring the health and business restrictions situation in their local markets and are acting accordingly based on state, county and city regulations. Many Hyundai dealerships are providing various types of help in their local communities for charity and in support of healthcare workers serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

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In addition to providing a wealth of services to prospective new-car customers, Hyundai is also providing support to current Hyundai owners and lessees whose financial fortunes might have been negatively affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic.

For instance, current Hyundai Motor Finance customers can defer payments up to three months if they lose their job or face a medically related hardship before April 30, 2020. Recent Hyundai buyers who did not finance or lease their vehicles through Hyundai Motor Finance and are having difficulty making a payment should contact their finance or lease company directly. Many of those lenders are offering various types of payment relief on a case-by-case basis.

Hyundai is also giving owners and lessees a complimentary three-month extension of its Blue Link Connected Care service, which includes SOS emergency assistance, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification, for customers whose accounts are expiring from March 20 through the end of May.

Hyundai is a company well-known for its lengthy vehicle warranties, and those warranties have just gotten longer. Hyundai has announced a worldwide extension of warranties expiring during the pandemic. Any warranty expiring between March and the end of June is automatically extended to June 30, 2020.

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In addition to dealer support of local community efforts, Hyundai Hope On Wheels donated $2.2 million to children's hospitals throughout the U.S. to support COVID-19 drive-thru testing centers. The pandemic is a particular threat to children with cancer, many of whom have compromised immune systems, and COVID-19 drive-thru testing provides a safe and trusted way for children who have risk factors to receive the care they need.

The information contained in this article was accurate as of April 14, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation, and automakers are making regular changes to their efforts to help customers, support dealers and communities, and encourage sales.

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