Hyundai Coronavirus Financial Relief and New Car Incentives

Jack R. Nerad | March 30, 2020

Hyundai is one of many carmakers that has announced efforts to help put a halt to the COVID-19 epidemic while at the same time trying to keep its workers gainfully employed.

Hyundai hope on wheels program

In the immediate wake of the economic havoc and consumer restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Hyundai Motor America has taken several steps to help its current and prospective customers, most prominently payment assurance and payment deferral programs.

In addition, through programs like Hyundai Hope On Wheels, Hyundai is expanding COVID-19 drive-through testing centers to 11 children's hospitals throughout the U.S. with grants totaling $2.2 million. The COVID-19 drive-through testing centers provide a safe way for children with increased risk factors to receive the care they need.

Many states and localities have put into place severe restrictions on business operations and personal interactions. While these are necessary to slow the pace and scope of the epidemic, their consequence is a drastic downturn in business activity. Here are the highlights of the coronavirus financial relief and new car incentives Hyundai has instituted to spur sales and deal with the crisis.

Hyundai Customer Relief Programs - Find the best deals!

With millions of Americans suddenly thrown out of work and others facing drastically reduced hours due to the coronavirus outbreak, Hyundai is offering some relief to its current customers who are paying off car loans, adding its name to the list of manufacturers offering Coronavirus Car Payment Plans. If the loan or lease is held by Hyundai Motor Finance, and the customer loses a job or faces a medically-related hardship before April 30, 2020, he or she may qualify for deferred payments for up to three months.

Hyundai owners who are having difficulty making a payment but did not finance or lease their vehicles through Hyundai Motor Finance should contact their finance or lease company directly. Many of them are offering various types of payment relief on a case-by-case basis.

Hyundai is also giving current customers a complimentary three-month extension of its Blue Link Connected Care service, which includes SOS emergency assistance, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification. If your Blue Link account expires between March 20 and the end of May, you should qualify for the extension.

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Hyundai New Car Incentives - Find the best deals!

In the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, Hyundai Motor America has revitalized a program it first offered during another national emergency, the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Hyundai's Assurance Job Loss Protection will make up to six months of payments for new Hyundai owners who lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, they must have purchased or leased their vehicles between March 14 and April 30 through Hyundai Capital, and they must suffer the job loss between now and the end of December.

In addition, Hyundai is offering zero-percent financing and three months of deferred payments on a variety of new Hyundai vehicles purchased through April 30.

In place of all previously scheduled TV advertising, Hyundai is running a new TV spot that helps explain the Hyundai Assurance Program.

Hyundai Factory Closures - Find the best deals!

In light of the health concerns surrounding the gatherings of large groups of people, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA), the company's factory near Montgomery, Ala., suspended its operations on March 18. Production of vehicles will remain suspended until April 10 to protect the health and well-being of the employees and the community and to adjust vehicle production to match the anticipated economic impact of the pandemic.

HMMA employs about 3,000 workers in the plant, and will compensate them until April 3. From April 6 through April 9 workers can choose to use vacation time for compensation, and Good Friday, April 10, is a paid holiday for them. During the shutdown period, approximately 100 team employees will be on-site each day to support essential functions.

One HMMA factory employee was confirmed to have a case of COVID-19 on March 18. During the plant shutdown, Hyundai is undertaking extensive cleaning of the facility to provide a sanitized and safe work environment for the employees when they return to work.

Hyundai Economic Outlook & Sales Forecast - Find the best deals!

As with all automakers, Hyundai expects to experience a serious sales loss over the next several weeks. Hyundai has made no public statements about the effects the crisis would have on its sales or U.S. vehicle sales for 2020, but it is offering financial relief to its dealerships. Most notable among these efforts are deferred floorplan (vehicle financing) interest and increased factory-to-dealer incentives plus other accommodations for dealers who finance their inventory with Hyundai Motor Finance.

As to the bigger picture, J.D. Power expects both the virus and its effect on new vehicle sales to grow in severity. Tyson Jominy, vice president of Data and Analytics at J.D. Power, said the progression of the disease and its effects will vary across the country with some markets several weeks behind others. Because of the uncertainty, J.D. Power's March retail sales outlook is for a decline of 16% to 41% from car sales in March 2019. Between 14% and 39% of the decline is attributable to virus effects.

While even the best-case scenario suggests a major shortfall versus 2019 sales, there are some hopeful factors. Jominy noted vehicles are durable goods and have historically demonstrated an ability to recoup sales lost due to short-term disruptions. As such, the auto industry has the potential to recover from the virus-related sales disruption, he said. The extent of the recovery will be influenced by the general economic environment post-virus, which remains highly uncertain.

J.D.Power says its pre-virus 2020 outlook of 16.8 million U.S. light-vehicle sales is no longer attainable, with sales likely to fall in the range of 14 to 16 million units.

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