Hyundai Motor Company has announced that it will eliminate the job-loss protection provision from the Hyundai Assurance program. The job-loss provision assures buyers that they can return their new vehicle purchases and be released from their purchase contract if they become unemployed.
The job-loss provision has been the backbone of the Hyundai Assurance program and has been credited with helping to increase Hyundai’s U.S. market share since its introduction in January 2009. The program was spearheaded by Hyundai’s then-marketing boss Joel Ewanick. Ewanick took the reins as General Motors Company’s CMO in May of last year.
According to Irving, Texas-based EFG Company, Incorporated, the job-loss protection provision will be discontinued this week. EFG has administered the Assurance program since its introduction.
Hyundai’s U.S. sales boss David Zuchowski said, “It was very topical for times and really resonated in 2009, but in the meantime we’ve really broadened Assurance to be more than job loss.”
Hyundai plans to keep the Assurance name for its warranty program. The program includes a 10-year or 100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty as well as 5-year roadside assistance. Customers who purchase a new Hyundai before April 1 will receive one year of job-loss coverage in addition to the other coverage.
According to Zuchowski, only about 350 U.S. Hyundai customers have exercised their job-loss option and returned their vehicles to dealers since the program launched. In that time, Hyundai has sold more than 1 million new vehicles in the U.S.
Between 2008 and 2010, Hyundia’s annual U.S. sales rose from 401,702 to 538,228. In 2009, the year the Assurance program launched, Hyundai sold 435,064 new vehicles in the U.S.
Zuchowski said, “We actually see the elimination of the job-loss program as a sign of a recovering economy and we had never anticipated that this would be an enduring program. We welcome the day when it’s really no longer as relevant in the showroom or as required in the marketplace.”
EFG will continue to administer similar job-loss programs for between 300 – 400 non-Hyundai dealers according the company’s president of business development, Paul Budvitis.
He said the company had an exclusivity arrangement with Hyundai during the first year of the Assurance program. Now that it is ending, Budvitis said EFG is looking to offer the job-loss protection product to other automakers and dealers.
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