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Hyundai's Money Back Offer

Hyundai
Hyundai

This is the kind of offer that turns heads. The kind of money back guarantee that had people asking me, "will they really do this?"

The offer is coming from Hyundai and it essentially amounts to this: If your income drops in the first year after you buy or lease a new Hyundai, the auto maker will take back the car. In other words, if your financial situation becomes more dire, you won't be stuck with a car payment you can't afford.

The Hyundai offer is significant because it addresses the one issue that is keeping people out of showrooms. Potential buyers are worried about keeping their jobs so they are putting off a new car for the family. Even those who ordinarily would be looking because their old ride is starting to show its age are thinking twice before buying.

For as much as people are blaming tight credit for hurting auto sales, the real issue is a lack of consumer confidence. With unemployment predicted to hit 8, 9, or maybe even 10 %, it's tough to have much confidence. So maybe a guarantee from an auto maker makes people finally take the plunge.

Don't dismiss the Hyundai offer as just another gimmick promotion. When Hyundai was the first auto maker to offer a 10 year guarantee on its power trains, people scoffed. Turns out, that guarantee was the key to convincing people Hyundai is standing behind its models. It not only re-assured buyers, it set the industry standard.

Will that happen again with this new promotion? Who knows. But I won't be surprised if it boosts sales.

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