AM Online

Hyundai goes on the offensive in the US to try and stimulate the new car market

We've seen a lot of different measures to get people buying new cars. Ranging from buy one get one free offers, to huge discounts on models that haven't even gone on sale yet (Vauxhall's new Insignia is already being advertised with thousands of pounds slashed off the list price.)

It's happening in America too, with Dodge giving a free Ram truck with every one that's bought (I found that in The Times this morning).

It's Hyundai that's trying something a little bit different across the Atlantic though. It's come up with an assurance scheme which lets customers return their car back to Hyundai if they lose their income, whether that's losing their job or even accidental death.

Here's the example they gave of how the deal will work in the USA:

A customer buys a Santa Fe SUV and gets a five-year loan for the total purchase price of $22,300 (£15,230). After nine months, the customer’s paid about $3,200 (£2,186) in principal on the loan and owes $19,100 (£13,047).

The buyer then loses his job and returns the vehicle to Hyundai. Assuming the used Santa Fe is appraised at $16,000 (£10,934), the buyer would be "under water" on his loan by $3,100 (£2,118) - but that's within the $7,500 (£5,126) negative-equity threshold provided by Hyundai. They would therefore owe nothing.

Do you think it would work? Those BOGOF offers aren't necessarily great value, but they're always enough to peak an interest and get customers sniffing.

Will this new assurance scheme do the same. A lot of people have said to me that customer still have the money, they're just being a lot more careful with how they spend, surely an assurance scheme would eliminate a lot of the risk that goes with purchasing a big ticket item like a new car?

Hyundai hasn’t said whether it is considering the offer for its UK customers, but we've asked the question to try and find out whether it's on the agenda.

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