Hyundai UK has guaranteed the margin on standards and performance for its UK dealer network for the first quarter, to give them a “fighting start” to the year.
Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK managing director, told AM: “One of the biggest issues is that we’re working in an environment of uncertainty. We’ve done this so our dealers can trade with certainty and they can have confidence in their margins.”
Whitehorn said the dealer reaction had been extremely positive.
The decision to guarantee margins was made independently in the UK, with no influence from Europe or South Korea.
Hyundai is launching a new interior corporate identity across its network this year, and has introduced further measures to make it easier for dealers to update.
Whitehorn said: “We’ve got quality product and we want our showrooms to match that and introduce a bit of continuity.
“We understand it might not be the best time to introduce these standards, so we’re offering interest-free loans to our dealers that want to update their showroom interiors.”
The loan is payable over a three-year period. The cost to update the interior, which will be mainly in the form of new floor tiles and desks, will be a minimum of £35,000, which Whitehorn believes is a reasonable price.
He said: “By guaranteeing margins and offering these loans, we’ve seen that our network respects the fact that we’re doing something to help and it’s not just in the form of a hand-out.”
There are already 20 dealers prepared to update their CI and Hyundai’s Milton Keynes dealership has already piloted the style changes. It has also updated the exterior, which is not mandatory.
Whitehorn said: “Dealers can choose to do the minimum £35,000 revamp, or they can visit the Milton Keynes site and decide they could do a bit more with the refurbishment.”
The Hyundai franchise did make a profit last year, which Whitehorn described as an achievement, but still something that could be improved on.
He said: “I think the i10 and i20 have really given the network a boost. They are the kind of cars that people want at the moment. Our costs are a lot smaller than a lot of other franchises, which I think has also helped.”