Hyundai first changed the auto world 10 years ago by offering a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on its vehicles.
The move created much-needed respect for the Korean automaker and more importantly, has resulted in branding Hyundai as a viable competitor to the likes of Honda.
When Hyundai unveiled its new Assurance plan earlier this year, we figured it was another potential winner for the Koreans. Assurance is a plan that allows buyers to return their car if they lose a job within 12 months of buying it. Part of the plan will even pay a customer’s car payments for up to 3 months.
We’ve been expecting other automakers to follow suit, and sure enough Ford and GM have both hopped onto the bandwagon created by Hyundai. Though it isn’t yet as heavily marketed as Hyundai’s plan, Ford now offers a program called Ford Advantage, and GM offers Payment Protection.
Under Ford’s plan, buyers who buy a new Ford, Mercury, or Lincoln before June 1 are automatically enrolled in a program that pays car payments for up to 12 months in the event of a job loss.
GM’s plan is similiar and offered on most 2008-2010 GM vehicles. A buyer will be covered for up to $500 per month for up to nine months if he or she becomes unemployed within two years of purchase.
Neither company has gone as far as Hyundai by allowing customers to return their cars.
Hyundai’s program has apparently paid off, as the company’s January sales increased 14 percent. It’ll sure be interesting to see if Ford and GM see similar results!
Are programs like Hyundai’s Assurance, Ford Advantage, and GM Payment Protection enough to get you into a car showroom?